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What is RSVP [2020 Updated]: everything you need to know about attendee management.

Posted on 07/23/2019

RSVP acronym stands for “Répondez s’il vous plaît”, or please confirm your presence, in French.

Event planners do have the power and knowledge to create impressive experiences out of any occasion. But what if the single one most important step is neglected? And if those who turn out to be present need to queue for an hour to get a credential? That’s where everything starts. And without a great event registration process, conferences and exhibitions could be literally lowered to ground.

We’ve spoken before about how to structure a schedule for any type of conference and how to prove it’s results. And today, we’re gonna cover every aspect you need to conduct a successful registration and RSVP processes. These words will determine whether your event is in the right course or not.

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 1.  What is RSVP?

Event RSVP is, in short, the single most important abbreviation in the events world. The french phrase “Rpondez s’il vous plat” is a guest confirmation that they will turn up for your event. However, registrations and actual attendees are different measures. Not everybody who confirms to be present will show up for real.

When you plan an event, attendance is one of main KPI’s to measured. Therefore, event registration is the very first commitment one engages with when planning to go to your event. 

There are also a few other processes that are directly related to registration, such as:

  • RSVP (répondez, s’il vous plaît) – this abbreviation refers to the a simple confirmation of the guest that he/she will be present, after being invited or having showed interest in the occasion. Can be used on invitation-only or public occasions.
  • Ticketing – when you sell a ticket, people are basically paying to register to your event. That’s why paid events turn out to have a higher Actual / Expected visitors ratio.
  • Accreditation –  A quick accreditation and check-in are key for a good first impression. Robust event registration softwares provide digital QR codes, as well as confirmation emails to every guest that confirms to be present at your event. Thus, when the guest arrive at the actual event venue, it gets way easier to quickly get a credential and check-in.



2.  How to successfully handle event registrations,

In long term strategies, event registration tends to be neglected, as it seems to be just another operational step that needs to be repeated. But since you cannot skip it, you wanna make sure it works out as the beginning of a great experience start for your guest.

Segmented event registration

Either you’re selling tickets or not, it’s likely that your event will have different passes tiers and types. Make yourself the following question: do they make sense for the visitor and for me? Too many types might sound like a good idea at first, but isn’t the event registration supposed to be simple and intuitive?

Better pricing for early batches can attract more buyers, as well as making it clear that spaces are limited. Day passes also can increase revenue by making people see value on buying a ticket that grants access to every day of the event.

Effective event registration and accreditation seem to be invisible

In order to be impressive, event registration needs to be simple. However, we’re speaking about being simple to the guest. For the host, this is a moment that deserves a lot of attention and care. Investing on an agile and reliable registration flow will build a strong relationship beginning not only with your guests, but with every stakeholder involved in the project.



3. Create online RSVP’s and registration forms to be in control.

Whether you’re planning to give away a RSVP Card to your attendees or not, The experience of a user starts at the very moment he decides to attend to your event. Make it seamless by facilitating and encouraging their advance through the decision journey:

  • Use an event registration software that allows you to create an attractive registration website weeks before the event.
  • Minimize text to date, time and venue. Maximize graphic appeal.
  • Have one and only button that calls people to take action urgently. E.g: register now. This kind of one line Call to Action will facilitate the prospect to make a final decision and answer that to you.
  • If you wanna go fancy, create an RSVP card model and personalize it, giving it away to attendees in a nice package or envelope. This is commonly used on situations such as social party or a wedding, but can work well in a exclusive corporate meeting as well.


4.  RSVP for the whole event or for each activity?

There’s several inner events happening inside a corporate conference or convention. Most likely there will be a program of lectures, as well as a trade fair happening simultaneously. Ask people to register not only for the event as a whole, but specifically to the activities they are attending. 

Why would the host want to have 300 people standing and complaining about the lack of structure in that session you prepared for 80 participants? With RSVP’s, you can drastically minimize the chances of such things happening.

User experiences is commonly referred as the main aspect for a successful event. So the sooner you get the response that something might go wrong, you’ll be able to take action in real time and transfer that session to a larger auditory.

Facilitate that task for visitors by asking yourself:

  • Do participants have easy access to the event program? Making clear what are the choices they’ve got.
  • Is there a way they can see activities per theme? What about those one who will only attend one day, they’ve got access to the timings for a specific day? Splitting your event in content tracks and theme tags. An event registration software can easily tell your guests what’s the activities he might be interested in just by selecting a theme tag.
  • Do your guests have a way of creating a personalized program and confirming their presence only for the sessions they’re interested? Group activities on a way that guests feel encouraged to put them on their personal agendas. 


5.  Why you need a software for that.

Straight to the point: to host a successful event, you need an event registration software because event technology helps increase event attendance by 20%, productivity by 27%, and reduces costs by 20-30%. It eliminates nonprofessional approaches and streamlines the event management process, end-to-end. 



6. How to master RSVP and attendee management.

Firstly, user experience is the main aspect for a successful event. Thus, it starts at the very first touch-point you have with a prospect. 
So, for a successful event registration that can free your thoughts for the creative part of your experiences, here’s a quick three step checklist to go through today:

  • Sharpen your marketing skills to attract the right audience. Easier said than done, true. We like events that cause buzz and want to reach as many people as we can. However, what if you reach the wrong target, that will waste your budget and empty your activities.
  • Build up an attractive registration website. It’s the façade of your shop. End-to-end event registration platforms offer you the chance to do it without any coding skills.
  • Hire an event registration software that solves your headaches. You don’t want an amateur event-tech ruining your accreditation because it couldn’t handle the amount of visitors or a one that doesn’t integrate to your clients base and CRM.

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