LIVE from the Northwest Event Show!
Join Lisa Schulteis, Founder of ElectraLime Marketing and Jon Summersfield of GetRegistered as they discuss the challenges of Event Registration.
Lisa Schulteis (00:00):
All right, everybody. So excited to be here. Again, it’s Lisa Schulteis with ElectraLime Marketing, and we are still on the floor of the Northwest Event Show. It’s day two in the afternoon, and I am here with my friend Jon Summer Summersfield. I almost messed that up with GetRegistered and, we want to talk about event registration. It is a hot topic for event planners. I talk about it with my clients all the time, and there’s definitely some challenges with it. So let’s talk about the importance of event registration and getting it right. What’s your opinion on that?
Jon Summersfield (00:35):
So event registration is probably the most key item to any event. You need to know who’s coming. And once you know who’s coming, you need to be able to manipulate that data and use it for a whole myriad of, areas in your event, whether it’s dietary restrictions, whether it’s a rooming list, transportation, it’s probably the single most important part, but it should be the part that’s the easiest. And that’s…
Lisa Schulteis (00:59):
…and it’s not.
Jon Summersfield (00:59):
Not always the case,
Lisa Schulteis (01:01):
<laugh>. Yeah. It’s, you know, with events, I, I, I think a lot of people think, you know, oh, whether it’s like general registration and VIP and that’s it, right? Yeah. Or maybe there’s three ticket levels and that’s it. Whether it’s paid or free. And, you know, it’s so much more right? Because we have this variable that comes in then that variable that comes in and all of a sudden you have 25 ticket levels.
Jon Summersfield (01:23):
Lisa Schulteis (01:24):
When you really should still only have three. Yep. Because, you know, maybe the registration system that you’re using doesn’t allow you to manipulate those variables. Maybe you just didn’t think ahead. But there’s, there’s definitely some challenges with that.
Jon Summersfield (01:38):
So we actually have a good example of that. We had a client who came to us and they had 123 tracks on their event. I’ve never seen a list so long in my life, and we paired them down to 12. Wow. So, and it was all about building out the form. It was about using conditional logic. It was about the ability to show and hide fields, show and hide whole pages. And they were like blissfully happy. The IT guy who built the form on their side, <laugh> was a little perplexed at how we did it, but the planners themselves were thrilled. Yeah.
Lisa Schulteis (02:11):
Yeah. And I think, you know, you and I have worked on a, a project here and you know, we had some variables with that one, right? We did. We had attendees who were coming in, we had, sponsors and exhibitors who were coming in and based on level of exhibitor or based on sponsorship, they were allowed different numbers of attending or, free passes essentially. Right? Yep. And you know, a lot of times you have to track that manually, or I shouldn’t say you have to, a lot of times planners track that manually, and it, it ends up being a little bit of a spreadsheet here and a spreadsheet here, and a try to remember this that somebody told you it would via a text message here. And, so it really can be a challenge. And, and we went through and really identified, you know, we have two levels of attendees, right? Yep. We have attendees and employees. Yep. Right? And then we had our sponsors and we had our three levels of exhibitors. And each one of those, then we were able to say, okay, for this group, we’re gonna ask these questions. Yep.
Jon Summersfield (03:07):
Lisa Schulteis (03:08):
For this group, we’re gonna ask these questions. And it simplified the process so much to be able to…
Jon Summersfield (03:16):
But that’s how it should be. I mean, it’s the two words when we started building our system, and as you know, I’m an event planner, right. I own an event planning company. So our thing was, it has to be simple. It has to be effective. Yeah. Too many registration sites require you to have a degree in applied physics to try and pick your way through it. Yeah. And it should, it should actually be, it’s the most important part. It should be the easiest part of the process. Exactly. You should be able to set up registration, and then you get back to doing what you need to do. Yeah.
Lisa Schulteis (03:43):
And as many of you know, I mean, registration is really important, right? It is the first impression that your potential attendees have with you. So they’ve seen whatever marketing piece that you’ve done, they’re coming to your site to register. And if you make it hard for them, they’re not going to register. Right. Or they’re, even if they register, they’re having a bad experience. And so even though I, I, I almost feel like registration sometimes is an afterthought, and it really needs to be one of the first thoughts,
Jon Summersfield (04:12):
The amount of people who go, Ugh, I can just, we can do emails, or I can do Survey Monkey or something like this, then Google form. Yeah. But then it gets down to it and they realize they don’t have the information that they need. Right. Or, they don’t have the ability to go back and reach out to the attendee, guide them on their path or whatever it is. There’s just so many things that just the manual process can’t do. Yeah. So you need a beautiful way to market the, the event. Yeah. You need a beautiful way to get them to register, and then you should be able to use the data. And I don’t know why people make it so hard, <laugh>, but you know, you and I have talked for, for months and months and months about, you know, it’s a saturated market, right? There’s a lot of registration tools out there. And the problem is everybody thinks that they’re building it the way they need to do it, but you and I plan events, right? You have to know how to plan an event to truly understand what you need in registration. And it’s been a, it’s been a fun journey so far. Yeah.
Lisa Schulteis (05:10):
And one of the things I actually love about your guys’ product is, so one reporting reporting’s amazing, and I love being able to just very simply pull a report and not have to have a degree in rocket science Yeah. To figure it out. But I love the fact that you guys specialize in what you specialize, like you are a registration platform. Yep. That’s it. Which, that’s, it sounds like a negative comment and it’s not, it’s like, it’s a compliment, right? Yeah. Because there are so many platforms out there that they’re trying to build everything into it. Correct. So they’re trying to be the virtual event platform with the registration, with this, with that, with this. And what happens is you get a platform that it works, right? Yep. But they’re not, they’re not really specializing in anything. Right. And so, you know, it’s, it’s kind of like marketing agencies, right? You have marketing agencies that are generalists, <affirmative>, and you have marketing agencies that are very niche down. And the ones who are niche down are the ones that really know, you know, this is their focus and Exactly. They know that. Hundred percent. And they’re really, really good at it. Yeah. And that’s what I love about you guys is, is you’ve, you’ve, you’ve stayed in that silo intentionally
Jon Summersfield (06:20):
Because there’s a lot of great products out there. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, our friends from sessionboard, for example, right? They do an excellent job with what they do. They don’t want part of ours and Right. We don’t want to do their part, but together, it’s, you know. Right. It’s hugely powerful. But no, to your point, that was a conscious decision. We were like, no, we have a beautiful api. Anyone wants to integrate, we can do it. Yeah. But our view is registration. That’s, that’s our specialty.
Lisa Schulteis (06:48):
Yeah. And it’s, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s a blessing when you can take something and it just makes your life easier. Right? Like good. We all know. I mean, event planners, we’re all like overworked, overtired, I just had food for the first time in all day and it’s, what’s food? It’s, I don’t know. It’s, it’s like almost, you know, 2:15 in the afternoon. So, um, you know, if we can have that piece that not only makes our life easier Yep. But then makes the attendee experience that much better, which is so much more important, then that’s what’s gonna make your event grow.
Jon Summersfield (07:23):
Uh, and that’s what we’ve always wanted to do, right? I mean, and that’s why we look at our clients. The number of repeat clients we have is amazing. And that’s the biggest testimonial we can ever get, is somebody to come back. You sent us an email, in the last couple of weeks, and it was a literally a one-liner, but it was about the speed of, you know, one of the parts of our platform. And that meant the world because it was just that at that moment we solved an issue for you quickly, right. With the platform. And you were like, thank you. Yeah. And that’s all we needed. Yeah. And that’s, and that’s why we do it. We just literally want to change registration one, one event at a time.
Lisa Schulteis (07:59):
You know, I always tell people I, I don’t like surprises unless they’re really good ones. Right. Like, I want a vacation, like all paid. That would be a great surprise. Right. But that day I was, I had literally changed a, an a attendee’s name
Jon Summersfield (08:14):
Lisa Schulteis (08:14):
In the record. And by the time I clicked out of that tab into the other tab, which was open by the way, like I didn’t even have to bring it up, right? Yeah. The tab was open. I was already signed in by the time I clicked out of that tab, went into the next tab, because I thought I was gonna have to change it in the other system that we PID into. And I pulled up the record, I was like, oh my gosh. Like, you know, we’re talking seconds. And just to not have to worry about that,
Jon Summersfield (08:41):
That’s awesome. That means the world
Lisa Schulteis (08:43):
You know, that, that takes that level of stress off of your planners then. So there’s just, I, I think it’s really important that companies, you know, sometimes it makes sense for companies to try to do everything, but I think a lot of times it makes more sense for companies to really stay silo’d and just be really, really, really good at what they’re doing. And, and you guys are definitively really, really good at what you’re doing.
Jon Summersfield (09:05):
Thank you. And I agree with that as far as you, you need to know what you’re good at. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but I think a lot of planners come to us thinking they know registration, right? Because they’ve kind of been led down that path by other products. So they think they know what they want out of registration, but when you show them a different way, it’s illuminating. Yeah,
Lisa Schulteis (09:26):
Jon Summersfield (09:27):
So, so exciting times. Absolutely.
Lisa Schulteis (09:30):
So if you wanna learn more about how Get registered does their registration, I encourage you to get in touch with John. But I appreciate you just having this conversation with me about the importance of registration and that first, you know, it, it is that first touch, so we wanna make sure that we’re giving our attendees the best experience that we can give them. So thank you very much. Thank you. Thanks everybody. We’ll see you soon.