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Which Type of Registration Software Do You Really Need?

Online registration software covers such a broad range of options that even the menu at Olive Garden is sparse by comparison. Dozens, if not hundreds, of software offerings fall under the broad heading of online registration. However, some solutions have less in common with each other than Abe Lincoln and the nu metal band Linkin Park (although that would make a spectacular double bill). To pull out an overused phrase, it’s sometimes hard to see the forest for the trees when searching for the right solution. It helps to know what you’re looking for when you need something under the vast category of online registration. Here’s a brief list of primary types:

Some registration software tools are designed around helping organizations sell tickets for occasions such as shows, banquets or reunions. Ticketing software platforms can work for class registration in some instances. However, that is not their strong suit. Ticketing software often cannot address complex pricing scenarios beyond straightforward volume price breaks. They are not designed to handle the tracking of continuing education credits or other challenges that class registration software must address. If your needs are straightforward and you have only occasional events, ticketing software could be worth your consideration.

Event Planning
Many organizations have one or two big events each year. These may be trade shows, golf outings, 10K races, or corporate meetings. Some software options are designed specifically for big events, which may have thousands of attendees. Event software has subcategories, too. For example, software designed for conferences often integrates with hotel reservation software. Software intended for races or similar events is designed around signing up teams and collecting limited information on each.

Form builders
If all you need is to capture basic information online—and you don’t need to do a lot or slicing and dicing of registration data or deal with complex scenarios—chances are you don’t need a full registration management system. Perhaps you can get by with a simple form builder. These could be small events such as a meeting with a small number of attendees. Some form builders even handle fee-based events, assuming pricing scenarios are straightforward. For something that simple, search for form builders rather than online registration software.

Multi-class and program registration
As on Learning Stream’s web site, we focus on education and training registration needs—which means most of our customers manage registrations for many classes or other programs occurring throughout the year. Functions include tracking continuing education, breakout sessions for training institutes, the application of complex discount policies, single sign-on, giving students access to certificates, and so on.

There is plenty of crossover among all types of online registration providers. But Software as a Service usually focuses on one type of need, and it is designed to address challenges within its category with as much flexibility as possible.

Have questions or comments? Have ideas for other great double bills? Contact us.

Article By:

Ron Smith

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