The Price of Event Management Inefficiency

The Price of Event Management Inefficiency

I was privileged to attend a fundraising event in my community. The organization used a commonly used app to “manage” the event registrations.

Surprisingly, registrants for the event were given the option of paying on-line via PayPal or “paying at the door”.

Well, need I describe the pandemonium at the Event Check-in!

Firstly, between the time that I registered for the event and the the actual night of the event – having selected to “pay at the door” – you would have expected, that I would have received some additional eMail communication reminding me that I owed the organization the fee for the ticket and maybe a request that I either come to the event with a cheque or the exact amount of the cash in hand?

Instead, I and another 300 – 400 registrants, all seemed to arrive at the same designated time of the event carrying a mix of credit cards, cash and Cheques (some which still had to be filled-in)!!

Within a few steps of entering the building and virtually right alongside the hall where the event was being held – they had set up a table staffed by 4 or 5 volunteers disparately trying to control entry into the event. Some where taking cash payments, apologizing profusely to guests for a lack of sufficient change in the cash box, others where referring to hard copy lists of registered attendees trying to work out who had paid, who had not paid and who were not even pre-registered. One poor volunteer was disparately trying to manually record credit card details of those wishing to pay with a credit card. Need I say more?

Some basic Event Management observations and recommendations:

  1. You ought not to try and computerize a manual mess! Identify a sound manual process for the business process, in this case – “event registration and management” and then introduce computerization and automation.
  2. If you are going allow for “pay at the door” registrations – ensure that the “door price” does not require giving attendees change and have a very separate space and registration table for these attendees!!
  3. Implement a sound Event Management solution! Not only would this event organizer have had a secure way of processing credit card transactions, but they would have had a rapid, automated secure process to control the “Event Check-in” process.
  4. I could not help thinking what the “day after the event” must have been like. Imagine trying to fathom out the processing of credit cards where surely mistakes would have been made trying to write down details of credit cards et al.
  5. The event was really well attended – what a pity that they did not capture all the details of every attendee with a view to using the data for future targeted marketingof similar events.
  6. I wondered – was I going to receive a timely confirmation of my credit card transaction when they eventually process it? Would I be receiving a little kindly gesture of an email “thanking me for my support and attendance”? No !  I did not get a follow up “Thank You” and the credit card transaction was processed about a week later!
  7. I just hope the organization destroys the piece of paper on which they recorded my credit card details?
  8. Maybe next time I will come with the “cash in hand” to pay at the door – or just maybe … time they will be using EventGenie!!!

As the saying goes: If your Non-profit organization runs events – we have a great App for that !!

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