How to Manage Event Ecommerce

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Events can be a real money maker for your company. It pays to understand what commerce capabilities you can actually offer during your event to assure you maximize your ROI. Here, as in other areas of event management, no one application is sufficient for every need. 

Simple online ticketing apps like Eventbrite or Peatix may offer sufficient functionality for simple one-day or partial-day events with one attendee type and price. Complex events, however, require more sophistication. 

For example, you may want to offer discounted pricing for multiple attendees from a single company, or for sponsors, or for bloggers who promote your event. You may want to offer attendees the option to pay with a credit card or make arrangements to pay via a purchase order (PO).

If you are using an enterprise event management platform to manage several different types of events, it should have the flexibility to do pretty much whatever you need it to do. Your registration system should provide automated notifications, tracking and workflow management for your internal team that reduce your manual labor and administrative burden.


Typically, event ecommerce systems require credit card payments for all registrations. But you may also want the ability to accept an assigned code at registration: this code could give the attendee a free registration (as an example, for an event sponsor) or a discount (e.g., for a channel partner) which would be reflected in the system as soon as the code is entered. You may also want the ability to provide attendees with a "bypass" code if they are paying via a purchase order (PO).


As yet another wrinkle, you may want to provide registrants with the option to pay immediately (then complete and confirm their registration) or pay later. For payments outside the normal ecommerce routing, the registration process would have a branch where attendees would still complete all of the forms but would then receive a message noting their registration is pending until a PO or payment is received.


Your registration ecommerce system should be PCI-compliant so it can securely collect credit card numbers, though it will generally be integrated into your merchant account for the actual payment processing.