First things first: I’m excited to announce that Attendify has launched our Session Registration feature, a cost-effective, user-friendly and mobile-responsive addition to our Event Registration suite. We started working on this offering soon after we launched Attendify Registration — it was the next logical step in providing customers with an all-in-one event tech solution that covers the entire attendee journey.
As we developed Session Registration, we learned a lot about where the meetings and events industry is heading, and the challenges event pros and attendees are facing when it comes to realizing a mutually beneficial event experience. Read on to learn why providing smooth session registration to attendees is so important, how doing so effectively can be tricky for planners due to a disparity between resources and demands, and the role event technology can play in alleviating pain points.
Educational opportunities are driving events
Research from the International Association of Exhibitions and Events has found that attendees go to events for three main reasons: educational sessions, networking opportunities and attractive event destinations. Of those three reasons, the ability to attend educational sessions is the top driver.
And when it comes to event content, times have changed. The days of cookie-cutter conferences where audiences are given very little choice of which sessions to attend are waning. Attendees are now demanding more ownership of conference content, whether it’s having a say in the topics themselves, or being given a broader range of sessions from which to choose.
“The No. 1 challenge facing the meetings industry is probably delivering content that drives attendee interest and creating an experience for them while they attend the meeting,” an event planner told PCMA’s Convene magazine during its 28th Annual Meetings Market Survey.
Many session reg tools frustrate planners
But as they work to attract attendees with engaging content choices, event organizers also are struggling to do more with less: A recent survey cited that the profession’s top concern was shrinking event budgets, yet American Express Meetings and Events’ 2020 Global Meetings and Events Forecast predicts they’ll be planning more meetings with more attendees in the near future. And it doesn’t take a seasoned CMP to realize that more meetings + more attendees = more complex session registration scenarios.
The result? A full 85 percent of event organizers have turned to online event registration technology to increase the efficiency of their event and session registration processes. But take one look at software review sites, and you’ll see they’ve often had to settle when it comes to available tools. Top frustrations about the current crop of session registration solutions in the marketplace include that they’re:
- Clunky: Event pros report that many session registration products are lacking in high-quality mobile integrations and are not streamlined with the event tech provider’s mobile event app.
- Cumbersome: Reviews are rich with complaints that many systems are hard for organizers to set up and confusing for attendees to use.
- Expensive: At IMEX America,we heard horror stories of event managers who were talked into signing long-term contracts or accepting a bundle of products they didn’t need just to get the features they wanted.
- Soft on data: Hop on Capterra or G2Crowd, and you’ll see line after line about registration platforms that are lacking in powerful backend analytics platforms. Event marketers are unhappy with many solutions’ lack of real-time data and the fact that their analytics capacities fall far short of what they need to nurture long-term relationships.
Attendify Session Registration is different
Our Session Registration feature is really a culmination of all the best practices in the Attendify playbook: We offer a simple step-by-step build process, guess-free data structure, intuitive and customized forms, and a progress bar to show where you are in the configuration process. It’s completely WYSIWYG — What You See is What You Get — based on years of our customers telling us what they love (and believe me, also what they don’t).
A little insider info for you: About 40 percent of our customers buy our products without ever talking to a member of our Sales team; the interface and value prop are that easy to grasp. Whenever possible, we capitalize on that ability to deliver high-quality event technology without the need for professional services or hand holding.
What makes Session Registration shine:
- Seamless sync: As a key component of our event registration platform, Session Registration was built to automatically integrate with our event apps, and they both sit on top of an industry-first event data platform. In plain English, this means we’ve effectively created “the perfect package.”
- Modern, intuitive UX: Our platform is easy for both event pros and attendees to navigate. Organizers can use the wizard tool and integrate session registration into their event app and registration page in just minutes, no design or coding experience required. Attendees love the completely mobile-responsive interface, which mimics how they use their smartphones everyday.
- Cost effective: While the Attendify Session Registration feature is only available with a package (this is because it requires an integration between our registration platform, event app and backend database), we don’t require long-term contracts and offer some of the most reasonable pricing in the business. Using our online package builder, event professionals can select the event tech components they need and get a very accurate idea of pricing in just minutes.
- Try before you buy: We’re not fans of smoke-and-mirrors or the old-bait-and-switch. Event pros are free to “test drive” our solutions by building their registration page or event app for free first (we only charge when they go live). When they commit to a solution, we want to make sure they know exactly what they’re getting.
- A solid support situation: While many event tech vendors charge extra for support or professional services, we never have, and that remains true with Session Registration. Whether customers reach out via phone, email, chat or our social channels, we’re committed to helping them use our products successfully every time. We also publish our help center articles online for all the world to see. Because hey, even if you’re currently using Cvent, we’re happy to show you exactly how our product works.
- A free check-in app: Because it’s part of your brand’s true first impression, the attendee arrival process is one of the most important components of any event. We offer a free check-in app that’s simple to deploy to your entire event team. Using only their mobile phones, they can scan attendees as they enter and exit the event and specific sessions. It’s perfect for continuing education events.
Next up: A heavy dose of data
What’s next for Attendify? Well, we publish our product roadmap online, so we’re not playing our cards too close to the vest.
I’m really excited about the work we’re doing to take Attendify Audiences, the event data platform that sits underneath all of our products, to the next level. At this year’s IMEX America, we offered sneak peeks of Attendify Pixel. When paired with Audiences, Pixel enables event marketers to increase attendance and ticket revenue by capturing anonymous event website interactions, then leveraging them to deploy retargeting and cart-abandonment campaigns. We’re also well into the design phase of a 1-1 Meetings feature.
All in all, it’s a very exciting time to be pushing the event tech envelope.