Once in a while, every business owner faces the challenge to organize and host an event. Whether it’s the business’ opening, a new product launch, a conference or a Christmas party, the task of preparing an event is imminent at some point. Thus, the people in charge of organizing the event need a clear overview of the whole process, from participant registration, to logistics and actual event deployment.
The life of an event planner might seem fascinating and very appealing for some of us, though, in fact, it can be very stressful if you don’t know how to handle it. Moreover, if you are not a specialized event planner, but you need to organize an event, you have to be prepared to make use of skills like:
- being very organized
- handling stress well
- being able to work under pressure
- finding ways to streamline your work
- keeping an eye on all the details in regard to the event.
Although each event is unique in its own way, most events follow a few basic steps when it comes to organizing them:
- having the event purpose clearly in mind
- developing a plan for the event - establishing event and location details
- establishing the budget
- taking care of the guest list and the registration for the event
- setting up everything related to event logistics
- promoting the event
- enjoying the event.
The event registration part
This is the part where you get to know who is coming to your event. Actually, not only who but also how many people. It’s of utmost importance to be aware of these details, since they determine an entire chain-reaction formed of location size, number of seats, number of food portions (if any), and so on. If you don’t have a clear participation list, your event can be exposed to a high chance of failure. Imagine how it would be like to prepare your event for 20 people, but in reality having 200 people coming to it, because you completely left the registration part out.
How do you handle event registrations? You basically have two options: 1. Take care of the registrations manually - I won’t even describe how much time this would take, especially when your event is not so small and you have a considerable amount of participants. 2. Use a tool that helps you handle the event registrations automatically - This option can help you save time, which you can then dedicate towards other activities related to your event.
A valuable tool for handling event registrations can be the above example of a form builder that allows you to create an event registration form. Compared to the solution of manually handling the registrations, the form can also aid you with other aspects, such as branding elements that make the participant recognize your brand easier, payment integration for the events where you need to collect a participation fee, and advanced data gathering options - meaning you can select what information you want to know from your participants (for example company information, food preferences, contact details and others).
Also, compared to the manually collecting participation confirmations, using an event registration form will make the process faster and easier, since it requires less effort to fill out some fields than to compose an email with your responses.
Things you have to look out for when handling event registrations:
- request a clear confirmation of your participant, so that you’ll have a clear guest list in the end
- ask for all information you need from your guests, in order to be able to handle and prepare all aspects related to the event (like number of vegetarian food portions, for example)
- clearly state if you require an attendance fee, so that people won’t have an unpleasant surprise when they’ll discover that detail for themselves
- send out a message (autoresponder) to thank guests for registering and to confirm that they’re on the list
- have the event details (location, timing, program, speakers) visible for all those wanting to see them
- make the event registration method easily accessible for everyone; whether you send your invitation through email, post it on your website, blog or social media, people should have no trouble in finding it - that is if you want to have a good participation rate for your event
- use the information gathered through event registrations in order to set up a lead database - your list can have names on it, which you can later on address to have conversations on common business interests.
As a conclusion, organizing an event is not piece of cake, since there are many details to keep in mind and in control if you want your event to be successful (or at least not be a fiasco). Though, having your goals clearly stated and a good plan in mind, along with the right tools to aid you in the process, should streamline your work significantly.