©2020 Asaf Darash, CEO, Regpack
Hosting a successful, engaging event takes ample preparation and planning. As your organization’s event planner, you likely already know this, and have dealt with the obstacles and hiccups that inevitably come along the way.
However, the event world is constantly changing. With every technological advance and new solution, the event process becomes more automated, organized, and convenient. On the other hand, attendees are also changing. They want digitized solutions and fast responses.
As things are changing and improving, your event’s registration process remains one of the most important aspects of the attendee experience. For one thing, your online registration page represents the face of your event and is the main factor in whether people are signing up or not.
Your organization probably has some online registration capability and an event management solution in hand, but it’s always a good idea to review your processes and see what can be optimized and updated. In this guide, you’ll be learning how to increase event attendance by making sure your registration form can do the following:
- Keep your organization’s branding
- Customize form questions to your event
- Personalize the registration process
- Allow payment within the form
As you’re planning your next event, look at your event registration page from the attendee’s point of view. Check out Regpack’s software solution for some guidance. Your form should make the process easy for attendees, so make sure your event registration solution is up to par.
1. Keep your organization’s branding
Your event isn’t a separate entity from your organization. Whether you’re an association, a corporation, or even a nonprofit organization, your event and its registration page should accurately reflect your organization’s branding and mission.
For one thing, your online registration page should be embedded into your organization’s main website. This is a good time to look over your content management system (CMS) or website platform and see if that can be improved as well. Your website should be easily navigable, branded to your organization with logos and colors, and display pertinent information in an accessible and intuitive way. For some design tips, check this out article.
With your online registration embedded into your main website, individuals won’t have to go to a third party website. Often, people distrust it when organizations send them to multiple sites. For a more cohesive and smooth experience, you can also create a designated event page on your website. This way, you can embed your registration form onto the page as well as provide additional event details like location, time, and an activity schedule.
Additionally, your website and registration form should be seamless across all devices. This means computers, tablets, and even mobile phones. A device’s screen size shouldn’t be the reason your online presence diminishes. People often will come across your event or organization on their phone during casual browsing or because someone texted them a link to your website. Neglecting your mobile phone users can really lower attendance by turning viable attendees away.
2. Customize form questions to your event
It’s likely that your event registration tool already provides you with set templates and forms to help you get started. While that can be convenient and a huge time saver, it’s likely that it doesn’t do a very good job at really giving you all the information you need.
The best event management software will offer registration form templates, but also will give you some sort of flexibility and customization. Your event is a unique and exciting experience, so make sure your registration page reflects that. Say you’re hosting a professional conference and you’ve invited multiple established companies. With customization, you can make a required field asking for job title and employer.
Additionally, with the ability to customize your event registration form, you can also take advantage of dynamic reporting tools. Though not all event management solutions have effective reporting capabilities, it is an event tech essential. With dynamic reporting tools, you can:
- Automatically compile effective reports. Taking in the event metrics that you’ve set and answers from your registration form, your software can help you better understand your event data. Additionally, because you’ve customized your form, you are getting data that you actually care about.
- Easily export data. You and your staff can view your data right on your online browser and export the reports that’s most important to you. Conveniently convert it into a PDF or to Excel for easy sharing and review.
- Filter data in smart ways. Advanced management software will allow you to use multiple filters to search for conditions independently of each other and then compare results. Because you were able to customize your registration form, advanced filtering like this can really help your staff hone down their search and produce relevant and unique insights.
It’s important that you have the power to choose the data you want and can compile reports to make valuable insights. If you’re curious about the software solutions that can manage this, check out Double the Donation’s top event management tools for the one that fits you best.
3. Personalize the registration process
Now that we’ve customized your event registration form to your event, let’s consider ways to personalize the process to the registrant. This seems harder, as each person considering your event is unique and different. However, with a personalized and streamlined registration process, individuals are more likely to complete registration.
Take a look at your event tools and see what you can do to help individualize the process more. Not all event registration software will have these capabilities and features, but if they do you can definitely leverage them to work with the registrant in smart ways:
- Multiple registration options. Some software will let you register in groups. This can be extremely useful and timesaving if a group of employees or students want to attend your event together. Let one person register them all, automatically keeping the general details consistent while only asking for data that’s unique to each attendee, like their names.
- Payment plans. Not everyone has the same financial situation. Sometimes people are more comfortable paying in an agreed upon payment plan. Take note of their preferred payment information and securely save it. That way, as their plan goes on, the system will automatically charge them on the set dates.
- Create and trigger discounts automatically. Everybody loves a good discount. Allow registrants to apply a code that can automatically reduce their ticket price. Offering discounts and coupons can also help increase registration. Plus, it’s a great way to say thanks or reward attendees who consistently support your events.
- Keep your registration data in the cloud. Even after a person registers for your event, you should continue to remain in contact through email. You never know if there will be a major event change or update that needs to be announced. If your event registration form is able to store data in the cloud, you can take personal information (like name, event data, financial information) and include them in your email body. With just one click, you can send mass emails with each personalized to the individual recipient without extra effort.
- Conditional logic. Not every event registration software will have this, but if yours does, it’s a game changer. Conditional logic works to create a seamless and logical process for each registrant. As each answer is completed, the registration form will understand the choices and physically change to fit this registrant’s specific journey. For example, if you’re serving food, it’s a good idea to ask for major allergies. If your applicant indicates they do have one, the form will add additional fields asking them to specify. Additionally, conditional logic can do other actions, like sending an email, when “triggered” by certain actions in the form.
The more you individualize the process for registrants, the more likely they feel connected to your event and will complete registration. Taking advantage of your event tools to personalize registration is an innovative idea that all event planners should take note of.
4. Allow payment within the form
The final portion of your event registration process is going to be payment. Most events require buying some sort of ticket to gain entrance into the event, whether it is a physical ticket or a mobile e-ticket.
Make sure attendees can make financial transactions right within your registration form on your organization’s main website. Your best bet will be ensuring that your event registration software has an integrated payment processor.
For one thing, people might feel somewhat suspicious if you send them to a third party site to handle their payment. Even though the internet is growing and gaining more capabilities everyday, it’s still ripe for breaches. You need to ensure that your registration software is PCI-compliant and that your registrants can safely input their financial information without worry. This is a rule of thumb that could save tons of people’s private data as well as your job.
Automating your online registration payments encourages people to complete registration faster. They don’t have to send any mail or make a phone call, just input their financial details into your payment processor. Additionally, if attendees need a refund for any reason, all of their payment details are readily accessible since it happens all within your software.
Automating your online payments not only raises attendance for your event, but it can make you and your staff’s lives easier. As soon as registrants complete payment, your software will also automatically send out an invoice describing that the payment has been successful. Don’t waste your team’s time with questions from registrants, too. With an integrated process, payment is easy and intuitive.
Your event registration page should be the leading people to registration. After you capture people’s attention with your beautiful website and event page, you don’t want your form to be the reason you drive them away. Make sure you review these best practices and optimize the entire page for success.