Make Better Use of your Staff in Event Planning
May 04, 2010

Today technology can handle many of the tasks that formerly only human resources were capable of completing. One of the areas where this is especially evident is in event planning, where a great deal of administrative work can be automated and your staff can focus on more important needs.

 

Below are examples of some of the tasks that many event planners are still accustomed to doing manually, yet that a good event management software system can also handle:

 

Registration: it seems unbelievable, but it's still quite common for organizations and companies to process their event registrations manually. Ie., registration forms are mailed (when they can be emailed) to potential attendees, who then fill them out and mail or fax back for processing.

 

The sheer amount of energy and money spent on mailing alone can be drastically reduced by transferring to email and online registrations, but for the sake of argument let's focus on processing the mailed or faxed registrations once they're returned.

 

For a complex event of 1000 attendees, with various session choices, meal selections and other information that needs to be entered into an in-house database, we can calculate approximately 3 minutes per registration form. This equals 3000 minutes, or 50 hours of paid staff time just to enter in the registration data! Even if the person entering in this data is an administrative assistant making minimum wage, we're talking about $362 and more than an entire week working full-time. And that's not counting the additional time that might be needed to process credit card and other payment forms.

 

On the other hand, an online registration and event management system will allow you to:

  • Partially or fully automate sending out your registration forms via email and other virtual marketing strategies (including social media/networking sites)
  • Partially or fully automate registration via an online registration website (depending on whether you want to leave open the option to mail or fax in registration forms, which will depend in turn on your attendee profile)
  • Partially or fully automate payment processing (depending on which forms of payment you plan to accept), via secure credit card handling.
  • Partially or fully automate your confirmation and payment receipt communications, whereby all registrants automatically receive a receipt of payment email, and a confirmation email with details for their attendance

 

If we look at DW Event, a 1000-person event with a ticket price of $50 will translate into $52, a low price that your attendees absorb, at no additional cost to your company. And if you are able to process 80% of the registrations online, your dedicated staff time is reduced from 50 hours to 10.

For a company that uses its staff to accomplish multiple tasks, this means that this employee will have 40 less hours of tiresome data entry that can be dedicated to the type of tasks that only a live human can effectively handle—such as working on the event's program and speakers.

 

Other areas of event planning in which you can find similar savings in staff time and expense include:

 

Attendee management (for example, allowing attendees to manage and update their own meal, seating, travel and other event preferences)

Exhibitor management (for example, allowing exhibitors to select and pay for their booths online)

Speaker management (for example, allowing speakers or third parties responsible for assigning speakers—such as sponsor—to enter in the relevant information about presenters in your website)

Data management (for example, eliminating the transfer of data from one software platform to another, such as tends to be the case when companies rely on multiple databases and applications to accomplish tasks like pulling out data-specific lists of speakers, attendees, sponsors, etc.)

 



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