Back to News & Info
| Written by Veronica Ferguson

Myth vs. Reality: Attendee Management

If you’re looking for elite customer service for your event, look no further than attendee management. More than just registration, attendee coordinators provide personalized support to your attendees, guests, and VIPs; manage all special needs and requests; deliver personalized reports; and more.

Sound surprising? Attendee management is often the unsung hero of events, doing more and providing more support than most people realize.

In the latest installment of the Myth vs. Reality series, the managers of M&IW’s Attendee Management team share what their full scope of services actually entails.

In Case You Missed It – Myth vs. Reality: Business Intelligence and Data Analytics

Myth: Attendee management only consists of registration.

Reality: The Attendee Management team is involved in every aspect of the event.

Contrary to popular belief, attendee management is part of the entire attendee journey, not just registration, and they ensure attendees have a seamless experience every step of the way. They are often the attendees’ only point of contact before the meeting and are the face of the event once they arrive. They make sure that attendees arrive in the right place at the right time, that they have ground transportation to their hotel and a room ready when they arrive, that they have a badge waiting for them at the event, that their dietary needs are taken care of, and so much more.

Myth: For attendee management, a small meeting is not as much work as a large meeting.

Reality: Smaller programs can be just as complex as larger ones.

In many cases, smaller meetings mean more touchpoints and more VIPs, so there are more special requests to accommodate, and every detail is under extra scrutiny. Smaller events also usually have a small onsite team, so attendee coordinators—and everyone onsite—are expected to help with additional tasks outside their usual purview.

Reality: Registration reporting and communications can be very manual and time consuming.

The clear, organized reports you receive don’t happen on their own; they usually come from attendee management, and they usually involve more than just clicking a download button. The team first reviews the data to ensure cleanliness and accuracy then organizes it in a way that is easily understandable. Depending on the report, it can take hours to prepare and send. The team is also responsible for sending out all attendee communications, which involves building the email in an online system, sharing a test version for review, completing any edits or even rebuilding the email as needed, and finally scheduling it to be sent. Depending on the email, there can be hours of building and editing before it finally hits attendees’ inboxes. And that doesn’t include email list management!

Myth: Technology makes registration and attendee management easier.

Reality: Sometimes the functionality of different programs and tools can make it more challenging.

Different technologies have different functionalities, but you can’t always use every technology that best suits your needs. Between the Attendee Management and Event Technology teams, there’s usually a way to adjust the back end of a platform or system to achieve the desired effect, but that requires time to build and test. Even when the planning team is familiar with a technology platform, the difficulty may come on the attendee side. A mobile app can’t be used to its full potential if attendees don’t know how to use it, for example. In those cases, the attendee coordinator will do their best to teach the attendee how the platform works, whether that’s walking them through it onsite or sending instructions via email.


Headshot of Lauren Bartos

Lauren Bartos

Manager, Attendee Experience

Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, Inc.

Headshot of Bethany Davis

Bethany Davis

Manager, Attendee Experience

Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, Inc.

Headshot of Jessica Faust

Jessica Faust

Sr. Manager, Attendee Experience

Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, Inc.

Headshot of Beth McDonald

Beth McDonald

Sr. Manager, Attendee Experience

Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, Inc.

Related Articles