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Do-it-yourself Online Event Registration Software Popular as Meeting Industry Rebounds :: Ennect

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Conference Planners Leave “Programmer-required” Event Software Behind

The economic turnaround is bringing success to an area hit hard by the recession: the event planning and meeting industry.* Still, to keep expenses down meeting planners are cutting funds previously spent on custom-built event registration programs that require programmer assistance.

As evidence of this, marketing executives and meeting planners at the MBA Roundtable (http://www.mbaroundtable.org), Link Computer Corporation (http://www.linkcorp.com), and DISTek Integration Inc. (http://www.distek.com) have selected online event registration software from Ennect™, an emarketing tools vendor, based in Pittsburgh, as their replacement for the bespoke programs they had used previously.

For MBA Roundtable Executive Director Carleen Kerttula, leaving behind an old event registration program gained the organization the flexibility to track participants’ dietary restrictions as well as easily offer tiered pricing options for members and non-members who chose to attend event functions in-person, virtually, or both. Said Kerttula, "The MBA Roundtable's website has an event registration feature built in, but it is difficult to customize. By the time we paid a programmer to redo it, it still wasn't going to give us the flexibility we needed. And it was going to be costly and time consuming."

For DISTek Integration Inc., an engineering services company which hosts a by-invitation-only Electronics Conference, staying on budget while attracting guests from around the world was key to event success. DISTek needed an event marketing website that would both attract and restrict guest registrations, promote or hide different aspects of the conference agenda, and provide controls for online registrations. According to IT Manager Bob Theisen, “We abandoned the idea of using our previous ‘home-grown’ site because of the cost of re-doing it and because of the ease of implementing an off-the-shelf solution. Thanks to Ennect, we saved a ton of money."

For Elizabeth Hyde, corporate and marketing administrator at Link Computer Corporation, replacing a home-grown registration program has improved online payment and collections tracking. The organization’s annual tech conference, LinkUp, attracts 500+ attendees, 60 to 70 vendors, and prominent tech industry speakers. Said Hyde, “Our old system did not allow people to pay for attendance online with credit cards. Accounts receivable had to process each credit card manually and we had a hard time tracking who was and who wasn’t billed. Using Ennect has saved our accounts receivable department a lot of work. Plus, now, if someone hasn’t pre-registered, we are able to bill them when they show up.”

“It’s also given me the freedom to make necessary changes without having to bother any of our web developers,” said Hyde. “I can control the look and feel, upload or change content, set up the registration information, or pull reports at a moment’s notice. I can go straight to the website and do it myself.”

*See report on meeting industry trends here: http://www.theemarketingblog.com/event-marketers-rejoice-events-are-back/

About Ennect
Ennect™, a division of Elliance®, Inc., develops online marketing tools for small and medium-sized organizations. Ennect Mail, Ennect Survey, Ennect Event and Ennect Sweeps work alone or together to allow marketers to easily create integrated emarketing campaigns, re-use lists, manage opt outs, and effectively measure success. Ennect helps new users to create sophisticated looking web-based emails, event registration and marketing sites, online surveys and sweepstakes contests. To learn more about Ennect, visit http://www.ennect.com or call 866-435-1212.

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