Why Your Event Registration Is Harder Than It Has to Be

If your association is stuck with a clunky registration process, it’s time for a change.

It may be months away, but the to-do list for your association’s annual conference is rapidly growing. There’s plenty to consider when planning your event, down to the smallest details. It’s when those little details overshadow your priorities that you run into problems.

Sure, finding the best font for your event program or curating a trendy playlist for music between sessions are special touches, but if you get so bogged down in the minutiae of event planning, you could be overlooking one of the most important aspects of the conference experience: the registration process.

A complicated, drawn-out registration process isn’t just a hassle for your staff — it can also be a deterrent for attendees. Helping people register for your annual conference quickly and easily is critical to attract and retain association members.

The short amount of time required to set your pricing levels using a high-functioning registration system is nothing compared with the countless hours wasted tinkering with an outdated one.

With smooth sailing ahead, you can get back to focusing on what really matters: creating an engaging, educational and memorable conference experience for your attendees.

Many associations are still making due with archaic event registration setup, which only wastes precious time and tests members’ patience. Associations are verifying the registration process boxes one by one, checking attendees’ current membership and whether they’ve signed up for the correct registration rate. That all turns the job of planning an exciting annual conference into an endless stream of data entry and validation.

Does this scenario sound familiar? Your event registration isn’t connected to your contact records, so attendees don’t have their pricing level predetermined when they sign up. Students are registering for the higher cost non-member pricing level and non-members are registering for the more affordable member pricing level, all while your staff’s event manager is manually confirming the membership pricing level for each registrant. It’s a headache for everyone involved, not to mention the additional cancellation, refund and re-registering process that ensues when someone signs up for the wrong pricing level.

If you’ve been here before, it’s time for a change. You can counter this chaos by setting up different pricing models and registration fields for existing contacts, taking the stress out of event registration monitoring.

“At Protech, we’re simplifying the setup so associations don’t have to monitor in the back office anymore,” says Protech Associates’ resident events expert Robin Wilkinson. “The system takes care of it for them.”

The more pricing levels you have, the more setup there will be in advance. But don’t let that deter you from taking the time to sign up. In fact, this up-front set up can save hours of time in the coming months, as these solutions can help you streamline and track registrations.

“Every week, you can run reports and they’re going to be right because of the pricing levels you’ve set up,” Wilkinson says. “You don’t have to go through and then monitor these registrations coming in on a daily, weekly basis.”

Proper registration set up allows for additional benefits for your association as well, such as real-time registration reports, registration patterns, and automatic price adjustments for early bird promotions. These small improvements lead to higher efficiency, in turn, generating more revenue in the long run.

A little preparation in the right focus area has huge benefits for your association in the long run. You’ve got an annual conference to plan. Don’t let a faulty registration process get in the way of a great experience for your attendees.

From the experts at Protech Associates.

Protech Associates proudly provides member-based organizations with association management software built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform. Learn more at