How to Select An Event Registration Platform Just Right for Your Business

Company X had selected the most popular and feature-rich event registration platform to manage their meetings and conferences. A few months down, the management realized their event management teams were bypassing the platform and using popular messenger apps to coordinate events. Their event quality and company image were suffering as a result. Most users found the app confusing and never needed many of the novel features that the software sported. This could happen to your company if you don't select an event registration platform that's just right for your needs.

We have put together this guide to help busy eventprofs like you make an informed decision. Read through or feel free to jump to the last section to view a head-to-head comparison of the best event registration platforms.

What Are the Considerations for Selecting an Event Registration Platform?

A virtually infinite number of event registration platforms exist, so you can't possibly try them all. To make things simple and help you select the best platform, here are five considerations that should be on every event manager's mind.

Your Needs

Consider your current as well as future needs. Software that works beautifully for a single-location business with a few dozen users may not work so well for an enterprise with several regional locations and thousands of attendees to manage. Conduct a high level analysis of your events' frequency, scale, goals, audiences, and your compan's capabilities. Do you need a platform to manage your weekly meeting or a multisite hybrid convention? There can be many variations in between the two extremes, so be very clear about what you are looking for.

Business Needs
Simple to Use

Ease of Use

The event registration platform must be user friendly or people might not use it. The user interface should be clean and intuitive. The software should have a short or non-existent learning curve and should not require much training, ideally speaking. At times, the decision makers may be awed by fancy features that are not required and only render the platform cumbersome to use.

Global Accessibility

In the last decade, the world has rapidly migrated from onsite computing to cloud computing. More than 83% of enterprise workload is in the cloud right now. Cloud connected applications can be accessed and managed from anywhere using regular browsers and specialized mobile apps. Unless you have special needs stopping you from using online Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, make sure the platform you select is cloud connected and globally accessible.

Global Accessibility
Event Management

Centralized Event Management

The core event management tasks can include event planning and scheduling, sending invitations, promoting your event, registering attendees, selling tickets, interacting with attendees and speakers, checking in attendees, improving attendee engagement, and collecting leads and feedback from the event. You and your team should be able to accomplish these tasks through a single access interface.

Effective Attendee Engagement

More than 82% of B2B marketers say attendee engagement is an important KPI for measuring an event's success. The platform you select must have dedicated attendee engagement features such as a mobile app for providing event updates, distributing poll and surveys, and letting attendees interact with other attendees and speakers. For example, the Eventleaf Guide App allows managers to engage attendees before and during the event and collect attendee feedback after the event.

Attendee Networking
Months Before the Event

Maintenance and Updates

Going for a cloud-based platform such as Eventleaf also ensures that the software is automatically updated and maintained by the provider. You don't need any technical bandwidth to update or maintain the software.

What Are the Must-have Features of an Event Registration Platform?

Planning Tools: Such as abstract management, session plans, speaker bios, and list of hotels for lodging overnight attendees.

Event Website: Most platforms offer a free event webpage to help you communicate the event and register attendees online.

Online Registration: Attendees can register online through your event website and also pay event fees or buy tickets online.

Event Mobile App: The best event registration platforms offer dedicated mobile apps for informing and engaging attendees.

Attendee Search and Check In: Online platforms such as Eventleaf offer mobile apps that enable your front door staff to easily search for attendees' names for fast-track check in.

Event Lead Generation: If you are into trade shows, exhibitions, or other types of events where you want to generate business leads, the platform must offer that ability.

Attendee Tracking & Feedback: Event managers should know who all are attending the event in real time and be able to collect feedback during and after the event.

Virtual Event Tools: Virtual events spiked in the wake of COVID-19. Although in-person events are bouncing back, most events are likely to have an online element going forward. The platform you select should support virtual events.

What Are the Best Event Registration Platforms for Most Businesses?

Eventleaf - Best for Meetings and Conferences

Overview: Eventleaf is a simple, modern and affordable online event registration platform that offers a browser-based management portal and three native mobile apps for managing in-person and hybrid corporate events. Event managers can use the Eventleaf platform to create and promote events, register and engage attendees, sell tickets and tiered participation packages, collect payments online, check in attendees, and capture leads from exhibitions, trade shows and seminars.

Best for: Meetings and corporate conferences.

Key Features: The platform boasts all of the features that a contemporary Event management platform should provide, including an event website, online registration, virtual sessions, and more. Eventleaf's strongest suit is the simple and powerful Event mobile app. It serves as the single touchpoint from where attendees can keep tabs on the event, interact with other attendees and speakers, and even plan in-person and virtual breakout sessions with participants. The platform also sports a dedicated Check In mobile app for authenticating and checking in attendees, printing tickets and collecting fees at the door. The Leads app is another purpose=built mobile app for exhibitors to collect leads from their events.

Jotform - Best for Diverse Needs

Overview: Jotform provides more than 750 form templates for registering different types of events. You can choose a variety of themes, widgets and integrations and manage online registration from a spreadsheet template. The platform allows you to collect and manage attendees' contact information, track their registration status, and even view your budget.

Best for: Enterprises with diverse needs.

Key Features: Jotform is an excellent form building tool that event management companies can use for numerous applications such as building forms, tables, apps, PDF templates, card forms, and more. The software integrates with a bunch of nifty apps including PayPal, Google Sheets, Zoom, and Slack. Jotform's Enterprise version provides customized templates and workflows for diverse industries such as education, healthcare, nonprofits, and government. Although powerful and extensively featured, Jotform is not as sharply focused on corporate events as Eventleaf and other apps on this list.

Eventbrite - Best for Commercial Events

Overview: The widely popular event registration tool allows you to register attendees and sell event tickets online. You can create and register all types of events including charity or fundraisers, classes, conferences, and other public and private events. You can list your events publicly or privately on the Eventbrite website and showcase them to a local or online audience.

Best for: Online and commercial events.

Key Features: Event organizers can enter the event's title, type, category, and dates and offer digital tickets for sale. You can add discount coupons and promo codes, create multi-day passes, and promote event registration through your social media networks. The software also allows you to create free events for which it doesn't charge any fee, other than 2.5% payment procession charges.

Cvent - Best for Complex Events

Overview: The widely used all-in-one event registration platform simplifies the management of virtual, in person and hybrid events. Loaded with tons of features, it is a one-stop website for complex events. Cvent is constantly evolving to stay abreast of changing market demands. The software offers wholesome functionality to manage all stages in an event's lifecycle, from registration tovenue sourcing and travel management.

Best for: Firms with large portfolio of ongoing events.

Key Features: Cvent offers a one-stop solution for all types of events. The Cvent Attendee Hub is the place where attendees can glean all information about the event. You can integrate the registration with your website, app, database, and onsite check in. It is a very extensive platform with elaborate features for event planning, registration, promotion, workflow management, and reporting.

Ticketbud - Best for Selling Event Tickets

Overview: If you want to register attendees and sell tickets without having to navigate the extensive features of an all-in-one event management platform, Ticketbud is for you. You can set up a free account in minutes and start building your branded event website, which you can promote on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It is a whitelabel platform for companies that need a ticketing solution for their events.

Best for: Selling event tickets.

Key Features: Register attendees online, sell tickets, and conveniently accept payments at the door. Ticketbud lets you collect and segment attendee data, track attendance and view event insights. It does not offer meeting and conference planning tools and is basically a SaaS ticketing solution for all sorts of events.