The Importance of a One-Stop-Shop for All Registration Needs

A Unified Platform – For Attendees, Exhibitors, and More! 

For organizations and associations wanting to streamline the registration process for all their registration types, a unified process is the first step in the process. Registration Services offer individuals a one-stop shop where they can register, book hotels, and modify records directly on the organization’s custom website. This process is customized to the rules of the event and provides automated confirmation at the completion of their booking or modification. Bulk registrations can also be completed by a single user within a group registration process. The group registration is also customized to the event and business rules. User experience can vary from a “round robin, single pay” style experience to a single flow where multiple names and registrations can be purchased at once. Registrations can be created and imported via an API connected to other systems. The process for group registration includes an Exhibitor Management Console (EMC) designed for exhibitors or specialty group registrations that are managed by one contact and offer custom details specific to groups and exhibitor needs. The Registration Services system would connect to the remote system through API using MCI’s DataHub, a centralized integration engine. Customization is everything to the registration services offered to clients, and the entire process, from pre-production to post, should be tailored to the organization’s specific needs and wants. 

The Details Should Matter. An all-encompassing registration application should adapt to the organization’s most complicated business rules. It should program and adjust itsfully mobile responsiveregistration flow to the event’s specific needs for all registration types. Experience-driven features include eligible discounts able to be added, sharing data with third-party systems, almost unlimited registration types/session types/categories/promo codes/pricing tiers/sessions/ merchandise/etc., virtual badges, and survey questions. Registration services should and will offer clients a registration websitethat ismobileresponsive, carrythe look and feel of their branded home or eventwebsite , and links seamlessly toother websites of ASCO’s choice.With registration services, immediate email confirmations are generated upon payment confirmation, andattendees can self-manage modifications and cancelations. 

The Importance of a Dedicated Registration Service 

From the perspective of an event attendee, registration can be difficult. There are many factors in securing one’s place at a conference, and user experience is everything to your potential attendees and exhibitors. Customer service not only affects the onsite experience but translates to every aspect of pre-conference as well.  Having a dedicated registration service provider can eliminate a lot of the nuances consumers face when registering or attending an event.

Advantages that Span from Pre to Post-Production 

A top advantage of a streamlined process for registration many organizations depend on is the ability to take advantage of the custom unified platform that can be fully integrated with the Housing Service web application and a robust reporting platform. This allows attendees to solidify their entire stay at a conference in one check-out process!  

Another major advantage of Registration Services is the approach using custom implementations, thus allowing registration to build exactly what is required for an event. This focused approach reduces limitations and user frustrations. Whether it is upselling, specialized business rules, or a unified housing and registration experience, registration services can do it!A registration service’s strength lies in its partnerships with other well-known platforms like Cvent as well as an in-house platform allowing the process and registration services platforms to offer organizations a wide variety of system capabilities. 

Organizations also benefit from customer service teams available for any and all questions and support through an in-house call center with custom phone lines, email, fax, and chat capabilities. 

Health and safety solutions are also an added advantage for a very different type of registration process should the need to pivot to hybrid or virtual arise and registration services can accommodate this by offering multiple top-performing and vetted digital platforms. 

Onsite support includes anything from badge printing and scanning, training and coordinating temporary staff, and a dedicated team to serve at an onsite registration desk to assist the entire onsite process and needs. 

Benefits Both Organizations and Attendees 

For organizations and associations seeking a streamlined, unified, and custom, full-serviced registration platform to service their attendees and exhibitors, Registration Services are the answer. Attendees, exhibitors, and other registration types also benefit from the user-friendly platform and customer support from start to finish. Streamline your registration process today. MCI offers Registration Services including all the above and more. Contact us today to get started working with a valued partner. 

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Encouraging Attendees & Exhibitors to Book Within the Block with Housing Services

Housing Services Maximize In-Person Engagement and add Revenue to your Event 

Need a specialized team of housing professionals that are here to manage your housing process, every step of the way? Housing Services pairs you with strategic leaders in site selection and contract negotiations to collaborate with your team to understand your audience, meeting budget, primary goals and preferred destinations. Leveraging our buying power and industry partnerships on your behalf, housing services will help your organization find the best assortment of hotels for your event needs at the best possible rates. Housing professionals will analyze past conference pick-up patterns and recent trends across your events year to year or from comparable clients to assist in securing the correct number of room nights, per night in each event city. As part of the services, housing will arrange for these room blocks to be located within proximity to the convention center or meeting venue. 

 

Housing Services Encourage Attendees to Book with your Organization 

When it comes to encouraging attendees to book within the block, the first step taken is ensuring your housing platform is capable of unifying with registration for a seamless one-stop-shop process. On top of that, it should have a dynamic and user-friendly experience while also carrying the look and feel of your unique branded association or event website and is designed to link seamlessly from this official site. Nowadays, most of us browse the web and make purchases from our pocket devices. Housing services platforms should be fully mobile responsive, making it efficient for your attendees and exhibitors to book their rooms, in real-time, while on the go. Not only is the platform user-friendly, but it allows the ability to search availability and book multiple rooms in one booking session, offers automatically generated email confirmations upon purchase, and allows attendees to cancel or modify reservations. The website will also list official hotels and rates, hotel descriptions, high-resolution hotel photos, star ratings, and a full amenity list broken down by property. All this in addition to real-time reporting! Reports can be configured in innumerable formats to adapt to users’ needs and scheduled for distribution to appropriate team members at the necessary frequency. You can track every aspect of your show’s housing and registration data in real-time and post-event. 

The Housing Services database will have a consolidated list of registrants, housed attendees, and those that have registered but not yet booked housing. Housing services will work with the client to create campaigns that motivate the audience to always book within the block. An internal marketing team that specializes in maximizing housing block pickup can create a custom marketing plan to reach out to your exhibitors and attendees while accommodating your specific needs and goals as well as remaining consistent with your messaging and overall branding. This plan may include a calendar of dates for email campaigns, social media posts, and any other outreach. Segmented data is used to convert your registrants that typically book around the block into your room block. 

The Advantages of a Client-focused Service Plan 

Nothing is more imperative to the success of event production than customer service. A housing partnership with a client-focused organization is an extension of your team, offering full support along the way, from simple day-to-day to accomplishing major milestones for your team. It is imperative that housing professionals stay up to date on emerging trends in the technology and service offerings provided to clients, never out of date, and always innovative and thinking forward to anticipate the client’s needs and the needs of the market. Beginning the process of housing services, a detailed plan and course of action will be taken with your team, as well as an initial Discovery Meeting to outline the expectations of a successful housing partnership and the needs of your organization to help achieve a truly exemplary housing service experience for you and your attendees and exhibitors. An in-house Call Center provides a personalized experience by referencing the name of your meeting when answering your dedicated customer service phone numbers and responding to communications received through your dedicated email address. Onsite, the support from a housing service team never stops, with a full team sent to accompany you.  

Who benefits? 

We believe it is essential to encourage attendees and exhibitors to book within the block, not just for your organization, but for them to make the most out of an onsite event. Doing so not only places them in the center of the action at the headquarter or the official hotel of your event, but by staying amongst their peers, they will gain access to valuable networking and connections, even outside the convention center. Staying within the block offers attendees and exhibitors, and even your association staff, the lowest rates available with added amenities included. 

Let’s get started. MCI offers you all the above and more! Your goals are our goals – and together we can achieve something truly great. Contact us. 

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Adapt for the Future with Digital Event Solutions

Embrace the new digital age… 

Digital Solutions offer seamless interactive webinar/virtual event services, which include a custom online event & learning management platform that provides registration, live and pre-recorded sessions, online exams, certificates of completion, and video-on-demand capabilities. Digital capabilities expand the possibilities and reach of your events and provide solutions to transform your face-to-face meetings for the future. Digital solutions offer multiple platforms and technologies to best fit your needs with a design and build stylized in your brand with an in-person conference look and feel. Understand, design, and deliver, from kickoff and goal setting to project implementation and virtual live delivery to closure and measurement. 

Now, with the world slowly coming back to the in-person space, hybrid events have also taken center stage, offering attendees an option for in-person and virtual, tailoring options unique to our attendee’s preferences and comfort levels.  

Digital helps YOU keep the show running! 

Don’t just cancel or postpone and lose valuable audiences and revenue for the year. Not only will digital solutions maximize your attendee possibilities but adapt this new strategy to expand your connection with your members, sponsors, and other partners.  

Digital solutions help shape your tomorrow, taking your event business model to reinvent and redesign it. Digital engagement strategies help retain your audience’s attention and stimulate interactions beyond what you’ve experienced before, expanding your message for a longer period, capturing your audience for the long haul. By focusing on the design of your unique platform, we ensure your event is engaging for all audiences and learner types, creating an educational, memorable, and immersive digital event experience. We take everything you love and gain from an in-person event and transform it into a new medium, energizing and harnessing the power of digital engagement. 

Beginning in 2020, with COVID-19 making headlines, events across the world began to feel the effects, but MCI provided expert industry advice and an alternative to the difficult decision to cancel or postpone—through digital solutions. 

For companies and associations looking to expand their offerings in a post-pandemic world, digital solutions have you covered, whether you’re looking for a fully virtual or hybrid model. 

Invent and expand through the advantages of digital solutions. 

The main benefit of virtual and hybrid digital solutions is audience expansion, now anyone, no matter their circumstances can attend your event, gaining valuable networking and education from anywhere in the world. 

Digital solutions provide value and help you save. Shifting to a virtual or hybrid model allows you to protect revenues and maintain sponsorship income by not losing out on the constraints of an in-person event today. 

Who benefits? 

Not only do associations and organizations get the opportunity to keep the show running, but in-person attendees get access to the face-to-face connection they have been missing while virtual attendees are allowed a means to directly support the organization and stay connected safely and at a distance. 

Let’s get started… digital solutions await. 

The world has changed, and so has its outlook on events—it’s time to use face-to-face, hybrid and digital experiences, all as one. The show must go on. Interested in taking your event to the next level with MCI Events’ Digital Solutions? Contact us now. 

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How the Growth of Influencers and Short-Form Videos Have Impacted Digital Marketing and Events

In the past few years, we have seen a shift in social media across all channels, starting as platforms promoting interpersonal connection and evolving into powerful vessels of consumerism, word of mouth, and B2C marketing.

Instagram was one of the pioneers in creating a new landscape for marketing and advertising, particularly in an avenue we are starting to see grow exponentially — influencer marketing. Large accounts that showcased their photography, art, and hobbies began to open up and allow followers to know the person behind the account, creating the invaluable marketing tool we now know as the “influencer.” Photographer and influencer Jaci Marie Smith recently posted a TikTok video on the evolution of Instagram, where she took a deep dive into her Instagram feed in 2014. She was solely a photographer at the time and most of her photos were of her subjects. Then, she noticed a trend. Out of all her curated, impersonal photography, a post of her eating lunch gained the most likes. “The reason that’s interesting is because, at this time, being a social media influencer wasn’t really a thing yet,” Smith said in the video. “Once I realized people were more interested in the person behind the lens, and their life, and following along with that, I started … working with brands and ‘becoming an influencer.’”

This speaks volumes to the rise of the new world of social media we marketers thrive in today. Instagrammers would start branding themselves for the masses, curating a lifestyle industry that their followers tuned in to daily. Consumers would buy products recommended by their favorite influencers because they trusted their opinion and wanted to recreate their personal brand for themselves. Brands and other businesses began to realize that word-of-mouth promotion was booming and began to work with influencers to promote products or services.

The next step in this evolution came with the creation of “Stories.” Snapchat was the first to implement Stories, a means of photo and video slideshows. Instagram, Facebook, and even Twitter soon began to implement Stories on their platforms. Individual users would post throughout their day, curating a new sense of realism and romanticizing the mundane.

Since the creation of Stories, gone are the days of heavily stylized posts — consumers want to see a glimpse into the “behind the scenes” of daily life and brand authenticity. The key to Stories is their video capabilities. Brands and influencers can film themselves promoting a product or service and directly provide a link for their followers to access immediately. Brands have even sold out of a particular product within hours because a particular influencer posted a photo with it or filmed a story raving about it.

After influencers have well-dominated the social media marketing game, then came the rise of video within the last few years, specifically short-form videos. TikTok and Instagram Reels have been a game changer in terms of word-of-mouth marketing and user-generated content. Viral videos on TikTok have led to feta being sold out in grocery stores because of users attempting to recreate a popular pasta dish they saw. Certain makeup products have been sold out for months due to the popularity of one successful video, and the list keeps growing!

Not only is this platform a tool for creating influencers out of everyday TikTok users who inspire and promote brand loyalty with companies they love, but the companies themselves have hopped on the bandwagon with their own TikTok accounts. There, they create funny, snappy, engaging content that users love. Production studio Lionsgate is an excellent example of this, posting witty videos poking fun at their own films, especially ones that have cult followings. Followers want to see their favorite brands have personality, they want to see authenticity, and the best way to convey brand personality is through short video content.

If you’re wondering how this influencer and video-based marketing translates to events, it wouldn’t be much different. While we are not selling products at MCI, we sell experiences, and the world of quick, captivating video and influencer marketing is invaluable. We all remember the disaster of Fyre Festival, but why did it blow up to begin with? One could say a key participant in this false hype was that Kendall Jenner and other A-list influencers promoted the teaser video on their Instagram accounts.

When looking at more successful music festivals and events such as Coachella, a huge part of their popularity is that celebrities and music artists attend and film videos of themselves there or preparing to attend. Companies even pay for social media influencers to attend, sponsoring them with VIP passes, because they know they will document the entire experience by posting photos, creating daily Stories, and filming in-depth videos while there. This is a major part of the hype of these events. If it’s seen on social media as something desirable, the masses want to be part of it.

How does this translate to the events we work with at MCI? While we may not be marketing Coachella, every event has an audience and industry, and in every industry, there are influencers who are well-respected and widely followed by prospective attendees. Find them, connect with them, and use them to promote your event. Many potential attendees will register because a particular influencer tells them it is worth their time to do so.

In addition, consider your audience to have a short attention span before they lose interest and move on. They will glance at a photo and keep scrolling. Video begs them to hang on a little longer and watch engaging content to understand the full message. Video media is crucial nowadays. Everyone is watching something, whether it be a streaming service, scrolling through TikTok or Instagram Reels, or engaging with content on Stories. Video can capture attention faster than a photo, especially when scrolling through primarily photo-based social media feeds such as Instagram or Facebook. To the consumer, it feels more personal and authentic, and it is an excellent way to inspire brand loyalty through word-of-mouth and user-generated content, as well as establish your event’s personality.

Juliana Pearce is a marketing specialist in MCI USA’s Strategic Events, Meetings & Incentives business unit. She has been with MCI for three years and continues to develop marketing materials, campaigns, and creative content for both SEM&I event clients and MCI. She is based out of the Dallas office. In her free time, she loves to explore creative writing, photography, travel, and cooking — and of course, becoming an expert in all forms of social media!

4 Insights on Better Engaging Your Audience in 2022

Every association should consistently ask, “Are we staying relevant to our members?” – and especially now as we look to 2021, a new year with much uncertainty.

The good news is, the process to answer that question doesn’t need to be complex; it can be found in three ingredients that, when integrated into your strategy, will keep your association the top choice for your members’ professional development and networking needs.

Watch Here

Do’s and Don’ts of Virtual Sponsorship

While face-to-face events are on hold, sponsor relationships are not; they still need to be maintained, and can actually thrive in a virtual event space. It takes intentionality and a refined approach from your team; here are some do’s and don’ts to follow as you continue to provide value to your sponsors and partners.