Personalized event registration: barriers, pitfalls, and solutions
When it comes to events, first impressions matter. As the kind of “opening act” to any occasion, registration sets the feel and tone for things to come. While personalization is now inherent throughout many elements of any given event, it’s not necessarily always easy or straightforward to include an element of personalization in your registration process. But be they delegates, potential delegates, exhibitors, or sponsors, everyone deserves the warm welcome that only personalization can offer. And you, as a planner, certainly deserve to reap the benefits of a thoughtfully personalized registration process.
Barriers and Pitfalls of Personalized Registration
There is no getting around it: personalization takes time and demands substantial effort from planners. This is especially true ahead of the event registration process, when planners need to ensure that they kick off their event by targeting the right audience with the right message. But before they can even begin to work on messaging, planners need to analyse the personal data they’ve gathered — whether this information has been collected via past events, emails, or surveys — in order to carefully and correctly segment their target audiences. With so much information to hand, it’s easy to get bogged down in the minutiae of segmentation and even — as Sitecore references — to in effect become paralysed by your data.
Likewise, with time and resources finite — and with so many other details to attend to in the run up to an event — it’s also understandable for a planner to perhaps not give personalized registration the attention it fully deserves. This is also a mistake; indeed, by neglecting to give considered thought to the element of personalization at the point of registration, you’ve also missed an opportunity to more fully connect with your target audience.
The Simple Solution
A sense of perspective is a powerful tool when it comes to considering the importance of personalized registration. After all, registration is not the main event, but it is a key element of almost any and every event (and certainly, of those done well). To that end — and especially when it comes to considering both the personal data you’ve gathered and your target audience — it’s worth zooming out to identify broad demographic categories within the details you have to hand. Once you’ve done this, consider the elements of registration that will resonate the most with your audience. Isolate and identify the strategies that will have both the greatest positive impact in terms of successfully opening your event along with the ones that will help serve your overall goal of engaging with those you really want to target. And here, it’s important to implement strategies that not only serve your audience, but also to choose the ones that slot seamlessly into your existing time and resources.
A final key point on personalization — and this concerns both the registration process as well as your event at-large — is that there is no single way to ‘do’ personalization. Whether you opt for segmented and personalized invites and e-mails or distinct registration paths or have dug deep to welcome delegates to your event with their favourite coffee, only you truly know the registration techniques that will resonate best with your core audience. As an event planner, your time and resources are precious, but with careful consideration and perspective, you can efficiently create the kind of welcome that benefits both your attendees — and yourself — now and in the future.
Want to learn more about how to personalize your events?
Get answers to the fundamental questions, as well as insight on the current state of personalization in the events industry from a recent research study with 150+ event planners with our eBook, ‘The Event Planner’s Guide to Personalization’.