The „Rynologia Polska” (Polish Rhinology) Association is an organization that welcomes anyone willing to support the development of Polish rhinology. Its mission is to propagate modern rhinology in the national society of laryngologists. We have started our cooperation with the association by delivering an event registration system for the IX RhinoForum in March 2012.
Emilia Straburzyńska, who has been handling RhinoForum attendees for years, will tell us about her experience in organizing medical congresses and five years of working with CONREGO registration system.
Emilia, it has been five years already! You have been accompanying us since the early development stage of both the system and our company. In that time, many of your suggestions were made into particular features and mechanisms of our event registration software. One of such novelties was automated mailing with participation certificates for the attendees who filled in the Forum’s content and organization assessment form. How was attendee service of RhinoForum handled before you decided to employ CONREGO registration system?
I will admit, I have erased this archaic era from my memory. We had a very simple registration form on our website. Attendees were registering and their data were falling into our database. There was also an option to register by sending the form via fax or traditional mail. However, that system was very fallible and we were constantly facing issues.
And then you went all-in and decided to use the event registration system CONREGO. Which features tipped the scales in our favor?
Let me begin by saying we just happened to stumble upon your services. I can remember our first video conferences introducing us into the world of CONREGO. We liked that the system and its features would be tailored to our needs. A database capturing all the data, the ability to send newsletters, and, over time, personalized certificates of attendance after the conference. This year, we got from you a module handling speaker registrations. They could enter their bios and pictures. However, the key aspect in our cooperation is the fact that there is no such thing as ‘no can do’ in CONREGO’s dictionary. You can do anything. Because of this flexibility and excellent customer relation I cannot imagine RhinoForum without CONREGO.
One of your main goals was to sell tickets online. At first, the registration system was integrated with eCard online payment gateway. The system was automatically processing transactions and sending VAT invoices. How did your accountant react to such change?
What matters for the accounting the most is that they can access all the payments relating to the conference, issue invoices, and get access to transaction details. They were happy having all in one place!
The Forum is enjoying growing popularity outside the borders of Poland and currently foreign visitors make up a considerable group of RhinoForum attendees. How does CONREGO help you communicate with these attendees?
Above all, what matters is that in the system, we can find traces of any login attempt, data edit, et cetera. With this feature, I can always reliably answer an attendee what happened to their registration.
RhinoForum has reached an impressive scale (over 1000 guests for three days full of lectures dawn till dusk). And I mean impressive not just on national level. In every survey, the attendees rate the organization, service, content quality, and registration high. However, popularity does not come from the Forum’s quality alone. These days, you need to sell the event.
RhinoForum is a strong brand already but we are also putting effort into attracting new attendees (foreign visitors included) and keep in touch with our regulars. In this matter, CONREGO helps us with sending bulletins/newsletters. Each month, we send a newsletter in two language versions: Polish and English. During the forum and shortly prior to the forum, on the other hand, we make use of text messages to remind the attendees of some key points on the agenda.
Besides the conference registration tool and automated event communication, every year, our system is used to build an event page with information about various aspects of the event. What information is most commonly searched for by the Forum’s attendees?
I believe they are mostly looking for event-related information: what is the agenda, who is going to participate, what is the venue, and how much it costs.
2015 was the first time you decided to employ other mechanisms available in CONREGO system, namely the Event Check-in and Access Control. They streamlined on-site service of guests arriving at (and moving across) the Sound Garden Hotel in Warsaw, the venue of a few most recent events. How do you find the system’s influence on the efficiency of reception desks?
It was a bullseye. Reading QR codes from badges at the reception desk vastly improved the speed at which we were able to issue them. During the Forum, 400 people go through the reception desk - everyone wants to make it to the lectures at the same time. In such conditions, every minute counts. This year, we have also launched a printer station. If someone wanted to buy a pass on-site, they received a printed badge and were immediately assigned to desired lectures in the system. Access Control, on the other hand, not only lets us detect and discourage freeloaders but also the statistics it provides are very useful. For instance, it gives us information on how many people actually attended a particular conference day and we can make an assumption on how many lunches we should order the next year. Furthermore, companies delegating their employees often ask us if their representatives attended the conference. With the Access Control module, we gather hard data and do not have to browse heaps of paper lists.
Thank you very much for the conversation!
The organizers of Rhinoforum trusted us five years ago. We are proud knowing that CONREGO has been doing great helping organize massive, cyclical events for so many years. We are also happy and thankful that you and your suggestions make our event registration platform evolve to be better and better!