11 Key Questions To Ask When Choosing an EMS & Registration Tool

Blue question mark in bubble

As you dive into the planning of your next race edition towards the end of the season, it is a good time to review your options. One critical aspect demands your attention is the selection of the ideal Event Management System (EMS) and Registration Tool.

Here at RaceID (we also offer you an alternative in your hunt for tools!), we want to help you navigate the selection process so you can g¡find the best fit for your race. 

Getting around in the landscape of EMS and registration tools can be complicated, but fear not. We’re here to provide clarity by presenting you with a set of essential questions you need to ask when you evaluate any tool. Whether you’re a seasoned event professional or a novice in the field, these 11 questions will serve as your compass in selecting the EMS and Registration Tool that is the right fit for your race. Let’s get into it!

1. What features does the system offer?

Ensure the system has all the essential features such as online registration with your country’s preferred payment methods, the right set up and options you need for your race (such as custom questions, built-in insurance, automatic start list generation etc), race reporting tools. Additionally, check for any unique features that may benefit your specific event and sport. 

A suggestion would be for you to think about which features your current tool offers that you cannot live without, and also make a wish list of features you would like your new tool to offer before you jump on a sales call. 

2. Is the system user-friendly for both organizers and participants?

A user-friendly interface is essential to streamline the registration process and overall event management. Test the system from both your own perspective and the participant perspectives to ensure ease of use.

A good and easy registration process is key for the success of your event – not only is the registration the first impression you give your customers, but it can also play a big role in how many registrations you convert from interested website visitors.

A key aspect to keep in mind when you test the registration flow, is to examine if the system is mobile-friendly and responsive. Since the majority of web browsing today is done on phones and tablets, you need your registration process to be optimized for this!

3. How does the system handle payment processing and fees?

Understand the payment processing capabilities and any associated fees with this. Some platforms list card processing fees separately, and you could be surprised that suddenly an additional 3% is added to the commission costs. 

Consider whether the system supports payment methods that are re;evant for you and how registration fee funds are transferred to your account. Also make sure these processes are safe and that the data is handled properly in all stages. 

4. What customer support and training options are provided? For both you and your participants

Check the availability of customer support for yourself, including response times and support channels (email, phone, chat). Additionally, inquire about training resources to ensure your team can effectively use the system from the start. 

Also, make sure the platform has a technical support team for participants. This can save you lots of time, so you don’t spend your days and nights handling registration-problem support tickets!

5. Does the platform offer any marketing and growth opportunities for your race? 

Many registration platforms have a large base of racers in their network and offer a race calendar for athletes to browse and find new races. Ask about this, and evaluate how much exposure you can get and how large of an audience is available. Also, see if they offer any additional marketing services that can be useful if you are looking to grow your number of participants. 

6. How does the system handle participant data and privacy?

Understand the system’s data security measures and compliance with privacy regulations. Ensure that participant information is handled securely and that the system adheres to relevant data protection standards in your country and globally. 

7. What reporting and analytics tools are provided?

Evaluate the system’s reporting capabilities to track participant data, financial information, and other relevant metrics. Robust reporting tools can help you assess the success of your event and make informed decisions for future races.

8. What is the overall cost of using the system?

Consider the pricing structure, including any upfront costs, subscription fees, or transaction fees. Be aware of any hidden costs and ensure that the system fits within your budget! 

Here you can download a handy budget tool to figure out all the costs associated with your race, and play around with different registration tool prices. 

9. What integration options are available?

Check if the system can integrate with other tools or platforms such as email marketing software, CRM systems, or social media. Integration capabilities can enhance your overall event management process and save you time and effort.

10. Does the system offer a mobile app for participants?

A dedicated mobile app for participants can enhance their experience by providing easy access to event details, real-time updates, and interactive features. Check if the system offers such functionality.

11. How does the system handle refunds and cancellations?

Understand the system’s policies and procedures for processing participant refunds and handling event cancellations. Clear guidelines in this regard can help manage expectations and potential issues.

Remember to incorporate the platform’s policy into your own terms and conditions if necessary. 


We hope these questions help you select the right tool for you! If you need more guidance, you can also check out this article that deep dives into the cost of registration platforms

Of course, you are always welcome to create a free test account and see if RaceID is the right tool for you!