Creating a registration database and website that marries your organization’s goals with aesthetics requires collaboration, creativity and most importantly, building a partnership with your registration vendor.

Alexandra Schneider, CompuSystems’ Director of Event Services Management, offers some tips to help simplify the set up process and ensure your event’s success.

1. Help Us Help You

At the beginning of the set up process, be sure to clearly identify and define your overall registration goals and your biggest concerns.  To successfully educate your registration partner, conduct an internal review of your goals with your team.  Great things happen when marketing, finance, registration management and membership come together to discuss what you need out of your registration process prior to providing set up specifications to your vendor.  For example, are you interested in getting people registered as fast as possible?  Is giving a registrant incentive to upgrade their registration type important?  Is there a past issue that you’d like to avoid?  By giving your registration vendor a clear picture and by letting them be creative, the set up process becomes collaborative and allows everyone to be invested in the success of your event.

2. Go With the Flow

Give your vendor a copy of your registration form, in addition to access to your previous registration website via screenshots or a mockup template.  Allowing them to walk through the registration process from the previous year gives your vendor an appreciation for the information that is important to you and your event.  In addition, be sure to look at and discuss previous year’s reports, registration confirmations and business rules to help guarantee that you will get the data, reporting and analytics you need from your vendor to continue the success of your event.

3. No Such Thing as a Minor Detail

Information that may seem minor to you may be very important to your registration vendor.  For example, do you have a business rule that would impact the flow of the registration process or website?  Do you allow someone to finish a website registration without submitting payment?  You’d be surprised at how often a single business rule addition, removal and/or edit which is relayed late in the set up process results in significant registration complications.  By providing registration rates, packages, options, membership rules, sample files, and artwork you’re giving your registration vendor the details which help deliver a better and more accurate product.  Let your registration vendor be your partner for success.

4. Marketing Tools

Provide your registration vendor with your event’s big picture marketing strategy and goals, as well as your specific marketing programs.  By doing so, they can recommend promo codes, tracking codes, link tracking, click counts, email open rates, and many other useful tools that can help you meet your objectives.

5. Review the Result Together

Once your registration vendor hands over the registration website, go through it with your entire team, together.  With this methodology, everyone has a say in the final product and your registration vendor can help you go live with the site faster.  Remember that everyone in your organization should feel like the registration vendor is their partner in helping to make your event successful.

In sum, registration vendors are experts in their field.  Each event is unique and they are accustomed to having many distinct guidelines given to them regarding all aspects of registration, both onsite and in advance of the show.  By giving them all of your requirements upfront and letting them explore potential solutions based on best practices, you enable them to be your partner.  Working together as a team will ensure that your goals are accomplished in a timely, efficient and well-organized manner.