It’s Not About Badges Anymore

Post authored by Terence Donnelly, CMP – Vice President, Sales & Account Management at Experient

First, it was about “who’s coming to the event” and whether you had a function room big enough (or small enough) to hold the number of persons attending.  Along with that was budgeting and if you were charging for this event, you needed to have funds in advance and create a mechanism to collect those funds to pay vendors to execute the event.  Up until the early 1990s, a lot of this was done through forms – paper forms that you filled out and either mailed or faxed back.  Today, this task is easily accomplished through hundreds of different online registration tools – proprietary and off-the-shelf – that facilitate this transaction.

For most tradeshow and conference organizers, it’s all about the data.  Particularly for larger events with sponsors and exhibitors with large budgets, the event organizer needs access to real-time data to make informed decisions and communicate effectively to their constituents.

So, it’s not about badges anymore.  If an event organizer just uses some system to credential their attendees and exhibitors, they really are missing the advantage that a more sophisticated registration solution can provide them – the advantage of accessing real-time information and transforming that data into information that drives business decisions… Insight.


What should an event organizer be looking for? Not just a registration system that can provide data – but one that provides the data as real-time actionable information. The days of making decisions based upon intuition are over in this changing economy.

There are hundreds of data points and each show manager has various needs in this area.  For some show managers, it’s important that they can scrutinize attendee behavior over time to establish buyer levels.   By tracking their purchase behavior and activity on the exhibit floor, show management can up-sell packages and sessions, and provide them a custom experience based upon past activity and interests.

Lastly, what’s important is that you find a registration system that can adapt to the changing needs of show management and can deliver on its promise.  So tell us, which of these reporting features are important to you? Go ahead and rank them in your comments below!

1. At-a-glance, quick-click access to your most important reporting information

2. Easy-to-understand graphics right on your own computer

3. Ability to access information quickly and make strategic decisions based on accurate data

4. Graphs of key performance indicators for registration and reservation statistics

5. Top 10 reports configured per your needs and provided in one concise list for easy access

6. Access to year-over-year pacing reports for registration and room block penetration for housing to monitor performance against previous year

7. Customer search tool that allows you to review and edit registrant information, preview and send confirmations immediately

8. Charts that can be pulled directly from the system for easy transfer into Executive Level reports

9. Custom quick links for important event-related sites such as lead retrieval, attendee web page, exhibitor web page and more

10. Benchmarks against “like” industries, markets, and previous year’s statistics and performances.

Let’s get the conversation started!

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