Thursday, February 24, 2011

Conference Registration 101

TO:          People registering for conferences
FROM:   Event Planner

Dear Delegate:

In order to streamline the registration process and maximise your conference experience we suggest the following:

1. Actually read the conference registration package.  A L L   O F  I T. If you cannot read or you cannot read it in this language then, clearly,  this conference is not for you.

2. The registration form does, in fact, have to be filled out - I cannot just write it all down when you phone me.

3. When it asks you for a first, second and third choice of workshops in both the morning and afternoon and a table has been included for you to write in please just do it.  As a side note, making check marks in each of the boxes doesn't tell me which session you want to attend.  I AM NOT PSYCHIC.

4. Please do not call me unless there is information you have to have that is not in the materials - you are one of hundreds and although I am sure you are a lovely person I don't have time to chit chat. (and when I am curt or to-the-point you will put that the Event Planner was rude on your evaluation form - I know you!!).

5. No,  you can't hold  a space in all 14 workshops until you can make a decision about your professional development goals.

6. No you can't have a receipt before you pay...... or a confirmation.... like it says on the registration form.

7. If you neglect to include any contact information on the form, as requested,  don't yell at me when you don't get a confirmation.

8. I am no techie but I am pretty sure noone can steal your credit card number off the fax waves....... and feel free to mail a cheque.

9.When your namebadge is misspelled because your handwriting was so abysmal as to be illegible on the fax, don't freak out, we'd be happy to change your badge..... we do that stuff,  it's our job.

10.  Don't yell at me that you are not in the workshop you wanted........firstly you probably are in what you asked for and I have your registration form right here to prove it (apology accepted)  and your confirmation letter would have confirmed (funnily enough) if any changes or substitutions had occurred. (I have a copy of that too - I know you are busy and didn't have time to read it).

11. I am sorry you couldn't eat the lunch as you are a vegan with lactose intolerance - if we had known we could have accommodated you (as indicated on the registration form) and no we can't refund you because we already paid for the lunch.

12.  No you cannot have your certificate of attendance until the end of the day........ like it says in the registration package....... I will not be moved.

13. I do apologise for the price of the parking,  the sun coming in the window,  the concrete pillar that blocked your view, the speakers distracting speech impediment, the fact the vendors didn't take Amex, that the coffee was not fair traded........ this is, of course, all my fault.  We will have the venue rebuilt to suit you next year and will more carefully screen presenters, vendors and the coffee. 
We want only the best conference experience you could hope for. (for the $60 you are paying which includes a Keynote, 2 workshops and lunch plus 2 nutrition breaks).

Thank you for your attention (as if) to these easy steps,  for more tips on enhancing your conference experience look for our book coming out in 2012 - "Conference Registration and Attendance for Dummies" - you are sure to find it immensely helpful.

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