It is relatively easy to sell event tickets online and let selected people register for free since the majority of event registration platforms support both methods. Unfortunately, not all solutions make it possible to use both types of registration simultaneously. You must take into consideration the fact that designing a tool to support such a process requires a considerable level of complexity.
Before you choose the event management platform that will support your conference or congress, learn about the way this problem is solved. According to my experience, you can use one of the three solutions discussed below to solve the problem of paid and free registration happening simultaneously.
Types of participation
Well designed registration software allows you to divide attendees into categories. Such a division is applied when we want to offer different conditions of participation, depending on types of attendees. Any conference registration system should make it possible for the event organizer to assign different rates and conditions to each of the predefined types of participation, thus ensuring smooth and safe registration.
Following people will participate in a conference:
- Attendees (they will be charged $330),
- Members of selected organizations (they will be charged $160),
- Journalists (they register for free).
You need an event registration tool that supports three ticket types. These will allow you to assign different rates at the same time. Furthermore, the registration form dedicated to journalists should make it possible to hide the section corresponding to invoice data, so you do not ask them to provide data they do not need to provide.
With various ticket types, you will be able to support various categories of attendees. Although, it is still possible that someone pretends to be a journalist in order to register for free. In this case, you can use invitation codes during the registration process. CONREGO offers a solution that makes it possible to apply passwords that unlock the registration form dedicated to that particular type of participation. It will only be possible for the people who received invitation codes to register for the selected types of participation. Invitation codes can be used in two modes:
- To unlock registration for a single attendee - invitation codes are assigned when you import a list of contacts to be invited; it is a one-time code, which provides additional protection,
- To unlock a particular type of participation - it makes distribution much easier since there is only one code assigned to a particular type of participation; unfortunately, this solution is not that secure.
Sometimes, it is necessary for you to apply types of participation for other reasons than to simply have control over the costs of participation. However, if it is necessary to apply different rates or even zero rates for selected people, regardless of reasons, you may find it useful to take advantage of the functionality provided by discount codes. The attendee enters the discount code in the registration form and the software automatically recalculates prices.
In CONREGO system, discount codes are handled by a sophisticated but at the same time user-friendly mechanism through the Sales module available in all subscription plans.
I have presented the best methods of solving the problem of paid and free registrations simultaneously in a single registration process by means of participation types, invitation codes, and discount codes. However, it isn't just about different prices for participation.
Let’s imagine we have divided attendees into two groups:
- A. Paid registrations;
- B. Free registrations.
Unlike the group B, the registration process regarding group A should usually take into account the payment method and invoice information.
Therefore, before selecting the registration software that will help you organize your event, make sure that it allows you to build a conditional registration form.
Types of participation
Once again, it will be very useful to apply types of attendees. In CONREGO, they can be used to create a dynamically changing registration form. In the case of a registration form dedicated to attendees exempt from paying for participation, you can hide the sections containing data fields corresponding to the invoice, payment methods, and also hide rates in the agenda itself. This way, each attendee will have access to a registration form that is clear and leaves no room for doubt.
Statuses of registrations
Both the attendee and the administrator must find it convenient to handle paid and free registration simultaneously. A properly designed registration platform enables the control over statuses of registration. Let’s use CONREGO to take a look at three basic statuses, crucial from the perspective of settling accounts with attendees:
- Completed – This status is assigned to attendees who have completed their free registration correctly.
- Not paid – This is a final status for:
– a paid registration completed correctly, provided that the attendee has selected payment by regular bank transfer,
– a paid registration completed correctly, provided that the attendee has selected electronic payment based on integration with one of the payment gateways but transaction was not completed correctly or is still awaiting authorization.
If the status of a registration is not paid, then the attendee must have received a confirmation of registration email, possibly containing a proforma invoice attached.
- Paid – It is the final status for a paid registration completed correctly by the attendee, provided that the attendee has selected electronic payment based on integration with one of the payment gateways, and the transaction was finalized. This status can also be manually assigned to an attendee who has completed registration by regular transfer to a bank account.
I hope that the solutions presented above will help you plan the registration process efficiently.