So you're hosting an event with activities and sessions. You're not the only one!
In your mind, you need people to pay to register. Then, on the website, registrants can browse an agenda that you created and pick out the activities they'd like to participate in. Easy enough right? The good news is that yes, it is easy once you have your event setup correctly. The tough news? It is rough when you don't configure your event correctly prior to registration opening.
But that is precisely why you're here! To learn about how and why registration can and should be connected to your agenda and vice versa.
THE GOAL OF THIS ARTICLE: help you comprehend why registration items should be linked to your agenda and what features you can leverage once you do [connect your items to your agenda].
NOTE: before reading this article, take a minute to read about Item-Connected Slots in our Agenda Help Article. That is our terminology for a registration item connected to the agenda. Said another way, an Item-Connected Slot is a "slot" on the agenda that is connected to an underlying registration item. Here is a recap.....
At first glance, items are pretty simple to understand. Offering a boxed lunch option? Create an item and charge your registrants. How about a VIP ticket? Create an item for that bad boy. Bringing a guest? Charge the additional registrant fee with an item.
But time adds an interesting dimension. What happens when you have an activity or option during your event that is time-based? You'd like to offer the item during registration, but this option is time-based and may have other necessary behaviors (i.e. being on the agenda)...
Now you need to evaluate your requirements and ask a few questions.
What's the experience I'd like to offer my registrants?
What will I need in my dataset after the event concludes?
Do I have on-site requirements?
When a registration is time-based, we now have a few additional features in the system we can tap into. Chief among them is the ability to integrate the item into the agenda. The goal with integrating items into the agenda is connect the two entities representing that activity (point in time):
- 1) The item
- 2) The agenda slot
Now, essentially, you have a single entity which represents a single activity. This is the goal.
Let's look at the implications of connecting a registration item to a corresponding agenda slot and why it makes sense to do this in certain cases.
Before diving into tactics and techniques, it's important to nail down what exactly you're looking for. What is the experience you'd like to give your registrants? Why are we doing this? Why would I need to link my registration items to my agenda.
There are the 4 key reasons why you should consider connecting your registration items to the agenda (or CREATING registration items in the first place, which will then be linked to your agenda). Click a method to read more about its setup and functionality!
1) CHECK-IN: if you need to check registrants into sessions / activities on your agenda, you will need to create Item-Connected Slots
2) CEU HOURS: if registrants earn credit hours for attending sessions on your agenda and you need to track that data, you will need registration items connected to your session slots on the agenda
3) DATA: if you need to track session attendance data, you will need registration items underlying your agenda slots
4) ITINERARY: if you'd like to allow registrants to pick sessions/activities during registration as well as after registration (i.e. on-site via their mobile device), you will need item-connected slots
With these 4 arrows of knowledge in your quiver, you'll be equipped to ask yourself the right questions during the event construction process.
EVENTSQUID IS ITEM-CENTRIC
You may have heard the phrase "item-centric" at some point when dealing with our team. Our founder Michael says it all the time and with good reason.
The user experience of registration for many events in our system is predicated on registration items. So, this is where it all starts. To create an option for someone to register for (be they an attendee, sponsor, exhibitor, etc.), you need to build an item for that option. Simple as that.
And this is exactly why we wrote this article! If your event requires at least 1 of the 4 key factors above, you will need to create a registration item [which represents the activity] first; then, link that item to the agenda.
First, let's walk through how to create an item-connected slot.
CREATING ITEM-CONNECTED SLOTS
Let's walk through an example. Say our event offers you the choice of 1 of 3 activities:
- Skydiving @ 12pm
- Surfing @ 6am
- Mountain Biking @ 7am
We'd like to include each of these activities on the agenda so that attendees can plan their activities around the other events that are taking place (i.e. group meals, networking, receptions, etc.... we know what you're thinking..... hopefully Eventsquid can host an event like this at some point....).
First, access the Registration Items tool [within the REGISTRATION tab of the Event Builder] and create a new item. We recommend using the Enhanced Registration item - this limits the selectable quantity for any single registrant to 1 (i.e. a checkbox for selection), rather than allowing the registrant to pick more than 1 of that option. After creating the item, we need to assign a date / time / location to the item. By doing this, we are designating the option as time-based, which allows us to include the option on the agenda.
Within the item's settings panel, you'll notice a LOCATION & TIME tab on the left:
Click the tab to enter the Location & Time editor. First, look at the upper right corner of the editor window - you'll notice that you can filter based on item ID. You can also click the RESET button, which will expose all of your registration items in the list at the same time, making it easy to edit a number of items at once.
In the Location & Time editor, you'll see that you can associate a location, room, start/end date and start/end time with your registration item. Once complete, click the orange ADD TO AGENDA button, which will generate a corresponding slot on the agenda for that item.
NOTE: In order to add Item-Connected Slots to your agenda, you need to have an agenda first! If your agenda is not created yet, access the AGENDA section of the Event Builder, then click the Agenda Setup tool on the left. If you don't have an agenda yet, you'll see a CREATE ONE NOW link to click.
QUICK TIP: You can also add Item-Connected Slots to your agenda inside of the Agenda Setup tool itself. On each day, you will see a yellow ITEM-CONNECTED SLOT button. Click this button and you'll reveal the Location & Time editor for all of your registration items.
Once your registration item is represented by a slot on the agenda, you'll have an indicator inside the slot. Click the slot to open its settings - on the left of the slot's settings panel, you'll notice a "linked to item" indicator, telling you which registration item the slot was generated from [and is connected to]: