When planning any event, in-person, virtual, or hybrid alike, ensuring optimal registration and ticketing process is always crucial.
No matter how perfect you’ve planned your event: the best venue, the best virtual platform, the best keynote speaker to headline the event, and so on, it won’t be a successful event unless you can get enough attendees to register for the event.
Today’s attendees simply expect fully functional, 24-7 online registration so they can attend from anywhere, anytime, and on any device. A seamless online registration process will effectively eliminate potential obstacles during registration and is crucial to getting more people onboard.
If it’s too difficult to find your online registration page, and if the registration process is too complex, many prospective attendees will simply leave
In short, the online registration experience can literally make or break your event.
Here, we will learn together how to develop a successful online registration strategy for your event that will help you secure more attendees while also ensuring a positive attendee experience.
By the end of this guide, you’d have learned about:
- The concept of online event registration
- Things to avoid when designing an online event registration experience
- What happens when your attendees experience a negative online registration experience
- How to set up a seamless and optimal online registration experience
- Setting up different registration for simultaneous event activities
What is Online Registration?
Online registration is allowing prospective attendees to input their information and get their ticket (whether paid for it or for free) fully online.
The online registration process happens on a website or application that prospective attendees can access from their desktop or mobile device anywhere, 24/5, and is typically powered by either a dedicated event registration software or an all-in-one event management platform with online registration functionality.
Nevertheless, the implementation of online registration must involve:
- Capturing relevant attendee information. You should attempt to capturerelevant information as you can about the registering prospects.
- Ensuring a seamless experience. Naturally, if you ask too many questions and/or use overly long and complex registration forms, you may lower the overall conversion rate. Keep things short and simple.
To summarize, an ideal online registration experience is one where you can find the right sweet spot between asking for accurate and comprehensive information while ensuring an optimal user experience.
Benefits of event online registration
In the not too distant past, event registrations mainly happened offline by selling physical tickets. However, today’s advancements in technology have facilitated event organizers to launch their own 24/7 online registration platform that can provide numerous benefits.
- Saves time: for attendees, they can register for an event with just the click of a button. No longer do they need to queue for hours to purchase their physical tickets or provide their details manually over the phone. For event organizers, online event registration can ensure customers’ data is captured automatically, so you don’t need to manually update the database.
- Environmentally friendly: pretty obvious that online registration can help reduce the use of paper and produce less physical emissions. Meaning, online registration has a less harmful environmental impact.
- Accessibility and flexibility: allowing prospective attendees to register for the event from any time, anywhere, and with any device (including straight from their mobile devices. ) The easier it is to register for your event and the more seamless the whole process is, the higher the chance they’ll convert.
- Cost savings: online registration will obviously save your event organizer a lot of the money you’d otherwise spend on staff and employees required to complete the registration process, printing of physical tickets, and other costs.
- Improved productivity and efficiency: by using an event management platform to power your online registration process, you can also leverage the same solution to monitor, analyze, and improve existing business processes. In the long run, this can help improve the productivity and efficiency of the whole team.
Things to Avoid When Implementing Online Event Registration
→ Lack of personalization in the registration process
One of the biggest mistakes made by event organizers when implementing online registration is to use a generic registration form that doesn’t suit the target audience’s profile.
Personalization is key, and you’ll need to make sure your event’s registration forms are aligned with your target audience’s profile.
For example, if you are hosting a non-profit charity event, you might want to create two separate registration pages: one for donors and one for investors.
→ Overly complex and long registration forms
As briefly mentioned above, while ideally, you’d like to capture as much information as you can about your attendees, it’s crucial to find the right balance between this and maintaining a positive experience.
That is, one of the biggest mistakes event organizers make when planning their event registration strategy is to create an overly long or complex registration form that takes lots of time to fill out.
Include fields and ask the questions that are absolutely necessary. You’d want to secure attendees’ registration first, and if you’d like to collect more information later, you can send a post-event survey, ask them for an interview, or use other methods later.
→ Doesn’t offer bulk registration for teams
Again, one of the key principles to a successful online registration is personalization so you can cater to individual attendees’ unique needs.
With that being said, you should also pay attention to prospective attendees who’d like to register in groups, for example, managers who’d like to register the whole team or an attendee who’d like to also register multiple co-workers.
You can easily enable and authorize group registration with Eventtia, allowing your attendees to register their co-workers, friends, family members, or the whole team in just a single registration.
→ Bad UX
Attendees expect well-designed, fully functional, and reliable registration forms. If it’s clunky or if it’s too difficult to fill the registration form, they may abandon the registration process, or worse, they’ll register for your competitor’s event instead.
Optimize the UX of your registration forms by:
- Showing where to register or log in. Make the button prominent.
- Ensuring the input fields are not too long or too short. They should reflect how much text the attendees are expected to enter.
- Using single-step instead of multi-step forms unless multiple pages are absolutely necessary.
- Keeping it short.
→ Non-functional online registration
Nothing’s more annoying than having filled all the fields in a lengthy registration form, only to have the website return a “404 error” after you’ve clicked Submit.
There’s no use in making sure your registration page is well-designed with the most beautiful template and optimizing your field if the form simply is not performing as intended.
Above anything else, make sure your registration form has all the technical factors checked.
Ensuring an Optimal Online Registration Experience
Attracting prospective attendees to visit the registration page is already challenging enough, so we have to make sure the registration page is as optimized as possible to ensure a seamless online registration experience.
When the prospective attendees experience a sub-par online registration process, they’ll start feeling frustrated and may end up abandoning the registration process completely.
This can lead to an increase in registration form abandonment rate, which ultimately will result in lower overall registration rates.
A negative registration experience can result in a negative association with your brand, and we all know how reputation and credibility can take years to build but only seconds to lose.
As mentioned, Eventtia can help you optimize your online registration page to ensure a frictionless registration experience.
Below we’ll discuss the key factors you should optimize to ensure a perfect online registration experience for your event:
→ Creating personalized registration forms for different attendee types
With Eventtia, you can easily build custom-tailored registration forms for different attendee types by using the attendee profiles feature. You can customize each form accordingly and add different fields depending on each attendee type.
For example, with Eventtia, you can divide your attendees into two groups, A and B.
Let’s assume group A is designated for investors, and group B is designated for entrepreneurs. We can offer a specific activity tailored for investors that is only available on group A’s registration forms, while group B will get a totally different offer for different activity focused on entrepreneurship.
The key to success when implementing personalized registration forms is how you segment your target attendees. The better you understand each attendee type and their needs, the clearer you can segment the different types of attendees so you can carefully design the right registration form for each segment.
→ Optimize the time needed to fill the registration form
With Eventtia, you can reduce the time your prospective attendees need to fill out the registration form by leveraging its various selection of field types:
- Text field: your usual field with one line of text, ideal for fields that only require short answers. You can set multiple values (i.e., value1, value2, etc., separated by commas.) when needed.
- Text area: for longer answers
- Multiple selections: great for certain questions that don’t need user-inputted answers, and can significantly shorten the time needed to fill the form.
- Image: allowing attendees to upload images
- Plain text: An explanatory text in the middle of your form. Use this to provide intuitive instructions or provide information when needed.
- Date/time: pretty self-explanatory, you can let attendees easily input the right date/time.
- Place: country, region, and city
- File: allowing attendees to upload files up to 10MB
You can also set up which fields will be mandatory/required by checking the “required field” box next to the chosen field type.
→ Enable and authorize group registration
You can easily enable and authorize group registration to facilitate attendees who are looking to register together with friends, co-workers, or family members.
To enable group registration on Eventtia, you can follow these steps:
- Go to the Registration module and click Types.
- Assuming you’ve segmented your attendees as discussed above, choose an attendee type and click on it
- Go to the Group Registration tab.
- Tick the Enable box on the attendee segment you’d like to have access to the Group Registration option. You can set a maximum number of people in a group (or leave it be), and then click Save once you’ve set up everything.
Those who belong to the attendee segment you’ve chosen should now be able to register multiple people up to the maximum number you’ve established in step 4. They can do this by clicking the Add new participant button once they’ve finished their registration.
→ Design user-friendly registration form with optimal UX
With Eventtia, you have all the features you’ll need to create a user-friendly registration form, and you should focus on the following:
- Make sure your event’s Unique Value Proposition (UVP) is clearly communicated on the registration page. Write a short and attractive copy that highlights the major benefits they’d get by attending your event, and make this section prominent and easy to find.
- Make sure to only include fields that are absolutely necessary. Decide on which fields are mandatory and which can be optional.
- Arrange your fields in an optimal order. While this can vary, typically, you can follow this order: name, email address, and contact information, followed by shipping address, billing address, and card details. Illogical order can confuse prospective attendees and may lower conversion rates.
- Enable automatic error detection in form fields. Prospective attendees will make mistakes while filling out forms, so inform them of any errors as soon as they switch fields. Make it clear how the error can be corrected.
→ Ensure the registration form performs flawlessly
As discussed, no matter how well-designed your registration page and form are, if it doesn’t function properly, prospective attendees will still abandon registration.
Make sure to partner with the right event tech provider like Eventtia to ensure reliability.
→ Setting up registration for simultaneous activities
If you are going to offer simultaneous activities at your event, you can make these tracks available in the online registration form, so prospective attendees can select the ones they wish to join.
To set up registration for simultaneous activities on Eventtia:
- Go to the Program module, then click the Activities section.
- Assuming you haven’t created any activity yet, click the blue Create Activity button, then fill in the required information about this activity:
- Start and end dates.
- Speaker. Check here on how to create speakers for your event.
- Number of available “seats” (if there is no participant limit, you can leave this at 0).
- Rates and access to registration.
- Description of the activity.
- Add more activities as needed, and then check the Allow registration for this workshop on activities you’d like to make available for registration
- Set prices and configure each activity, then click Save
Each eligible attendee will now be able to select the activities they’d like to participate in during registration. Participants can easily check the summary of their registration with the details in costs (if it’s not a free activity by going to the Attendees page within the Registration module.
Today’s consumers and professionals expect simplicity and versatility. And events are no different.. Online registration allows prospective attendees to register from anywhere, anytime, and on any device with ease, and this simplicity and versatility will ultimately encourage more registrations.
While implementing online event registration on your website or application can be a daunting task, by following the tips we’ve shared above, you can develop a hassle-free online event registration experience in no time.