Do you host free events that are open to the public? Many organizations do, some host hundreds or even thousands of free events each year thanks to taxes, grants, fundraisers, donations and other sponsorships. These groups provide fun and educational events or classes to people from all walks of life and all ages. What’s more surprising is that many of these groups do not require registration for their events. For those groups, we want to help you answer that question that comes up on a daily basis for registration companies like us; “why should I pay for a registration system when I only host FREE events?”
They may like your Facebook event post, they may share the event with their friends, they might see all of the posters your organization had on Main Street and the big billboard on I-75 (great marketing, btw). But how many of those 75 event likes and 15 shares will show up? Have they forgotten about your event? Honestly, they may have. The act of registering makes people feel more committed to following through, free event or not. Perhaps it’s psychological, perhaps they feel bad if they don’t show up after someone has taken their information, or perhaps they received a reminder from the organization or wrote it in their calendar, we can’t be sure. But we do know that attendance numbers are far more accurate when people are forced to RSVP.
Don’t order too much pizza, purchase too many supplies, or worry about 100 people showing up when your max seating capacity is 50! Use a registration system to collect rsvp’s and better prepare for your event, set capacity limits based on your space, and hype your event by saying it has limited seating. Make those that sign up feel special because they got to come and those that did not might be motivated to register much earlier for your next event.
Never, ever trust that people will remember the date and time your event takes place! Life gets in the way for the best of us, work, kids, family, travel, school, it’s so easy to forget non-obligatory commitments, no matter how fun they may be. Most registration systems have built-in reminders and push notifications. Let an automated registration system send your guest their event reminders straight to their phones and emails, the places they look most, and are likely to see multiple times each day.
For many of these reasons, free events might benefit more from a registration system than do paid events. With paid events, there is always a sense of obligation, either you are paying money to be there or you are costing the host money because you did not show up. With free events, you are left with many unanswered questions; Do I have enough staff? Do I have enough food and supplies? What if there are not enough seats? What if no one plans on coming? What if I need to cancel the event, how do I get ahold of everyone? Many systems allow for a free trial period, so I guess the most important question is, what do you have to lose?
About us – LocalHop is an Event Management Platform that provides event marketing, web calendars, and registration systems to organizations and small businesses. LocalHop launched in October 2015 and has offices in Pontiac and Kalamazoo, Michigan.