America’s SBDC Blog

A “Forbes 100 Best Websites for Entrepreneurs”

How to Make Sure Your Next Event is a Financial Success

Anyone who has ever an organized an amazing event knows its success is never coincidental—especially when you are looking for an event to be a success from a financial perspective. A financially successful event takes not only sound planning and execution, but a strong event strategy that includes leveraging technologies like an online registration system and a payment processor.

With the fall event season in full swing, now it the time for you to think about what you can do to take your events to the next level, and ensure that they are financially successful.

Here are 4 ideas to help you ensure financial success at your next event:

Leverage an Online Registration Tool

Online registration is a great way to ensure success because it removes the labor-intensive and time-consuming process of managing registrant details. It also allows you to capture registrant information and payments 24/7 and at the leisure of your attendees. If there are fees for your event, it’s recommended to collect these fees with a payment processor.

Collect payments during registration and on-site

Collecting fees during registration is a good financial decision because it can assist you in forecasting revenue projections leading up to the event. It also gives you the luxury of receiving money in advance for a variety of event-related activities such as securing a venue, food & beverage (catering), transportation, giveaways, speakers, audio/visual equipment, paying vendors etc. It can also help you reduce the attrition that is so common with events. Even if you charge $1 at the time of registration, you’re getting a firm commitment from those individuals that they are likely to attend your event.

Another excellent best practice is to offer another payment option on-site at the event, in case anyone non-registered attendees decide to join you. This might include pay-by-credit-card, pay-at-door, and/or pay-by-check payment options. Mobile card readers, which involves a small piece of plastic that plugs into the headphone jack of your iPhone, iPad, or Android device, make on-site payment easy, and allow you to collect fees at the event in real-time.

Use a Payment Solution

Storing credit card information in emails and spreadsheets is a no no! Collecting fees during registration avoids the security risks that can arise from managing and storing credit card information on your computer. Choosing the right payment process is an important decision, if you use one that integrates within an online registration system like, you can eliminate even more of the heavy lifting of processing payments

Monitor your reports

One important, but less obvious benefit of using an online registration system combined with a payment processor is the tracking and reporting. These types of tools help track the progress of your event through a series of dashboards and reports. At any point during your event, you can determine where you are with attendance and payments at a quick glance. You can also view registrant details and payment status and export out a report and view it in Excel.


Gina Watkins is a leading expert on e-marketing for small business – and has a real passion for helping businesses to succeed. Her ongoing series of dynamic lectures are filled with real-world examples, humor and results-driven wisdom garnered from more than two decades of sales, business development and marketing experience. In addition to owning her own business, she is an award-winning direct marketer, has been featured on WUSA Channel 9’s Mind Over Money show, Dr. Gayle Carson’s Women In Business radio show, Morgan State’s Briefcase Radio program, and in numerous other media. In her role as Constant Contact Regional Development Director, she’s presented to more than ten thousand seminar attendees about the keys to success with easy, affordable, highly effective technology tools that grow trusted business relationships.

Monthly Archives