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Online event registration software: own, open-source or paid solution – pros and cons (part 1: own solution)

By choosing to use in your organization an online event registration software, you can choose not only from many different software suppliers but also different technological solutions. In principle, you should consider three options:

  • development of your custom registration system;
  • using free or low paid open source solutions;
  • using commercial online event registration software that can be launched on your website.

In this post and two more, we will present the advantages and disadvantages of each of these solutions.

Your private online event registration software

Please be aware that maintaining a properly functioning registration system requires:

  • programming knowledge;
  • knowledge of server operation and updating;
  • skills to optimize performance and protect applications from attacks;
  • adaptation of the application to work in various internet browsers;
  • implement legally required solutions related to the protection of personal data (GDPR).

If you have the above skills in your team, you can confidently consider implementing your own solution. Otherwise, there is a risk that you will have a tool that works well but only for a while.

In the environment of people unrelated to programming, there is a superstition that once written, the software will always work properly. After all, the app is an algorithm, so what can go wrong? In practice, there are a lot of factors causing a software failure:

  • failure or incompatibility of used plugins and extensions (eg after update);
  • server failure or overload;
  • hacker attack or virus infection.

The above-mentioned causes of failure are among the most common, but not all. Depending on the proficiency and commitment of programmers, application errors and problems may be more and may appear only after some time. One of the most unpleasant surprises for the owner of an IT software is the information that it can’t be changed or improved because it requires rebuilding a large part or even the whole application!

These things happen on the daily basis and apply to many companies, regardless of their size. In the worst case, it may turn out that the work put into the development of the software isn’t worth much, because at the very beginning of the work developers haven’t implemented a crucial feature which is required for further development.

Pros and cons

The greatest advantage of developing your private solution is total control over the operation and functionality of the application. This allows you to create a tailor-made software suited to the specificity of your organization. However, for the app to meet your expectations, you need to know exactly what you need. The stage of functional design is crucial and all shortcomings in defining the app’s features will adversely affect the later stages of its development.

The biggest drawback of this solution is a very high cost of developing the application (the prices of programming services are very high) and the long time of its development. Implementation of the system is associated with a large initial capital investment and – which should be kept in mind – constant maintenance costs. This term means maintaining the correct operation of the application after its launch and therefore applying necessary updates, corrections, troubleshooting, etc. Depending on the complexity of the software, you must expect to bear significant monthly service costs. Contrary to popular opinion – the internet application isn’t a self-sustainable product.


Certainly, creating custom online event registration software can only be considered by organizations that have a sufficiently large scale of activity. In other words, they regularly register a large number of attendees per month, measured in thousands rather than in hundreds.

Only a suitably large scale of business justifies the economic sense of developing a registration application. However, the decision to implement your own solution should be meticulously calculated and planned. Product development, in particular software, is an extremely complex issue.

On the Internet, you can find many examples of “bad” applications, although when creating each of them, the authors wanted to do a good job. The point is that sometimes the end result is completely different than expected.