Just like real life, you can love something but not LIKE everything about it.
This is the case with me and RegOnline. I love their event registration system, I love the flexibility it gives me to create events, conferences, and meetings that have 1000 breakouts, 100 pricing schedules, and a host of other difficult scenarios. It seems to handle them with ease and I can launch an event and then go to bed knowing that shit is just gonna work.
Using RegOnline we rarely ever get an email or call from an attendee that is having an issue with their registration. In fact, most of the time the problem is between the keyboard and chair, not with the reg system.
Now that the love-fest is over, let’s talk about what I don’t like. The “at the event” portion of RegOnline. It is just the biggest waste of space I have ever encountered. It is slow, it is cumbersome, and it is not planner friendly. In fact, we do not use it except in rare occasions when we have too. I do not want this to be a knock on RegOnline, it is just a fact. You can’t be perfect with everything so you should play to your strengths…. just look at Google, they create and dump products all of the time.
So, what do you do?
Well, I could switch to another registration system but they are not perfect either. In fact, I already use EventBrite for some events, and I inherit other systems as well. This is not practical because what I gain I will just loose on the registration end and this will cause me more work when my staff is getting emails and calls from attendees because they are having problems that did not exist before.
I always find it easier to leave the attendee side alone and adapt on MY side where I can control the game.
Boomset is a really cool solution to a problem we KNOW we have. We need something that checks in attendees in a simple, straight forward manner that gets the freaking job done and does not mess around. That is what Boomset aims to do.
Here is what it does (I am paraphrasing their language):
Guest List Check-in
- Use our Mobile and Web Applications to search and check-in your guests in seconds.
- The check-in information is synced between all the devices in real-time.
- Keep checking-in guests even if your device goes offline! It stores the data and continues to sync when the device is back online.
Connect & Sync Guest Lists
- One-click import all your events & guest lists with your favorite event platforms such as Eventbrite, Meetup.com, Constant Contact and more.
- Currently using Excel for guest lists? You can even upload your spreadsheets directly to the app!
On Demand Name-tag Printing
- Print your name tags instantly during check-in
- Instant group messaging, notifications & comments, including the ability to leave comments for your guests.
Notifications (VIP Check-in)
- With notifications, you & your staff will always be updated with the most important and recent guest check-ins via text or email. Perfect for when those VIP guests arrive.
This is not a registration system, it compliments the one that you already have.
Check in is where many events fall down, crash and / or burn. This is also where most dedicated event registration systems drop the ball because this is not the CORE of what they do. They register people online… they look at check in as an after thought.
Now – Here is the reality. This is NOT the app for every event… not at all, but for most events it will be a welcome relief.
Check out this stupid video that explains what Boomset does, and their process, it actually nails it pretty well.
I think that the combination of mobile device compatibility, ease of use, and instant name badge printing, many planners will find a solution that will work well for their events. Another bonus is the cost… starting $99 bucks for an individual event, the barrier to entry is low and the benefit high.