4 Ways to Automate Your Next Event October 03, 2018
Once upon a time, planning a successful event required manual registrations, pen-and-paper name tags, and an overload of hands-on documentation.
Thankfully, those days are long gone. Now that we’re in the era of automation, many of those tedious, time-consuming to-dos can be put on autopilot. And the more event planning tasks you automate, the more time you’ll have to focus on strategic activities such as creating outstanding conference materials and preparing for killer keynotes.
Whether you’re planning a 200-person fundraiser or a 2,000-attendee annual conference, the following automation essentials will lighten your load, ensure the event runs smoothly, and delight attendees.
1. Collect event registrations
First things first: You’ll need to collect attendee information. And for that, an online registration form is your best option. But not just any registration form. When automation is the goal, it’s important to select an online form tool that allows you to easily add and customize fields, and to integrate seamlessly with a document automation platform.
2. Create custom event tickets
Will proof of entry be required for your event? If you want to make a big impression on attendees, custom tickets are the way to go. Sharing polished, professional tickets is an excellent way to add an element of sophistication to any event. After all, a ticket that features sponsors and includes appealing imagery is much more memorable than a run-of-the-mill stub.
But how should you create those tickets en masse? You certainly don’t want to waste time manually adding names to your template as the registrations come in. Thankfully, you don’t have to. With the right tools, it’s easy to automate this process.
When creating your online registration form, be sure to add in fields for any information you’ll want to have transferred to the ticket—first and last name, selected date or time for multi-day events, and so on. Then, in your form’s settings, create an integration so that information is fed directly into your document automation tool. This process will allow you to have tickets automatically created for concerts, sporting events, charity dinners, etc., and then easily email them to attendees for printing. Heck, you can even use automation to customize Eventbrite tickets.
3. Autogenerate day-of documents
Tired of using mail merges to create event name tags? Wondering why you’re still cutting and pasting? If so, it’s time to discover the difference automation can make. Once you start sending your data to a document creator, you’ll discover all kinds of ways to quickly and effortlessly create printable items and have them event-ready well in advance. For example, many of WebMerge’s customers use the system to autogenerate:
• Event name tags
• Certificates of completion
• Donation receipts
• Customized event information sheets
4. Follow up after the event
Will you have attendees waiting to hear more about key takeaways? Donors to thank? Sales leads to connect with? To make an event truly memorable, follow-up is key. It can also be incredibly time-consuming.
Whether you need to send a formal letter via traditional mail or simply communicate via email, automation will save you tremendous time.
For example, companies will often use WebMerge to create a letter template with dynamic fields for names, addresses, and other personal information. Then, when it comes time to officially follow up, those fields are automatically populated and the full set of letters is ready to go out near-instantly.
Bottom line: Once you become comfortable with event automation, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Each of the above strategies takes just minutes to set up but will generate your most important event documentation within seconds.
Ready to give it a try?