Event organizers use tools in the work which are well-known or familiar to them from their accumulated experience. One of the essential tools has to ensure collecting and tracking of basic data about the visitors. Free online questionnaires (forms) from Google are considered to be a helpful service for event organizers with a strictly limited budget.
However, collecting registration and other data using Google Forms or another free, publicly available tool can bring chaos to the process. And the larger the event, the greater the risk of chaos. The organizational process in such situations is complicated because free online questionnaire services do not provide the proper functionality.
If the organizers have not yet switched to other tools and continue to use free Google Forms in practice, then they ought to do it. The fact is that under the guise of savings, there are problems with the allocation of time, information management, and ticket sales. It’s worth telling why.
5 reasons why free registration forms do not bring savings
- Google Forms and other similar tools are not designed for event registration.They were designed to solve simpler tasks: for instance, collecting the opinions of buyers or customers to assess their level of satisfaction with a product, service. The service has limited functionality. In particular, the process of setting up forms is completely manual: there is no automation, which turns the process into a nightmare when working with large amounts of data. For example, to get banking information from visitors, you will have to contact each of them separately: by mail or by phone.
Another problem is the strengthening of international and Ukrainian legislation on the protection of personal data. Collecting data via free services, the organizers take risks: they can in no way affect the information protection processes and the risks of information leak. But if it happens, it will be the event organizers, not the service who will have legal problems.
- Online forms do not allow you to work with payments.Google Forms is a priori unable to process payments, so the organizers have to do it manually or look for alternative solutions. One can imagine the enormous expenditure of time and effort to organize these processes.
The larger the event, the more time is required, and the higher the risk of mistakes, confusion. Manual verification and comparison of data, manual marking of those who made payments – all this bears enormous risks, not to mention organizational shortcomings
- The online form is not linked to the event’s landing page.To promote an event, you need an official web page of the event. Google Forms provides a form that redirects visitors, but it’s impossible to be linked to a web site. This greatly complicates the process. Plus, the look of free forms is too amateurish. This negatively affects the prestige of the organizing company and reduces the effectiveness of the marketing strategy. Some potential visitors will lose interest in the event.
- No registration form has marketing tools.Forms and other similar tools are just questionnaires. It is impossible to organize e-mail newsletters for the database of collected contacts through them. You have to use third-party email services. Forms cannot be integrated into social networks, and that’s why you have to manage contacts on these platforms separately. It seems to be trifles, but the amount of work caused by it is significantly increasing. To fully manage forms and solve marketing problems, you must use additional services. Another factor of loss of effectiveness.
- It is not possible to check-in guests online.On the day of the event, you have to print out the list of participants, give it to volunteers or specialists at the location, and manually mark each guest: with a pen and page-turning. This is a terribly inefficient method of checking registered guests. It will definitely lead to a long line, growth of discontent and getting into a bad mood of the guests even before they get to the location. But what happens if the printed and marked list of quests is lost?Using free tools for registering visitors and collecting data, bears risks for the organizers. Therefore, professional event teams prefer specialized paid solutions designed specifically for solving niche problems. They are secure, multifunctional and fully meet the needs of this industry.
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