This guest author post was contributed by RegFox.
You are going to host an amazing event and you deserve an online registration who is in your corner! Making money on your event is a priority and sifting through the many registration platforms is a daunting task. With so many options, finding the best solution for your organization is key.
If you are reading this, chances are you’re weighing your options. You are looking to either move online or optimize your current flow to grow. The solution you need must have many of the features you need while not breaking the bank. Is that too much to ask?
Let’s get the ball rolling with 10 Great Questions you should ask every registration provider.
1. Can I export all of my data without needing a company representative and can I do it for free?
Your customer’s data is your data. Having people enter information about themselves is a necessity for many types of conferences, online training and camps.
When you need this information having quick and uninterrupted access to it is a crucial part of your success. Don’t let anyone keep you from it for any reason.
Exporting this data should not cost your business any money and you don’t need a registration company representative to do it either.
2. Does your company offer free live support and through what medium?
Tiered support is not a new idea and most of us are used to it. But if you are in a pinch and need some help, wouldn’t you like to talk to a real person?
Talking to a robot is a great test of patience and sifting through help articles can be a daunting task when you are on a tight timeline.
Having access to real people who can critically think about your specific problem is a great asset. If you are already paying a software access fee do you think being charged another fee just to talk to a person is a good partnership?
3. Are there navigation menus on my page that will take people away from my event registration page and maybe even market my competitors?
Your event should be about your event and no one else. While the additional navigation service is shown as a way to grow your business on someone else page, the same is happening to you.
Your business spends money and time building a marketing campaign. Just because another business pays extra to the registration platform does that mean your business should lose money and have a lower conversion rate?
4. Are attendees asked or required to create an account before registering?
Does anyone want another login to remember? Should your organization have another barrier keeping your customer’s from registering?
It’s hard enough to convert a person from a browser to a paying customer. Marketing funnels for the win! Why should your customers have to create a login to a website that they may not use again? The truth is, they shouldn’t have to.
This type of requirement is using your hard work and marketing efforts to upsell your customer later. Now, can this be an option? Of course because it can be a handy tool but it should not be required.
5. How soon do I get my earned money?
Organizing an event takes money. There are downpayments and vendors to pay. Waiting until a week after your event to get a majority of your money can put an unnecessary burden on your shoulders.
On the other side of the fence the financial processing companies are at risk of holding the bag if an event fails. Refunds and chargebacks are real and the financial company is at some risk.
But you should have quick access to a good portion of your hard-earned capital based on your needs as well as the needs of another company. Event hosting is a collaborative business and money should be distributed in such a manner as well.
6. Does your company use my customer’s data for other marketing purposes?
The email unsubscribe button is a well-hidden button for a reason. All of us get random marketing emails that we don’t want. This is a well-practiced marketing tactic and also another reason why registration companies want to require your customers to make a profile. There is a better way and this shouldn’t be the standard practice.
7. What are the costs, processing fees and licensing fees?
Now, let’s get into the real reason why shopping around is important, MONEY!!! You want an online registration partner that will help you, Do More, Make More and KEEP MORE!!!
Let’s take a look at a few popular platforms and see what the costs are. This doesn’t include the cost of payment processing.
A. RegFox: $0.99 a registrant.
B. Eventbrite Pro: 3.5% + $1.59 a registrant.
C. CVENT: No price is listed on the website but research shows price can be $3-12 per registration.
D. Events.com: $1.95 – $8.95 a registrant. Price is a sliding scale based on how much you charge.
Now let’s look at payment processing.
A: RegFox: The preferred partner is WePay, a flat rate of 2.99%.
Another processing partner is a business called CornerStone Payment Systems who uses Paya.
Other integrated options are: Authorize.net, Stripe, PayPal Pay Flow Pro and CyberSource. These do have a 1% custom gateway fee.
B. Eventbrite Pro: Has a native processing system with a rate of 2.5%.
C. CVENT: Based on research, the rate is 3.99%.
D. Events.com: Internal processing at 3% and also work with Stripe.
8. Is your service fee flat, or does it have a sliding scale?
Should the ticketing platform make more money simply because you are charging more for your event? What benefit do you get from the additional fee paid to the platform if you charge $30 vs $60?
9. Does your service require a contract?
Why would you need to sign a contract if their service is so good that you wouldn’t want to leave? If the platform doesn’t deliver wouldn’t you want to be able to walk away and go to another service?
Businesses don’t want their time wasted so they have a contract to sign and that is understandable to a degree. This makes sense for a Real Estate Agent or a loan agreement to lock in a rate. But the event industry moves from event to event, and needs change as events evolve. You should be able to move around based on your needs and not the needs of the platform.
10. Is there a fee to sell merchandise or capture donations for my event?
Yes, it’s true some platforms charge more so you can sell things like: t-shirts, food tickets, exclusive add-on events and more. We have to ask ourselves, WHY?
Isn’t the goal to sell more stuff online to create a seamless experience for the end-user? You shouldn’t have to be dinged an extra 3-6% because your goal is to provide a great online experience.
Organizing an event for hundreds or thousands of people is quite the task, and you deserve to have a company that is in your corner.
Everyone involved should be making money but some online registration software companies simply charge more than others and the service provided may not be worth the additional cost.
Take a look at these comparison guides below and you can decide which service fits your business model best.