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How to Choose an Event Registration and Ticketing Site for Your Event

Excited audience watching a concert. A couple are raising their hands to form a heart shape.

Sure, you could make a spreadsheet and track the registrants for your upcoming event. But with so many affordable (even free) options online for event ticketing and registration — offering options for everything from ticket scanning, tracking attendance, allowing attendees to choose with whom they sit, building in a ticketing fee and of course, avoiding the use of paper all together — why put in more legwork than you need to?

Whether your next event is large, like a conference, or simply your staff holiday party, an event registration and ticketing site can save paper and give you lots of tools to better manage attendance. The trick is knowing which site best fits the needs of your event.

Number of Attendees

Start by looking at how many people you expect to attend, as well as your total estimated number of registrants for your full upcoming year of events. If you are just planning a staff party, a simple site like EventBrite or Event Wizard should do the trick.

Meanwhile, for those of you planning a more complex event, like a high school graduation dinner or large corporate Christmas party, eTouches has a feature that allows guests to see the entire floor plan, select their table and specify with whom they would like to sit! It really is a desirable feature than can lessen your administrative workload!

Service Charge

Service charge is the next consideration. These sites, when they charge, generally charge per registrant, and you can cover that cost yourself or build it in to the ticket charge. For a free event for staff, EventBrite is perfect because there is no service fee if you’re not charging for tickets.

Constant Contact allows you to pay an affordable monthly fee just for the period of time you’re planning the event, then cancel the service once the event is done.

And if you’re planning a number of large events each year, some sites, like Event Wizard, offer an annual license that allows you unlimited registrants for a yearly flat fee.

Ticket Scanning Options

One really fantastic feature of a number of these sites is electronic ticketing as well as easy app-enabled ticket scanning. Attendees can choose to forego paper and have their ticket on their phone, and organizers can easily scan the ticket using their own device and the site’s app. This feature is super-slick and looks professional at an event.

In helping to decide which registration tool you would like to use, don’t overlook one important element – does the company offer a fully staffed customer service desk 7 days a week? You only need to scramble once to make a last minute change to realize the value in being able to call for back up support at any time!

One last thought: registering attendees thru a ticketing site and scanning their tickets at entrance may also be safer for everyone at the event. Why? Because as you scan attendees, their arrival is logged and you can compare that number to the expected turnout. In the event of a fire or emergency, you know how many people are there and who they are.

Planning an event and feeling like you could use a hand? We do that! Give us a call and we can talk about great options for your event.

What’s your favourite site for ticketing and registration? We’d love to hear about it!

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About the Author - Lynda Greuel
Author Lynda Greuel has been planning events for 30 years, but it took her a few decades to realize event planning could be a profession! A graduate of Event Management at Mount Royal University, Lynda has pursued her passion professionally for the past 10 years. Lynda believes Live Events Matter – you never get a second chance to make a good first impression! She is the VP of Membership with ILEA (International Live Event Association), Calgary Chapter.