how to create an online registration form

Guide to Creating an Online Registration Form

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 event planner using an online form builder , form editor or form designer to create a new form from a registration form template
 event planner using an online form builder , form editor or form designer to create a new form from a registration form template

Registration forms for events are a goldmine for event planners. By collecting information from attendees, you can create more effective pre- and post event marketing strategies, while also gaining insights to improve future events.

To really make the most of these forms, it's important to set them up correctly. In this guide, we'll show you how to create effective online registration forms and discuss what kind of information you might want to consider including.

man studying application forms, contact forms, and signup forms to configure the form fields and form submission functionality for a webinar registration submission and checkout workflow

Online Registration Forms: Best Practices

Online registration forms are an essential tool for event planners, but it's important to strike a balance between collecting the information you need and providing a positive experience for registrants. A well-designed form should be quick and easy to complete, while also gathering all the necessary data. Here are some key points to consider when creating a online registration form:

Keep it short

It's important to keep your online registration form as concise as possible. Only ask for information that is necessary. Long forms can be frustrating for potential attendees and may cause them to abandon the registration process altogether, so strive to make your forms brief, straightforward, and easy to complete.

Make it accessible

Don't make your website visitors search for your event registration form! Make it super easy to spot and access by displaying it prominently on your website and adding a clear call to action. Alternatively, you may want to create a dedicated landing page specifically for registration, which can then be easily shared with your potential attendees.

Brand your form

Your branding should be consistent throughout the entire event, from registration to post-event surveys. To do this, make sure to display your brand logo or tagline on your registration form. This helps prevent confusion and ensures that registrants know that the page they are on is legitimate.

A registration page also presents a great opportunity to showcase sponsor logos. The more exposure sponsors receive, the more likely they are to invest in future events.

Go mobile

Many people prefer to register and make purchases on their smartphones, so it's important to optimize your forms for mobile devices. This includes making sure all fields are legible and easy to fill out. If the process is too complicated or hard to navigate, people may abandon the registration process altogether.

photo of form respondent submitting an rsvp via a free online registration form and getting payment notifications on her phone for registration fees and add-on purchases thanks to a stripe or paypal  integration

Use a Plugin or Event Ticketing System

How To Deploy A Registration Form

Use A Registration Plugin

To make it easy for potential attendees to register for your event, it's important to have a user-friendly registration form. One option is to use an online template that offers a step-by-step tutorial to creating your form and embedding it into your website.

Be sure to choose a template that allows you to customize the fields to fit your needs. Many templates also have drag-and-drop options and the ability to create a drop-down menu to make the process easier for registrants.

Ideally your template will include a plugin that makes it simple to add the form to your website. Simply install the plugin and/or paste in some code and you're ready to go.

developer trying to embed code for a blank form into an Wordpress webpage in HTML that displays the branded header, ticket pricing and the social media handles for the event.

Use An Event Registration Platform

A event ticketing system or event registration platform such as Accelevents can significantly improve the online registration process for your event. These systems not only handle registration, but also process payments and facilitate check-in.

Guests can easily register on a dedicated landing page or directly on the event organizer's website via an embedded registration form. Event organizers can access in-depth analytics to monitor and improve registration performance as needed, ensuring a smooth and efficient registration process for all involved.

What Fields to Include in an Online Registration Form

Now that you know how you should create and structure your online registration form, it’s time to look at what should be included in the form. The questions you ask will depend on the type of event you are hosting. A corporate conference, for example, is likely to require different data than an educational seminar or a charitable golf tournament. But, in general, here is where you will want to start when setting up entry fields:

  1. Basic Contact Information: These fields that are typically found on most registration forms. Include name, address, email address, and maybe even a phone number. You don’t want to have too many fields. Remember, keep it simple and to the point.
  2. Custom Fields: Custom fields typically collect additional demographic information such as age, gender, income, occupation, education level, area of expertise, or professional interests. They may also ask for input specific to your event like meal preferences, allergies, food sensitivities, t-shirt sizes. This is where dropdown options or checkboxes can come in handy.
  3. Payment Options: Make it easy for event attendees by marrying ticket purchasing and registration together. Whatever payment options you have chosen to make available, include them here. To make this part easy, look for solutions like Accelevents, that integrate with your payment platforms. This will allow you to better manage credit card payments and the money coming to your account.
  4. Donation Option: For fundraising events, it is important to maximize donations. One way to do this is to include a donation option with your event registration. While people are filling out the form and including their payment details, they will be inclined to add a few more dollars to your coffers. By making it easy, you’ve more or less eliminated any excuse for not donating.

Registration forms may seem like an insignificant part of your planning process, but they can play a major role in attendee satisfaction. As one of the first major touch points your guests will have, it is important to make a good impression while still collecting the information you need. For more details on event registration, visit our guide on How to Improve Online Registration as well as our Ultimate Guide to Online Event Registration and Ticketing.

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