Comparing online registration systems

May 3, 2013 - 3 minutes read

iStock_000012251866XSmall_questionmarkWhen it comes to online race registration systems, there are a LOT of choices these days and no single system is perfect for everyone.  But in an effort to get you to give ZapEvent a look (or maybe a second look), here are a few key things you’ll want to think about and compare to other systems you may be evaluating:

  • When you have a problem or need help setting up your event, how hard is it for you to reach a real person?  How about in the evening or weekends?
    At ZapEvent we pride ourselves personalized, quick, efficient customer service and getting to know you and the needs of your event.  We also understand most events don’t take place between 9am-5pm Monday through Friday.   While we may not be in the office 24/7/365, our customer support team is on call to help you and your participants any day of the week.
  • Is your participant data kept private or are they added to marketing lists outside your event?
    A few of the big name sites out there use “negative opt-in” techniques to get your participants signed up for their marketing lists.   Your participants could start receiving emails about site sponsors, partner products and even other events.
  • What are the processing fees?  Are their minimums? Contracts?
    Some sites have tiered fees depending on the price of your event.  For example, Active.com has a set minimum fee of $3.25.  So if your event registration is only $20, their standard fees of $1.25 + 6.25% don’t meet the minimum so your participants will have to pay $23.75.   ZapEvent does not have any minimum requirements or contracts to use our site.   Whether you choose to cover the processing fees for your participants or add them to their order, it is simply $1.30 + 4.9%.
  • Do you have control over what is shown on your registration pages like advertisements?
    The ZapEvent site does not have outside advertising. None. The registration pages for your event will be all about your event and what you add to it. That’s it. With many of the other big registration companies out there, race directors have no control over outside advertising that surrounds your registration information. Ads for shoes, tv shows, medications…all items that are distracting and potentially lead your participants away before they complete their registration.

Our online registration system has a large amount of flexibility and advanced data management options for organizations with multiple events or marathons and triathlons with 10,000+ registrations for a single event.   But we also provide a clean, simple site for small/medium sized events to easily setup their registration and provide a great participant experience.

What other important questions do you think event directors need to ask before choosing an online registration company?