It's that time again! Your big conference is coming up. Yet, your event proves to be a challenge every time. Pre-event tasks like selecting a venue, promoting your event, processing payments, registering sessions with continuing education credits and additional amenities rarely go as smooth as you envisioned. Pulling all this together puts a strain on your organization and typically worsens over time.
If you are managing events manually and handling tasks using spreadsheets, e-mail and staff assigned responsibilities for different functions, it is easy to see where all this stress is coming
As the show approaches significant work is necessary to be prepared for the registration process including preparation of badges, special session lists for registered attendees, show directories, coordinating exhibitor’s set-up, etc. However, human error can lead to missed reservations, misspelled badges, and badges that are flat out missing!
The first day of an event is chaotic! Segmenting sign-in lines alphabetically can be a nightmare, since each attendee requires individual attention. Additional work is required to correct errors, which only slows down the process. You notice some level of frustration arising with your attendees. Comments like “It’s worse than last year!” can be overheard. Some attendees make a point of sharing their frustrations on social media, which can deter members from attending future events.
Special breakout sessions often duplicate the stress. If these sessions offer ongoing credits, then you must track and document the attendance. Some attendees go in and out and you are not sure if they returned or went to a different session. Handling this type of attendance can complicate things. Getting all attendees registered properly and seated may delay the start and duration of sessions, which can impact attendees moving from session to session. Significant involvement of your staff is required to minimize mistakes and perform all the work required in tracking attendees through initial registration and at conference sessions. Add to this providing support to exhibitors who need to track visitors to their booths and capture lead information. It would be valuable to provide attendee, payment and other reports at the show but a simple mechanism doesn’t exist with traditional methods.
Once your event is complete there are additional tasks waiting. Attendance sheets for special sessions with credits need to be processed. Once you have calculated the credits, you must create the attendance certificates and mail them out. If delayed, numerous calls inquiring if an attendee's credits were missed must be handled. Attendee lists must be completed and reports provided to those who require them. Costs must be processed and revenue from registrations figured out. When this is done you can produce actual budget reports. Often reports need to be produced with statistics on different show factors. These require going through a number of different spreadsheets and documents to prepare the presentation.
With today's automated tools, there are possibilities to improve on traditional methods for managing your events. There are opportunities to minimize or eliminate the abundance of capturing data once and then rekeying it to different documents and spreadsheets. This reduces time and minimizes errors.
Many of the tasks required at sign-in at the show can be eliminated by streamlining check-in. This can drastically reduce or eliminate lines, which in turn reduce the number of staff required for this function. The same can apply to individual sessions requiring sign-in and attendance tracking. Badges and barcoding can simplify and speed up the task of session proctors. Sophisticated badges with barcodes can also provide easy tracking of leads for your exhibitors.
With the right software capturing all critical data in real time, instant reports on numerous factors for your event can be generated. These reports are accessed online via a laptop or a mobile device.
Since instant information is available at the show, certificates for sessions offering credits can be printed and distributed at the event eliminating inquiries caused by delays. Statistics and other factors of the show are instantly available for financial analysis with budgets and post show presentations. Thank you notices and post show info can be quickly compiled and sent to attendees.
We are Engineerica. Providing automated solutions for scheduling and events is our passion. We have been working with organizations such as yours for the past 3 years. We would be happy to discuss potential alternatives for your show processes and how to improve your attendee’s show experience.