The Efficient Trade Show Planner's Guide to Vendor Registration

by Ryan J. Bell - Date: 2007-03-07 - Word Count: 383 Share This!

Don't you hate articles that start out by calling you lazy? I'm bucking the trend with this one, so we're going to call it 'efficiency' not laziness.

Most of the marketing materials surrounding the event registration process focus on how to improve the process for your attendees. Of course it's important to take care of your attendees, because without them your vendors don't need your event.

There are several reasons why it's good practice to separate your attendee registration process from your vendor registration process, not the least of which includes confused registrants submitting their forms for the wrong registrant type, or vendors not giving enough information because they've registered as attendees.

So it seems that the best way to avoid this mess is to create a separate registration process for vendors. But how can you do it most efficiently?

This is one more task for which an online registration system is a great timesaving tool. With an online system all you need to do is create your regular attendee registration process, and then make a copy of the form, and change the names of the different fields to be vendor specific.

Alternatively, you can set up a different registration type within the same form for your vendors, but be sure to make it very clear which registration path is appropriate for each person using your form.

Using either method you can target you message and supplemental materials to your vendors, which is important because the process of convincing vendors of the value of your event is a completely different process than convincing your attendees.

Another vendor-specific benefit to using an online registration software package is the ability to integrate other software programs with your registration process to give your vendors more value for their participation.

For instance, you can integrate your registration with floor planning software to help vendors (especially early-registrants) find the prime location for their booths. Another popular integration is match-making software, which surveys your attendees about their needs and matches them up with vendors who are giving product demos. This helps to target the leads you provide to your vendors and helps to increase their customer conversion.

So, as much as the hype focuses on online registration as a way to make attendees happier, you can also use an online registration tool to improve vendor satisfaction as well.

Related Tags: meeting, conference, trade show, event planning, seminar, event planning software

Ryan is a member of the marketing team for RegOnline, a developer of easy-to-use registration forms software, and a company dedicated to making event planners' lives easier.

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