by Sarah J.F. Braley | December 01, 2007

The following checklist was compiled with the help of Nichole R. Ballard, director of YesEvents (www.yesevents.com), a Baltimore, Md.-based event management company offering a registration component.

What They’ll Ask You

  • Is this a first-time event?
  • What is the attendance?
  • What is the lead time?
  • When will registration begin?
  • What information do you want on the name tags?
  • What challenges have you faced in the past?
  • Is attendance limited?
  • Are there various price points for registration?
  • If multiple price points are offered, are they driven by location in the venue, membership status or date of sale?
  • Is there limited inventory at any of the price points?
  • Will attendees need to register for specific meals? If so, will they be asked to make menu selections?
  • Are there pre- or post-conference events? If so, are they limited only to those who register for the conference?
  • Will there be concurrent sessions with maximums or special admittance criteria?
  • Will group registrations be sold?
  • Will there be any complimentary registrations?
  • Will scholarships be offered for registration?
  • Can discount or promotional codes be offered?
  • Can payments be coded for easier reconciliation? For example, if a transaction includes a membership fee, conference registration and a tour package, can it be split up and coded so that funds are allocated properly within the organization?
  • Do you plan to offer a guest program? How will companions register, and at what price?
  • What to Ask: Online Payment Setup

  • How easy is it to set up a credit-card merchant account for online purchasing? If there is no merchant account, does the registration company “rent” merchant services?
  • Are there any setup fees, monthly fees or transaction fees?
  • What discount rate is offered on each card accepted?
  • Is there a chargeback fee?
  • Who will reconcile the account and how often?
  • What back-up details are provided?
  • How will credit-card security be assured? Is the process PCI compliant (a security standard for the credit-card industry)?
  • What to Ask: Reports

  • What reports are available online?
  • Does the registration company offer online reporting in real time, so that numbers are updated automatically as attendees register?
  • Can the data be exported?
  • Are there more reports available that are not shown with the online reports?
  • Are custom reports available?
  • For how long are reports accessible after the event?
  • What to Ask: Account Management

  • What training is available? Is there someone to call to discuss the event and walk through the processes?
  • Does the registration company offer support to registrants? Is one person assigned to answer queries about the event?
  • Will the registration company offer suggestions and recommendations to help boost sales?
  • Can you print your own badges?
  • Can the registration company design a badge template and arrange to have final badges printed and arranged according to a profile, registration type or other criteria?
  • Will the registration company create welcome packets and ship them to the site?
  • Can the registration company provide staff to manage registration? If so, will they train personnel adequately?
  • Notes: