What's in this article
The industry has been waiting for an alternative to Cvent for some time now. A platform that would do it all, from sourcing to registration, but would also be easy to use and automated.
At Planned, we have always focused on true centralization enabled with technology. Now, the planning process has come full circle with our new attendee management features: RSVP and Room Block.
The Gap in Registration Tools
Throughout numerous conversations with corporate event planners, it was clear that users were unhappy with their current registration solutions. While legacy software catered to the 5% of events such as tradeshows and large conferences, the remaining types of events which have become more prominent in recent years were left without the tools they needed.
These clunky tools required deep training, had limited use cases as well as limited seats — leaving non-professional event planners without a registration tool fit for their use case.
The tools planners were using for registration made simple tasks overly complex, costly, and time-consuming. This left a gap for a simple registration tool for 95% of the events that don't require the complexities.
We were hearing these complaints from planners at tradeshows like IMEX and during sales conversations. Through user interviews led by our product team, we discovered what users thought was missing from current options, what they fundamentally needed for their registration purposes, and how registration features should integrate with their existing tools.
The team set a goal for themselves to build a set of attendee management features that would offer the best user experience on the market.
💡 Since the pandemic, small and simple meetings have risen significantly. Non-professional planners are more frequently in charge of meetings and events, highlighting the need for an intuitive tool with visibility for every stakeholder.
Furthermore, multiple clients expressed the pain points they experienced in working with TMC agencies for their sourcing and registration. With these new features, Planned replaces the need for an agency or any other middleman, giving control back to the client for a fraction of the cost.
The Solution for Both Sides of Registration
Before these features, Planned was the best platform to handle suppliers from sourcing to payment. With RSVP and Room Block capabilities, the platform has now evolved to encompass the entire event planning workflow.
A suite of attendee management features for planners, and a simplified registration flow for attendees. Now, both the event planner and the attendee can work independently in one centralized and intuitive space to carry out their respective registration tasks.
In having information spanning the entire planning process centralized, communication with every stakeholder is easier, and reporting is consolidated.
Revolutionizing RSVP and Hotel Room Block
When the event planner has sourced and signed their hotel on Planned's marketplace, they can set up their room block tracking in one click.
Planned uses AI to read the hotel contract and automatically extract the room information, attrition goal, and cut-off date for planners to monitor through their event dashboard.
From there, users can create a branded website in less than five minutes. The platform enables customization so your attendees receive a tailored invitation, but you no longer need a dedicated design team to build what you need. Instead, you have something intuitive enough for anyone with the ability to scale.
Apart from being a time saver in terms of design and execution, this new feature lets you keep everything in one place. Whether you create an RSVP email, form, or website, attendee responses will populate your specific event dashboard automatically — no more pesky data entry.
A particular pain point in registration was consistently the tracking of attrition, and the stress caused by the possibility of penalties.
With Planned, users now enjoy a Room Block overview that lets them manage group hotel reservations in a visually appealing way, in the language that matters to them.
Event planners can set up automated reminders to unresponsive guests, and track responses in real-time to negotiate or adjust as needed prior to the event, enabling them to avoid penalties with greater efficiency and confidence.
With the ongoing pain of last-minute requests, Planned lets individuals adjust their own reservations so that event planners stop being pulled away for every little change.
For instance, if someone wanted to extend their stay after an event has ended, they can request the dates they desire, and the payment method will adjust to personal credit card beyond the event dates specified.
As always with Planned, approval flows are customizable per company and can be managed from the admin panel.
This lets event planners and their companies avoid hefty hotel penalties and F&B charges.
Procurement teams overseeing event budgets also benefit from these features with the constant visibility over progress and cost savings.
Enabling different flows
Beyond the common flow of sourcing to booking to tracking, the new suite of capabilities empowers registration and sourcing to work in parallel, enabling more informed sourcing.
When event planners send out preliminary RSVP forms to gain insights into attendee availabilities and preferences, they can source more accurately for what their guests truly want, having a ripple effect on efficiency and ROI.
In the future, we foresee the ability to automate sourcing based on attendee interests, as we already automate sourcing with AI.
The impact of RSVP and Room Block
We are already seeing users planning much more efficiently with the help of these new RSVP and Room Block capabilities, and we can’t wait to see how it will impact the workflow of more and more clients. Not only will it impact event planners, but also Travel & Events teams seeking more visibility over attendance data and savings on the attrition side.
With the ability for our clients to manage the large majority of the event planning cycle in one place, we are ensuring that our clients reach a higher degree of policy compliance across their M&E programs.
This provides teams downstream, such as finance, the ability to rest assured that they have the full scope of spending across all meetings and events.
If you’re interested in seeing how our Attendee Management features could work for your company, our team is happy to give you a tour. Book a call here!
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