When hosting a virtual conference, you need to make sure that everything is in place for it to run smoothly. This includes the logistics of registration, checking-in attendees, and managing attendee lists. An online registration system can help you manage these tasks efficiently.
What is an online registration system?
An online registration system allows you to manage the sign-up process for your virtual conference; it collects attendee information, manages attendance lists, and even lets you track late registrations.
When is an online registration system necessary?
An online registration system should be used for any event with more than 50 attendees. Managing registrations manually (using spreadsheets and such) can quickly turn into a time-consuming task, and trying to manage it yourself will also leave you prone to human error.
Here are 15 benefits of using an online registration system:
1. Allows for expansion of virtual conferences to accommodate more attendees
Using an online registration system will allow you to expand your virtual conference as needed. For instance, if you start out with 50 available slots and receive 100 registrations, you can then increase the size of your virtual conference to 100 attendees rather than having 50 unhappy registrants.
2. Tracks attendee information for marketing purposes
Using an online registration system will allow you to capture attendee information for future marketing efforts. This includes personal information (such as job title and organization), along with contact details (which can include email addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses).
3. Eliminates the need for manual check-ins at virtual events
Manually checking in each attendee can be timely and inefficient. It also leaves the door open to human errors such as missed registrations or incorrect attendee information. An online registration system will send automatic check-in emails, allowing your attendees to simply click a link and enter the event without any assistance from you.
4. Organizes attendee lists for easy access
An online registration system will allow you to organize attendee lists by alphabetical order, last name, or by job title. This makes it easy for you to find the person in charge of a specific department and then pass on relevant information during your virtual conference (such as critical illness and injury policies).
5. Provides you with web-based access to your attendee lists
An online registration system will not only organize your attendee lists for easy access but also provide you with web-based access. This means you can log onto the registration website from any computer and still have the ability to check names off your list of attendees.
6. Sends automatic reminder emails to attendees
Reminding your attendees about an upcoming virtual conference can be done manually or through an online registration system. The latter will send out automated reminder emails that people are sure not to miss, eliminating the potential for no-shows at your virtual event.
7. Allows you to see last-minute sign-ups
An online registration system will provide you with real-time information about last-minute sign-ups, allowing for immediate action if needed. If someone is running late and signs up at the last minute, the email notification feature of your online registration system allows you to notify them of their late status and let them know what to do next (such as provide a valid credit card for verification).
8. Allows you to gather important contact information
Using an online registration system will allow you to gather a lot of useful information from your attendees, such as which department they work in, what their job title is, primary phone number, and email address. This can be invaluable when it comes time to follow up on specific aspects of your virtual conference.
9. Lets you know if attendees qualify for discounts
Eliminating no-shows and limiting human error can be done using an online registration system, but it also provides other useful information such as whether or not the attendee qualifies for a discount. You can use this information to decide whether or not to offer the discount (and how much) to avoid wasting time with those who cannot use it.
10. Allows you to monitor your virtual conference from anywhere
An online registration system will allow you to monitor a virtual event from wherever you are, as long as you have an Internet connection and a PC or mobile device. This will reduce the need for travel – no matter where you live – and make it possible for you to organize a virtual conference or event from anywhere in the world.
11. Saves time on administrative tasks
Administrative tasks such as room booking, catering bookings, and speaker scheduling can be extremely daunting when organizing a virtual event on your own. An online registration system will automate these tasks so that they are handled more efficiently and save you a lot of time.
12. Publishes your virtual conference schedule to attendees
An online registration system will publish the schedule for your virtual event directly to the attendee list, allowing them to view it with a single click and giving you more control over the process. This is especially helpful when different speakers and experts are covering topics that conflict with one another.
13. Provides you with a way to measure your virtual conference’s success
An online registration system can provide you with metrics that help you determine whether or not your virtual conference was successful. By providing attendees with the ability to share comments before, during, and after your event, an online registration system lets them offer their feedback for others to see.
14. Sets up online surveys for attendees
Taking a quick survey from your attendees is a great way to measure their satisfaction with your virtual conference, and most online registration systems will allow you to do this. It’s important to take advantage of these tools as they can provide helpful information about which areas of the event could use some improvement.
15. Fundraising and donation function
Cause-related virtual events allow speakers to promote a cause or non-profit organization and ask for donations from attendees. Using an online registration system’s fundraising and donation function allows for a streamlined process that is easy to manage from start to finish.
Organizing a virtual conference can be a daunting task, but it is one that can pay off in the long run. The 15 benefits listed above will make it easier for you to plan and carry out a successful virtual event from start to finish.
The final words of advice would be to remember who your virtual conference is for – they are the ones who will benefit from it and they are the ones that need to be considered throughout. Organizing a virtual conference takes time and effort, but it can lead to valuable opportunities and relationships down the road if you do not give up.