Nothing to dramatic going on here, Mainly, I like doing a soft registration launch.
JOB TITLE – Registrar, Event Builder
EVENT DESCRIPTION – All of our events are social.
EVENT DATES – Next large event is November (hopefully)
PHASE OF EVENT PLANNING: (Event/Web Build, During Event, Post-Event)Event/Web BuildI add sessions and questions as meetings progress. Graphics generally come later. I try not to get too lost in the weeds. So many things change, and the schedule is constantly changing all the way up to the event start date.During the event I tweak session descriptions and questions based on attendee feedback. Attendees like to be part of the process. Since most events are cloned from year to year, it helps future builds. Keep attendees up to date with short event or session emails. We also send texts reminding attended of key events. I do this by creating using an additional custom contact field using their mobile phone number and carrier. i.e., firstname.lastname@example.org for Verizon customers.After the event, we reflect on what worked and what did not. We do not do surveys. Those with comments, let us know. And do they ever.
TYPE OF EVENT - Social
WHAT WORKED FOR YOU (DO'S)Our events always open at a specific time. I send tests to several attendees.Whenever possible, I do a soft launch to those who I know will be attending.Usually my most critical and vocal attendees. They can spot errors or make suggestions.When someone is confused, I explain why I do something a certain way and ask if they can make it clearer.I use internal questions and custom contact questions.Custom contact questions are useful for me to tag certain attendees as staff, board, sponsor.I use those answers for advanced filters or name badges.
WHAT TO AVOID (DON'TS)
Do not get caught up in the negativity of some attendees regarding the registration.I do not send too many tests to staff. They are too close to the event and are focused on other things.When 900 people register without a problem and 5 complain. You done good. You can't please everyone.Do not let attendees know of any problems. It is all smoke and mirrors. No one should look behind the curtain.Do not use external excel spreadsheet. Instead, use internal questions.
>Really interesting that you do not do surveys. Do you have a different way of keeping track of the organic comments you get year-to-year?Something I heard a cventconnect that struck me. It was something to the effect, don't ask questions unless they are necessary or you can act on them.Our main event is a basically the same 5-7 day format every year in a different location.When we ask where the next event should be held, the answers are unrealistic.When we did ask people to rate each session. Our sessions are meals or events and occasionally talks, marks are from 1 to 10 and everything in between.Sometimes I wonder if they were even at the same event as I was. We know where we failed. We don't need to be reminded. :)If we used CrowdCompass, I would push for short session surveys. I feel surveys need to be immediate. Especially for breakout sessions so we can adjust our agenda on the fly. But meals, every hotel is different and we have little control over it going in.I'm not saying we don't take some comments seriously. Some are valid comments and us being so close to the event, we don't always see it the attendees' way. But then there are some comments from the same people every year that are just cancerous. There is no pleasing them. These small group thinks it is 1990 where you can go to a 5 day event, pay $125 for the week and have 2 sit down dinners and 2 buffet dinners all for one low price. Times have changed, they haven't. So we read or listen to their comments how terrible of a job we did, yet they come back every year. And to the hundreds of people who tell us they had a great time, we are happy with that.And even though this event is similar in format every year, different location, different set of volunteers. It's like doing the event for the first time.Since I build the registration and the POC for all things related to the registration, I incorporate suggestions from the previous year where I can. Each event is a clone of the previous year.