Online Event Registration Review

Online event registration streamlines the event planning process, improves efficiency, often increases attendance, and measures results with a click of the mouse. Online registration software is typically provided by a company specializing in event management software, usually web-based. Online event registration software allows you to customize your event, and then publish it online. Organizing an […]

Online Event RegistrationOnline event registration streamlines the event planning process, improves efficiency, often increases attendance, and measures results with a click of the mouse. Online registration software is typically provided by a company specializing in event management software, usually web-based. Online event registration software allows you to customize your event, and then publish it online.

Organizing an event isn’t an easy task. A planner must wear many hats to achieve success, including finding sponsors, promoting the event, selling tickets, setting up the event location and much more. If it includes business travel booking and/or hotel registration, that requires even more technology. And with social networking becoming increasingly popular, event planners also are promoting via social networking services such as Facebook or Twitter.

Online event registration and event software can help ease the stress of planning an event. However, all meetings are not created equal. What works for one event may not work for yours. Take a look at the following resources for online event registration, listed alphabetically:

Acteva.com

Over 20,000 organizations choose Acteva.com to create customizable online registration page in minutes, add themes and answer questions on customized forms. Group and individual event registrations, management of registration data, online payments and ticketing system are all available at the click of the mouse. No hosting or set up fees. Acteva charges fees based on a per registrant fee and the event size. Pricing: $4.99 – $5.99 per registrant and 3.75% per transaction. Setup fees range from $100-$750 per event.

ConstantContact.com

Constant Contact.com has been around a long time. Many are familiar with its email marketing platform. For those event planners who use Constant Contact to manage email flow, it would be a smooth transition to add online event registration through Constant Contact. Just as other online event registration programs, Constant Contact offers all the essentials: Set Up Your Event, Promote Your Event, Manage Event Registration, and Event Tracking & Reporting. From 4 to 400, flat monthly pricing starts at $15 per month, based on number of open events currently accepting registrations or RSVPs.

Cvent.com

Cvent.com automates the entire event management process, from online registration to sourcing suppliers for the event. Managing more than 275,000 events, Cvent is the largest event management software company in the U.S. It is used by over 90,000 event and marketing professionals coordinating over 30 million event registrations and survey responses. Cvent offers a flexible and comprehensive number of tools to manage your online registration, from website to in taking payments to promotions. Pricing: $3-$7 per registrant based on features. Startup fees starting at $850.

Eventbrite.com

Eventbrite is free to setup online registration tool. You create your event page on their site, everything from ticket types and prices to tracking sales and attendees, and then add it to your blog or website. Eventbrite does take a commission on the tickets you sell. Very simple and basic, Eventbrite is a good online event registration solution for event planners on a budget. Eventbrite pricing is $.99 per person plus 5.5% per transaction. No setup fees.

Eventzilla.net

Eventzilla provides event planners with an easy and affordable online registration and ticketing software for events. You can create a professional looking event page quickly, and people can register and buy tickets directly on that event page. Event planners can manage online registrations and payments, and Eventzilla even assists you in promoting your event online, through free e-mail invites and social networking services. The price is right – free if your event is free. If you charge for admission, then Eventzilla charges $1 per ticket sold. (Payments are processed through Paypal, which also charges fees.)

Evite.com

When all you need is an online invitation and a RSVP, then Evite.com may be the answer. You can personalize your invitation on Evite.com and it is free to use (but filled with advertising). Evite.com is also more informal. Evite seems as if it may be a better fit for smaller social events among friends, family and/or community groups.

Regonline.com (also at ActiveNetwork.com)

Another online registration resource that is fairly customizable and easy to navigate without putting in a lot of time learning the format. The basic registration screen is very simple, fill out information, pick your templates, themes, colors, upload your own logos/pictures, event specifics and you’re ready to go. You can even add optional speakers or workshops. Standard payment options are available. Automated emails, reservations and reminders are built-in. There is no fee for registration.

Regonline.com may not be a good fit for smaller events or groups as its flat rates start at $3.95 per registrant and 4.95% per transaction, with no setup fees or monthly fees.

WildApricot.com

Wild Apricot’s focus is on membership, events, and site-management functionality for smaller membership-based organizations. If you’re familiar with Microsoft Word, this will be easy to learn. It can handle diverse events with customizable forms, and dozens of features.

Wild Apricot offers flat, all-inclusive fees for system access, regular upgrades and support. This includes zero setup fees, no customization fees, no training fees, zero per-transaction fees, and no cancelation fees.

For small groups up to 50, their basic, free version provides Web and membership integration as long as you don’t mind viewing ads. Groups 50 or larger are charged monthly fees beginning at $25 on up to $200 per month, without the distracting ads.

Please note that although these online registration resources charge varying packages, most also charge an additional fee for accepting online payments and/or processing credit cards, typically somewhere between 2.5 to 5 percent of each payment.

Research contributed by Diana Rowe.

Rob is editor of Business Travel Destinations. He reviews international destinations for meetings and events -- where business travelers go, the hotels where they stay and their lifestyle preferences on the road. Rob was previously the event planning guide for About.com (owned by The New York Times Company) from 2007 - 2011. His articles also appear in business travel publications and travel sites internationally.