Here’s the deal: People want their internet experiences to be quick and effortless (everything from reading an article to watching a video or shopping).
If you can’t give your attendees a positive online registration experience, your event has failed before it’s even started.
Only few will endure a bumpy registration procedure.
Most people won’t care too much to complete the online registration steps if those aren’t flawlessly designed.
Let’s be honest: Even when people go through a stress-free event enrolment, most leave the process half-finished, thinking they’ll come back to it later, and then forget all about it. And then you lose potential quality attendees.
That’s why it’s a good idea to pay extra attention to designing a friendly and efficient online registration procedure.
Your attendees’ online registration journey map
As with other event-related logistics, enrolment is not a single-action task.
It requires detailed preparation and lots of complementary actions that will make the attendees’ journey as effortless as possible.
When deciding what the online registration should look like, you must take the following steps into consideration on the attendees’ journey map:
Step #1. Finding the event page
There’s no point in having an online registration process if you don’t drive traffic to your site by promoting the event.
Subsequently, your first question must be: How do I put my event out there? How will the attendees find me?
Obviously, you can try out different marketing strategies.
You can encourage word-of-mouth promotion through industry leaders, or invest in Facebook ads, etc.
Your possibilities are limitless.
However, your main goal in this case is to attract high-quality leads to your event landing page and register for your event.
Step #2. Interacting with the event landing page
Before the attendees decide to register, they must first interact with the landing page. An attractive site will grab and maintain their attention.
Having a user-friendly and responsive design (keep in mind that most of the traffic you’ll get will be mobile) are the key elements to ensure your site visitors have a positive experience.
Step #3. Deciding to enrol
The next phase in the online registration journey map involves decision-making: to register, to bookmark the site, or forget about it.
The copy you use, each attendee’s motivations to attend, and your event’s value proposition will all influence the decision-making process.
Step #4. Finding the registration form
After deciding to enrol, the potential attendee will expect to click on a call to action button or link and be taken to the registration form.
If this process implies a certain degree of effort or confusion (not being able to find the CTA, for example), this may lead to negative results and cause the person to change his or her mind.
Step #5. Completing and submitting the registration form
You’ll want to collect as much attendee data from the form as possible, yet the way you design the form can affect your attendance numbers (positively or negatively). If you are asking irrelevant or hard-to-understand questions, for example, your potential attendees may change their mind and decide not to go through the effort of registering.
Step #6. Paying the attendance fee
Another phase in the online registration journey map is actually paying the attendance fee. Muddled or vague payment instructions could lead to payment delays.
Step #7. Receiving confirmation emails and the badge
One of the last phases is initiating direct communication with the attendee. This means crafting and sending confirmation emails and generating online badges.
Considering all the steps attendees must go through just to complete the online registration, there’s no shortage of things that could go wrong …
How to get your attendees register with ease
To help you overcome these bumps in the road, I’ve put together a quick list of tips. Here’s how to get your attendees to register online with ease:
Tip #1. Create emotional copy for the event landing page
Guide your attendees through the decision-making process. Make sure the event landing page is as heartfelt as possible.
Write copy that speaks to your attendees and addresses their specific needs.
Get them to attend by correctly expressing the unique value proposition of your event and the benefits they’ll get by attending.
Tip #2. Set up different attendee types
An event can have different categories of attendees, from VIP guests and speakers to assistants and exhibitors. Each type has different needs, and therefore may require a distinct registration form.
By setting up different profiles, you can design unique forms that are perfectly aligned with each type’s particular needs or your interest in getting specific information from certain types.
Tip #3. Reduce the difficulty levels
After setting up the online registration journey map, walk through each step and identify any difficulties your attendees may have (or have a colleague walk through the steps and provide feedback).
For example, make sure the questions on the form are concise and easy to understand. In addition, give your attendees the option to save an unfinished form and finish it later if need be.
Every step you take to make the procedure easier for potential attendees will be a big win in your favor.
Tip #4. Design a user-friendly form
If the registration form is too long, confusing, or not user-friendly, you’ll decrease your chances of gaining more attendees.
Design and build quick-to-fill and painless registration forms that will help your attendees have a positive experience.
Tip #5. Alternate the question types on the registration form
The most important thing about building registration forms is to know what questions to ask your future attendees. Asking clear questions will minimize any confusion and extract the exact information you need, causing you less rework and saving you time.
Use event management software that allows you to create different data field types such as text field, text area, dropdown list, multiple selection, image, plain text, city, and file.
Tip #6. Allow attendees to modify their data
Usually when completing an online form, people can’t go back and change their data once they click submit. Give your attendees control over their personal information by letting them change or make edits at any time.
Tip #7. Don’t forget about GDPR
This May, the European Union will enforce a set of regulations designed to protect the personal data of European citizens. Other countries have similar regulations.
Since you’ll be collecting data about your attendees, you’ll have to respect certain rules.
It’s very important to modify the registration forms accordingly and ask for the guests’ permission to use their data. We’ll talk more about GDPR in the coming weeks.
Everything begins with the online registration. The perception your potential guests will have about your event starts building up during the moment they decide to access the registration form.
To ensure an effortless experience, take care of not just the forms, but also the steps that come before and after the enrolment procedure.