A Quick Guide to Event Management in Dynamics 365 for Marketing
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing includes a pre-packaged Event Management module that enables organisers to handle the administration and logistics of registrations, sessions, speakers and venues in one place.
In this post we'll walk-through a selection of the application's features to demonstrate its capabilities to create events, managing registrations via a Dynamics portal and check-in attendees.
If your organisation is looking for a new event management solution, get in touch to learn more. We'll demonstrate how Dynamics 365 for Marketing can be configured to fit your requirements and answer your questions.
Manage any Event
From a list view in Dynamics 365 for Marketing, event planners are able to view an existing on-site or online event, or create a new event.
For each event record, settings include:
- Event Type - can be set as a briefing, webinar, conference, training course or demonstration.
- Format - defining if the event will be on-site, online or a hybrid. Depending on which option is selected, form fields will be contextual to the event type. For a webinar, configuration details for this online session would be entered.
- Capacity - for on-site events this will be the maximum capacity for a venue.
- Wait List - an option to activate a wait list upon reaching capacity. This would enable a marketing journey to be defined with actions triggered in the event of subsequent cancellations.
- Schedule - start / end date for the event and an option to define a recurring event.
- Custom Event URL - option to define the format of the event portal URL.
- Event Image - upload a primary image that will be shown in the event portal.
- Create Lead - new event registrations will be mapped to existing contacts, or a new contact will be automatically created. Event organisers can also set an automated process that will create a lead for each event registration.
- Portal Payment Gateway - this will need to be set-up if payment is made upon registration. This can be configured with Worldpay, Paypal and other suppliers to collect payment (subject to additional configuration).
- Multi-Attendee Registration - option enabling users to post multiple registrations on behalf of their colleagues.
- Location - which building(s) and child room(s) will be associated with on-site events and any associated room layout configuration. Further detail will be shown on these associated records. For example, a room capacity and available facilities can be tracked on these records.
Once an event is promoted the event record will report the total registrations submitted through the event portal. When the event is underway, a check-in count provides a running total of individuals scanned in.
Event Session Agenda
Depending on the type of event, this may involve a series of sessions that attendees can register to attend.
In these scenarios, organisers can set and check timings for each session in a calendar display in Dynamics. A supporting sub-grid lists each session type, times and associated building and room. This also provides an at-a-glance view detailing the total registrations for each session.
Multiple sessions can be categorised by 'tracks'. These reflect distinct themes to help registrants identify the most relevant presentations.
Dynamics 365 for Marketing includes a speaker entity to associate individual speakers with a specific event and session. These can be a combination of internal / external speakers and include details of speaker costs together with a supporting biog and profile photo.
If an event is to be sponsored each sponsor can be tracked through the event record which enables varying sponsor levels to be defined, e.g. platinum, gold, silver...
The type of sponsorship can also be expressed. This may be shown as a monetary value, equipment supply or by delivering services. Uploading a logo for each sponsor will display these on the main event portal.
Depending on the type of event, the marketing app has inbuilt capability to handle different passes. This could include a day pass, a weekend event pass or an early bird offer pass.
A price can be set for each pass as required and event organisers are able to set a limit for how many passes will be issued. As a result, this would enable a cap to be applied on how many discounted or free entry passes will be issued.
Each pass can grant access to all sessions. Alternatively, organisers can define which sessions are available with each type of pass. For example, delegates may only be eligible to attend certain sessions if they have purchased a premium pass.
In the example below, an early bird pass provides entitlement to attend three sessions.
Usage of paid event passes requires separare configuration with a payment gateway that will enable registrants to make payment through the event portal.
As an alternative to passes, organisers are also able to build events that will allow individuals to choose one or more sessions with free registration via the web portal as we'll demonstrate below.
As well as handling registrations, the event portal provides details of each session. For events that have a duration of several days, portal users can adjust the filter to show sessions for each day.
Each session displays the properties entered in Dynamics 365. In the highlighted example below, a speaker, building and room is referenced with a session description from the corresponding session record.
Where sessions are categorised these are shown as session tracks in the portal.
Selecting an individual track lists the associated sessions and each can be expanded to show the supporting detail.
Another default capability provides a list of each speaker scheduled to appear during the event.
Clicking the speakers tab brings up each profile and clicking one of these shows the sessions they will be presenting.
If passes are configured for the event, the passes tab enables users to check which sessions are included with each pass and their respective price.
This example confirms which sessions are eligible for delegates who purchase a £50 day pass.
As mentioned above, the application will also handles scenarios where registrants are able to select their own agenda as an alternative to passes.
When this option is enabled, users are able to browse and select individual sessions to create an custom event itinerary.
Using this format, a prospective registrant will be prompted to confirm their choice of sessions before finalising the booking.
Within the main event record in Dynamics, organisers can enable or disable anonymous registrations.
If anonymous registration is allowed, registrants will enter their core contact detail. If passes are available for the event, the registration form will include the appropriate field enabling users to a choose an available pass.
The sign-up form can also be adapted with additional custom questions enabling organisers to collect more detail about registrants and understand their preferences.
If an option has been set to enable multiple registrations, clicking the 'add another attendee' button enables the user to enter more contacts before submitting the form. For example, this would enable PA's, administrators or HR staff to quickly post registrations for their colleagues.
If payment is required for an event, and portal payment gateway is configured, clicking the checkout button will redirect to the relevant gateway.
Upon completing registration, and confirming payment for any passes, an automated event registration confirmation can be configured using inbuilt functionality. This can form part of a customer journey within Dynamics 365 for Marketing to send a series of reminder emails counting down to the event.
If anonymous registration is not enabled, individuals must be an authenticated portal user. Before opening the registration form, users will need to sign-in, register or redeem a portal invitation.
Each registration, and any cancellations, will be shown within an event record. A master list of all registrations is also available in the Event Registrations view as shown below.
Event Registration records are automatically created in Dynamics when registration forms are posted, provided the event capacity hasn't been reached.
This process automatically generates a Registration ID and creates a new contact record using the detail supplied, or maps to an existing contact. This tracks the date and time of registration and the record will be linked to master Event Record.
An event registration QR code is also created automatically and saved to the record. This enables the QR code to be easily shared with the contact through pre-event emails which they can print or save the image locally.
On the day, event organisers can use a barcode scanner with these QR codes to confirm check-in for each registered attendee.
The can be done using a separately configured PowerApp for the event, or using the Dynamics 365 mobile app.
In the examples that Preact has built, we add a custom script to the form to confirm the event check-in. Clicking the barcode scanner field will open the camera on a mobile device enabling the event QR code to be scanned in. Once the registration is identified the process will automatically populate a check-in record in Dynamics 365 with the time and link this to the registration ID, event record and contact.
Upon saving, the record will be added to the check-in records for the event and the event check-in count will be updated.
With an ER prefix the above ID is identified as an event registration. Individual sessions also have IDs prefixed by SR and these can also be tracked to enable a similar check-in process for each room.
The session registration shown below has automatically been created with the event registration ID to reference the associated session, contact and event records.
These are just some of the features of the Dynamics 365 for Marketing event management module and how it adapts to handle different types of event. Contact Preact to find out more and get advice from our consultants to understand how this solution can be implemented to manage your event processes.