There are many brands of event registration software available.  Our MD Rob Eveleigh looks at some methods to help you make your selection.

Yes, this is a minefield as we all know.  Which registration software platform do you go for and why? There are many registration platforms in the marketplace ranging from the free to the absurdly expensive.  Of course, with price comes substance but how can you be sure which is the right fit for your event?

“Event Management” Platforms

Confusingly many providers sell themselves as “event management” platforms, even though most of them only actually deliver the registration and payment element.  This creates an issue if you are looking for a more robust solution that does have full event management functionality. So, what do you do? 

The first step is to map out exactly what you require from a software provider.  There are very few completely free registration software providers and none that don’t have a catch of some sort.  But, let’s not talk about money yet.  Answer the questions below before you start to think about costs, after all, you need a platform.  

Questions to answer before you start looking for registration software technology

It’s very tempting to dive in and start researching registration platforms immediately.

Here’s our suggestion of how to structure your requirement: 

  • Do you need to take payments? 
  • Do you need multiple registration/badge types? 
  • Do you have your own merchant account? 
  • Does the platform need to adopt your branding? 
  • Do you need to have control over your own data? 
  • Do you need to track attendance or provide an onsite badge solution? 
  • Do your delegates need to pre-book sessions? 
  • Does the system need to link to housing (hotel booking)? 
  • Do you need to operate an abstract or awards submission/entry process? 
  • Would having a budget add-on or automated event management processes be an advantage to you (and of course cost-effective?). 

Once you have this information from your stakeholder it’s a lot easier to narrow the field a bit. Below is a quick and dirty table we put together showing the major UK event registration providers and some of their features and benefits: 

Comparison table: key registration software providers operating in the UK

Disclaimer:  these are the ten platforms that we see as the key players in the UK market and this is a review of their operational capability only.  We’ve worked with many but not all of them. 

 EventbriteEvent ReferenceLive BuzzEvent CloudFirebirdAventriEventsairCventShocklogicEventscase
PaymentsYesYes (charge)YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Multiple badge typesNoYes (charge)YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Own merchantNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Own brandingNoMinimalYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Do you own the data?NoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Attendance trackingNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Complex session programmingNoNoYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYes
Housing (accommodation)NoNoYesNoNoYesYesYesYesYes
Call for papersNoNoNoNoYesYesYesYesYesNo
Event management modulesNoNoNoNoNoYesYesNoNoNo

How can we help?

At Brightelm our registration team have the ability to operate any registration software on your behalf, and we have worked with the majority of the platforms above. For more information visit our delegate services page.