Event planning can be stressful. Whether it’s virtual, hybrid, or in-person, many aspects go into planning. It takes a lot of work to ensure the event will run smoothly with little to no speed bumps.
If you’re already using a digital system for event organization, you’re off to a good start. But are you optimizing it to save time, reduce stress, and make that experience more valuable to both you and your event attendees?
Creating connections to other forms and apps and taking advantage of simple business automation opportunities will bring your event registration process to the next level.
Here are some tips to use the tools you may already have in place to work more effectively and efficiently.
Expand your opportunities by connecting membership data
Let’s say you have a membership registration form to collect and keep track of potential and existing memberships. If you’re hosting an event, the ticket prices are usually different for members and non-members.
Streamlining this process using a connected system will validate whether an attendee is a member or not and can automatically modify the price of their ticket.
Because appropriate rates will be charged based on membership status, there’s no need to invoice non-members for fee differences or create opportunity for lost revenue due to mistaken member/non-member charges.
This saves significant time. It also benefits whoever oversees finances so they’re not spending extra time sending out invoices.
Take your membership process a step further by utilizing a connected system that can:
- Remind attendees if they have not completed/paid for their membership.
- Prompt new members to join the organization.
- Remind former members to renew, prompting a payment to pay and re-join.
- Add members to a mailing list automatically, send a welcome message, and increase member engagement.
- Automatically email committee chairs when someone expresses an interest in being involved.
If you’re looking for an improvement to your event automation, check out our registration and membership templates, which contain pre-connected templates for a membership form, event registration and a check-in form.
Connect registration data to your check-in system
Digitally optimized event tools are helpful in connecting registration data to close the communication gap between sign-up and check-in.
Using a live, connected check-in form that references registrations in real-time gives whoever is working the check-in table up-to-date data.
Just in case someone registers at the last minute, registrations will be captured and updated in real time. This prevents any awkward moments at check-in, prevents delays, and makes for a better guest experience.
Alternatively, if you have an event that primarily draws in walk-ins, having a registration form gathering non-preregistered attendees with connected payments makes grabbing data and sending them on their way simple for everyone involved.
Prevent last minute hiccups
For event planners, the days and hours before an event are some of the most stressful moments.
Even if you planned well, there’s always potential for something to go wrong just before the event starts.
To halt the opportunities for error, set up your registration tools to work with each other and take advantage of the many features that are readily available.
For example, setting an expiration date will prevent registrants from signing up after you’ve confirmed the number of attendees and other details with your venue or caterer.
It’s also easy to set up in Cognito Forms:
- You can set your event forms to expire using “Limit Form Availability” in the Form Settings.
- Choose a start and end date for your form to prevent people from signing up last minute.
- Add a friendly “Not Available Message” to notify the registration for the event is closed and possibly add guests to a waitlist.
This is beneficial to event organizers by helping to confirm proper numbers for catering, drinks, seats, and table setup prior to the event.
On the financial side, to avoid billing errors and having to make after-the-fact price adjustments, adapt your system to calculate discounts during payment and make it easy for attendees to:
- Input a discount ticket code.
- Reserve whole tables with a discount (which encourages additional attendance).
- Avoid membership pricing errors.
When you start to connect tools and utilize forms that talk to each other throughout the event registration process, you’re taking a leap towards better automation.
These steps are necessary in making sure the connections you have are helping you leverage data and effectively organize events. And it’ll help you put on a great event.
Haley N. is a Content Specialist for Cognito Forms. When she's not working, you can find her enjoying the great outdoors with her dog, listening to crime podcasts or buying more plants than she actually needs.