August 27, 2019

What is Digital Guest Management?

Guest Management: A Definition

As developer and service provider in the field of digital guest management, we have to keep thinking about what we are actually working on. What do we understand by digital guest management? Which steps are involved? What do our customers understand by this and what do they expect from us?
We want our tool to support, help and facilitate a complex work process. That's why we always exchange ideas with event planners and guest managers about what AirLST needs to develop to manage guest lists constructively and efficiently. A requirement for this is a definition of guest management. Let's start with the following basic description: Guest management is the process that covers all tasks relating to attendees and guests of an event. Depending on the format of the event, it is also referred to as guest management. Other terms for this process are guest administration, visitor management, attendee management or invitation management.  

Entanglements Between Event and Guest Management

This multiplicity of naming possibilities shows that guest management means much more than sending invitations and check off all guests from a list on the day of the event.
Following our basic description, the processes, which belong to guest management, remain open for the time being.
Besides, the entanglements between guests management and other areas of event management are not explained in more detail yet.
Events live from and for their guests. They are the focuses on which everything orients itself: the programme, the design, the catering, and the location. Who is invited? What room size do we need? Which live acts or speakers will be engaged? Where will the guests be accommodated? Do contingents have to be organized for accommodation? Do dietary rules or eating habits have to be taken into account? These questions reflect the interrelations of registration management and other areas of event planning: Guest management is a complex process and has various interconnections to the entire planning team.

Before, during and after an event, there are many to-dos that affect the guests. In addition to all tasks that serve the realization of the occasion, smooth coordination and administration of all attendees are essential for a successful event.
The more complex the program structure of an event, the higher is the challenge for guest managers. The recorded registration data provides the basis for further organizational decisions. As we see: the number of guests affects other areas of event planning. The Fire Protection Ordinance, for example, does not distinguish between invited guests, the event team and the people standing in front of the audience. This, in turn, affects the choice of a suitable venue. Other examples: have many vegetarians registered? Then this influences the choice of caterer. Are mainly business customers invited? Then it should be queried whether the billing address is different so that the employer's cost centre receives a correct invoice.
Finally, the registration process generates a flow of information linked to different responsible persons.
Guest management is, therefore, closely linked to other areas of event management and runs through the entire event planning process. It often provides essential data on which other organizational decisions are made. With the help of the collected registration data, event planner answer questions on visitor guidance, security concepts, and staff planning for visitor support. Like that it is possible to start planning at an early stage.
A tool in which all guests can be listed and assigned to categories provides a structured overview of these planning factors.

What can Digital Guest Management Tools Do?

That's why event managers today can no longer do without digital guest management. Formerly Excel lists used to be circulated in several versions, and printed lists caused long queues at the entrance. Today digital and automated guest management can make this process more efficient and comfortable.
Using a helpful software tool, the event manager can filter the list of attendees according to specific criteria – depending on the question and the planning area. As a data management system, software for registration management coordinates all guest data. A cloud-based tool can be viewed by several users at any time and synchronizes itself in real-time so that all data is permanently up-to-date.

Such a tool can fulfill different functions:

The advantages are apparent: Processes can be automated and thus become efficient and precise. This applies, for example, to the administration of guests, the sending of invitations, registration via digital forms and QR code ticketing. Access to relevant information is flexible and fast. The communication to the attendees is ergonomic.
We conclude: With professional tools, it is easy to realize a successful event actively.
What we've learned: Our basic description explains the scope and complexity of the term guest management only insufficiently. Therefore we supplement the definition to include the following criteria: Guest management is not limited to invitation management and on-site support but also extends to other areas.
Guest management is a complex process that covers all tasks relating to attendees and guests of an event. It forms the foundation of event planning and generates a flow of information that influences the logistics of event management.

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Teilnehmermanagement für das Bundesministerium der Verteidigung
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