How to Plan Events More Efficiently
May 06, 2010

In our last article we looked at the ways that shifting to an automated online registration system can save your company and your staff hundreds of hours of unnecessary busy-work and data entry. This is part of a series of articles geared toward creating a more efficient event planning system and company organization.


Today we'll apply the same concept to attendee management (including exhibitors and speakers): essentially the series of small steps that occur once someone has confirmed their attendance for an event. This can also be understood as an extension of registration, but is more fine-grained.


For example, attendee management can include issues such as:


  • Event seating arrangements (for banquets, entertainment, or even special guest sessions)
  • Meal preferences
  • Hotel and travel arrangements
  • Exhibitor booth placement and preferences
  • Speaker information and preferences
  • Materials and merchandise purchases
  • Cancellations or program selection changes


All of these issues can be handled and updated by the attendees themselves in the right system—a system that allows attendees to manage their registration via a personal account. They simply log in, view their registration status, and modify or make selections as necessary.


Using the example of a 1000-person event once again, let's make some calculations regarding how much staff time can be saved if you automate part or all of these functions.


In a large expo or conference it's not uncommon for 20% of participants to make some kind of change to their existing registration, whether it's a change in speakers on a panel, a change in session choices, changes in travel arrangements, etc. For a 1000-person event this would translate into 200 people making changes to their existing registration status.


If each of these persons needs to be attended by a staff members, with an average of 10 minutes per transaction (some, such as travel arrangements, will be much longer, while others such as meal preferences might be shorter), you need to calculate an additional 33 hours of staff time dedicated to making these changes. Those are 33 hours that could be dedicated to other, more important tasks.


But let's say 15% of these cases need to be dealt with by a staff member for reasons too specific for an event management system to handle. Excluding those 30 people, you'd still be looking at 14 hours of staff time per event that could be spent on something more essential for a "live" human to resolve.


Think about whether you're making the best use of your staff and resources, and whether an automated, online registration and event management system such as DW Event might be able to help you build a more efficient, centralized, and well-planned event.


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