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Double delegate numbers at your event   

I am not going to bore you with facts such as 'Delegate numbers are the basis by which your event is judged a success'; as an event organizer, you already know that. This article will illustrate how to 'Double', yes I did say 'Double' delegate numbers at your event at a negligible cost.

How? Two words ‘The Internet’. The past decade has produced the world’s greatest and cheapest sale medium. By launching your event on the internet, you can substantially widen your delegate database for your event. Research giants like www.internetworldstats.com says that currently there are approximately 6,606,971,659 people online and this number will only increase in the future, as the internet continues to gain popularity. So, if you want access to the widest possible audience without having to spend millions on marketing and advertising campaigns, you need to have a website for your event.

You can also capitalize on ever growing ‘eCulture’ trend by offering delegates the convenience of registering or booking their event tickets directly online by adding an Online Registration option to your website.

What is an Online Registration System with a payment gateway?

A payment gateway is an e-commerce application service that encrypts your delegate’s sensitive information (credit card numbers), to ensure that information passes securely between you and the delegate and authorizes payments. In layman’s terms a payment gateway functions like a POS (point of sale) terminal located in most retail outlets, the only difference is that the transaction happens online and there is no face-to-face dealings between the buyer and seller.

Benefits of having a website with an online reservation system (booking engine) for your event

  Provide delegates information about your event
  Get access to a broader potential attendee base
  Offer delegates 24 x 7 registration convenience
  Collect registrations online
  Accept payments in real time
  Manage registrations online
  Close sales instantly

Today, many event organizations have added an Online Registration System to their event website and are reaping the rewards. Moreover, not only big event organizations that have the huge amounts of disposal funds to invest in developing an Online Registration System are benefiting; many small and mid sized event organization are also reaping the benefits of an Online Registration System. You too can enhance your events profits by doing the same.

I am sure you are thinking - ‘that sounds wonderful’, but how much will I have to invest to develop an Online Registration System for my event? Well, you have two options – you can choose to build a system which will require money and time to develop or you can buy a ready solution that can be customized to meet your requirements. Here are some facts that will help you decide which of the two options is more suitable for your organization:

When making a decision whether to build or buy an Online Registration System is Cost i.e. What kind of Investment is involved?

If you choose to build your own Online Registration System, there are 3 kinds of investments involved:

  • A large monetary investment
  • Infrastructure (varies depending on your current setup)
  • Resources – Technical and Customer Support Staff
If you choose to sign up for an Online Registration System like EventAvenue then the investment involved is not even a fraction of the investment required to build your own system.

Time Factor
The next question to consider is When? – When do you need the system by?

Developing and testing a quality Online Registration System takes approximately two years. This is not a viable option for event organizers looking to launch their events online and start collecting registrations immediately.

The sign up process for EventAvenue is 2 weeks (varies from solution to solution). You can start collecting registrations immediately after your account is approved.

Online Registration System
The main difference between a Build system and a Bought system is Choice. What does that mean?

If you choose to develop your own Online Registration System, you determine which features and functionalities you want to add to the system. The ability to choose will help you build truly custom Online Registration System.

If you choose to buy or lease an Online Registration System, you do not play a role in deciding the features and functionalities. A bought or leased system comes equipped with a pre-determined range of features and functionalities that you can customize to suit your requirements.

Enhancements & Maintenance
Its not enough to just build, buy or lease an Online Registration system, you need to periodically maintain, upgrade and enhance your system based on the evolving industry requirements.

You need to retain development staff to maintain the Online Registration System (incase of errors and inconsistencies) and to develop any future enhancements required as per evolving industry standards.

The provider does the maintenance required and also, upgrades the software annually. There is no work involved on the part of the event organizer or organization.

As a tool, an Online Registration System can do more for your business than just ease the process of registration and data storage. When integrated with an Online Payment Facility, you can also use it to accept payments online instantly, thereby completing the entire sales process from registration to confirmation directly online.

You need to negotiate and develop your own payment network. Tie-up with the different banks, card companies and financial institutions is a lengthy process. It is advisable to start negotiating and start the documentation process with each individual bank at the same time that you begin the development process for your Online Registration System.

A ready to use solution like EventAvenue has its own payment networks in place. For example: EventAvenue’s payment network includes all major credit cards and 19 Indian, 20 Chinese and 3 Singaporean net banks.

You need to integrate highest available security with your Online Registration System as delegates will not pay online if they are not sure of their card security.

To assure your delegates of the safety of their credit card information, you will need to add data encryption technology like SSL (Standard Socket Layer), install security protocols like Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode, tie-up with internet security companies like Verisign, HackerSafe and apply for PCI Compliance. Additionally, you will have to keep updating these security measures based on the current industry standards.

Currently, EventAvenue has the following security measures are in place – PCI DSS 1.1, Verisign 128 bit encryption, Hacker Safe, security protocols - Verified By Visa, MasterCard Secure Code and CVM online payment authentication processes keep your transactions safe. EventAvenue's state-of-the-art security systems are constantly updated to keep in touch with the latest in security procedures. There is no additional charge as and when new measures are added.

In this paper, we have discussed the importance of a website and an Online Registration system to an event. We have also explored the pros and cons of Building versus Buying an Online Registration System. We hope this paper has proved to be useful in helping you decide which option is more suitable for your organization.

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