Meetings + Events

The power of gathering people

room space calculator

Find out how many people will fit in your room or what size room you need for your number of attendees.

Step 1
Choose a Room Layout type:

Step 2
Enter one of the following to determine the other:

Room Size:

sq.ft.

Capacity:

NOTE: This is a starting guideline only. Accuracy for your particular event cannot be guaranteed.

look_for_new_issue

Online Event Registration

Make online event registration as detailed and seamless as you want it to be

By Sherryll Sobie

Event registration processes have come a long way. Just ask Maria Martins, director of operations at Toronto-based Congress Canada, who has witnessed its evolution—the good, the bad and the ugly—over the last 19 years with the DMC and full-service professional conference company. 

“Fifteen years ago we tested the first online registration system and sought out various suppliers,” says Martins. “All had benefits, some had drawbacks.” But that was then. Martin says the growing pains have long since passed, and today’s online systems for business event planners are hospital corner crisp.

For the last seven years Martin has been working with Streampoint Solutions, a Vaughn, Ont.-based online registration services company. According to Patrick Essaye, the company’s vice-president of business development, “Our system is based on modules that perform basic functions common to any event: demographics, hotel selection, membership information and so on. Our niche is customizing each module.”

Streampoint’s vice-president of sales and marketing, Dharmesh Dayabhai, says how far event planners can go with customization depends on their needs. “Delegates can enter a conference centre, scan their barcodes and immediately get a printout of her badge. Then they can walk into the ballroom and be tracked,” he explains. That’s what Essaye calls “the sex and sizzle,” of the online registration programs, and while it’s nice to dream about super high-tech features, what ultimately captures event planners’ hearts is the meat and potatoes of most meetings: reducing time and expenditures.

Another benefit is how effective it can be in impressing your clients or your company’s executives, says Essaye. “Event planners can set themselves apart by having a strong understanding of the technology and a solid relationship with an online registration firm.”

Mark Strongman, president of Toronto-based Effective Registration, says, “As an application service provider we capture information on web forms, rather then having someone writing it all down. Therefore we eliminate a step, saving time and money. We give event planners the tools to manage registration, to keep track of secure online payments and make changes in real time.”

Strongman calls his system “configurable;” how much you add-on is up to you, the most important factor for corporate event planners is that it suits the client’s needs and budget.

If it all sounds a bit sci-fi, it’s really not. “It’s an interface—like Facebook—it’s easy to navigate,” says Martin. As for the investment, she says, “The money you spend depends on the level of service you receive. You’d be surprised how inexpensive it can be.”

Registration Due Diligence
Your six-point plan when sourcing an online registration service, courtesy of Mark Strongman of Effective Registration. www.effectiveregistration.com

  1. Privacy Policy: Ask what the company does with client information. (Do they sell it to third-party marketers?)
  2. Payments: Be wary of companies that collect money on your behalf and then promise to pay you.
  3. Beware Upfront Fees: Stick with a company that bills upon services rendered.
  4. Credit Card Security: Is the system encrypted? Do they adhere to the PCI Security Council Guidelines?
  5. Multi-Year Contracts: Just say no. Your needs and the quality of the service or product may change.
  6. Get It In Writing: After you’ve asked the tough questions, get their answers in writing.

other articles in this section

Ignite your Panel Discussions

Stay-Put Strategies

Words of Wisdom

Copyright Knowledge

The Power of Hindsight

Liquid Assets

Grape Escapes

Icebreakers!

Geofencing Technology

Social Media Smarts

Online Registration

Master your MC Smarts

Demographic Shift

Ignite your Hiring Skills

Responsible Food Management

Save your Event from Disaster with Forward Thinking

You’re Virtually There

Event Music

Taking a Constructive View of Negative Feedback

Boosting Numbers for Less-attended Events

Team Mentality

Beyond the RSVP

Langdon Hall, Cambridge, ON

Site Selection Smarts

A Green Seal of Approval

Get to know Natalie Wilson, CMM, CMP

Swamped by short RFP turnaround times?

Meeting Room Design

Embracing Hybrid Meetings

Beyond the Schmooze

Learning by Experience

E-clutter Management

Ignite Your Power of Persuasion

Animal Ambassadors

The Lanyard Problem

Is it time to beef up breaky?

Green Key Meetings

Ignite your Budget Carving Skills

Industry Ethics

Planning Accessible Meetings

Google+ for Event Planning

Short Lead Times

Pinterest your Event Ideas

Guidelines for Ont. Business Event Planners

A Reason to Smile: Developing Guidelines with TICO

TICO, As I See It

Identity Crisis! Ontario Planners as Travel Agents?

Armchair Site Inspections

Planners as travel agents?

Hybrid Meetings

Green Meeting Venues

Virtual Familiarization Trips: FAMTripTV

Independent Meeting Planners

Certification in Meetings Management

Ignite your Delegating Skills

Green Meetings

Event Planning: Lessons Learned

Planning a Low-Budget Event

Boost your Event Attendance

Familiarization Trip Etiquette

Meeting Planner Entrepreneurs

Career Recognition

Tips for Successful Meetings

That's Entertainment!

Recipes for Teambuilding Success

Cover Up!

Got the Social Media Blues?

Online Event Registration

The Wi-Fi Movement

Ignite Your Inner Entrepreneur

A 10-Step Plan for your Best Corporate Holiday Party Ever!

Speaker ROI

An Event to Remember

Green + Lean Meetings

Cool Ways to Promote Teamwork

Site Selection Considerations for the Meeting Event Planner

Bullet-proof your Meeting Planning Budget

Conference Organization

Sample RFP

8 Ways to Wow Meeting Attendees

Going 'pro' as a meeting planner