When it comes to your association, successfully managing your event programming can be a major challenge. Pulling off an excellent association event takes time, effort, and expertise, and it’s no wonder that organizations like yours look toward tech solutions for ways to make this process easier.
Whether it’s a conference on learning technology or a gathering of medical professionals, optimizing your event’s management and registration process is essential to promoting your association’s identity and mission properly.
Luckily, with the right tools, your association can make major improvements to your event management strategy. In this post, we’ll walk you through the top ways to enhance your association’s upcoming event calendar with tech solutions.
Your association’s event planning team should:
- Choose the right event registration software.
- Offer a branded mobile app.
- Leverage data insights to improve your program.
All of these ideas will come in handy when you’re trying to enhance your event management strategy, so let’s take a look at how you can get started!
1. Choose the right event registration software
Often, your attendees’ very first experience of the event will be the registration process. This means that it’s essential to nail this step, as it can affect perceptions of your association and its brand throughout the event process.
Selecting the correct event registration tools for your association’s events isn’t always easy. But if you narrow your search down to the core features you really need, you’ll be on track to finding the perfect solution for your organization.
In order to find the right event registration software to take care of your association’s needs, look for features like:
- Custom form builders. Finding software that can create custom forms for your event will inevitably enhance the entire registration process. For instance, if your association wants to track industry-specific information during the registration process, you can design a custom field on the registration form to ask for your attendees’ professional designations.
- eTicketing. Create a more convenient registration process for your attendees by allowing them to check in with their phones using electronic ticketing functionality. Not only will your attendees appreciate the convenience of checking in from their phones, but your organizers will also find managing the registration process much easier when most of the check-in data is being delivered to them in real-time.
- E-mail marketing. Choose software that allows you to manage not only the registration process itself but also how you promote event registration. Improve your e-mail marketing by setting up an e-mail template in line with your association’s brand, then track click-through and open rates to improve your association’s understanding of what kind of content your constituents prefer to engage with.
An inadequate event registration software can make your association’s event management and marketing strategies more complicated and cumbersome for your members. Instead, choose an event registration platform that is robust and adaptable to your needs.
2. Offer a branded mobile app.
Branded apps can help with anything from online event registration to attendee engagement before, during, and after your association’s events.
Custom branded event apps can make organizational tasks easier on your attendees, event planners, and your general event staff.
Before choosing an event app, you should gather information on your event’s needs and how an app can meet them. Keep in mind the following key questions when deciding on the right app for your event:
- Why use an event app? An event app serves two essential functions for your event. The first is that your association’s branded event app will provide information, registration, and scheduling assistance to all of your event’s attendees. The second is that your event app will provide your event’s organizers with another tool that can aid in data collection and event management.
- How should you customize your app? Make sure you take advantage of any opportunity available to customize the event app to your association’s brand. For example, you can take advantage of custom information fields and form designs to ensure that your brand is present throughout the registration process. You may also choose your own colors, logo, and imagery for the app.
- How will your app help boost attendee engagement? Now that mobile phone usage is at an all-time high, you can take advantage of their popularity by meeting your attendees halfway on the branded event app. The value of engaging digital content for your event (especially if it’s being hosted virtually) is immeasurable and an easy way to provide live updates and need-to-know information regarding things like safety or scheduling changes to your attendees. By providing them assistance via a device they will always have on them, your association demonstrates professionalism and care for the attendee experience.
Given that original content always makes your conference and your brand stand out, an event app can also help you provide a streamlined channel to share original content with your attendees that stands out and makes a statement.
A branded mobile app reflects positively on your association as well as the event itself. It can streamline and improve your attendee engagement, all while strengthening the relationships your association has with its members.
3. Leverage data insights to improve your program.
Sometimes an improved registration experience isn’t the only step you can take to ensure your association’s events are following best practices.
Using the right software, you can track check-in information to better understand the demographics and metrics behind your attendees.
If your event’s programming is more complicated, as with the 2017 Medbitquitous conference, having more accurate registration data can be a tremendous help in overcoming any surprise logistical difficulties.
This allows your event management to focus on the important elements of each check-in, such as age VIP status, speaker status, sponsor status, employer, or parent organization. With that feature, your association can also better understand how effective your marketing and conference management efforts were.
If you need to use more in-depth knowledge of your event’s audience in order to improve your event marketing and management the next time around, don’t forget that you should always:
- Track event popularity. Use your association’s event management software to collect attendee and registration data. If you’re using event registration and management software with API access like ePly, this means that you can transfer registration data into your association’s CRM. This kind of synchronization improves your perceptions of which event activities work and don’t work, so you can more effectively plan your events the next time around.
- Generate real-time reports. The best platforms can deliver you your organization’s event data in real time, allowing you to make adjustments on the fly. Inventory, scheduling, and management data can improve your ability to run your event smoothly, making your association and your attendees happier all around.
- Set pricing levels. A great event management software will allow your association to control pricing levels freely. If you need to adjust pricing levels for certain registrants, there are software platforms that allow you to do so on the back-end of the platform. Adjustable pricing for different attendees also means that you’ll create added convenience for your VIP and general attendees during the registration experience since they’ll be charged accordingly.
Having the proper data and information about your attendees is crucial to every step in the event management process. It allows to you make accurate adjustments to your event’s programming and broader logistics while also lending you insight that can help you plan better events in the future. Take these tips and use them to improve your knowledge of your attendees so that you can upgrade your overall process.
Event management isn’t easy. Your staff, your attendees, and your association all need special attention if your team wants to improve your overall management of each event, but when your team applies tried-and-true tech strategies to optimize your events, your association’s attendees will thank you.
Callie Walker is a writer in the membership management software and event registration software space. She attended the University of Georgia, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, and went on to pursue a career in PR and digital marketing. She loves writing, event planning, and engaging with others on social media. Callie also enjoys speaking at conferences and trade shows, particularly in the association space. She’s spoken at conferences hosted by the Georgia Society of Association Executives (GSAE), the Florida Society of Association Executives (FSAE), the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), and more.