Event registration forms are an absolute gold mine for event planners. They provide significant data on event guests that can be used in the future to improve guest experiences and marketing strategies.
But, in order to provide these benefits, registration forms need to put together properly.
Our guide to creating an online registration form will give you the best practices for online registration forms and provide a look at some of the fields you should think about including.
Online Registration Forms: Best Practices
It is important to remember two main things when creating online registration forms: your needs and guest/attendee satisfaction. If you fail to gather the information you need or irritate a registrant in the process, has your form served its purpose? Not really!
The ideal registration form will collect important data and be quick and painless for anyone filling it out. The whole point of online registration is to streamline the registration process and make things easier for everyone!
Here are some things to keep in mind when creating online registration forms:
Keep it short
Brevity is essential. The longer your registration form, the more frustrated a registrant is likely to become. In some instances, a lengthy form may cause someone to abandon the process, completely causing you to lose a sale!
Ask only for the information you absolutely need to have. If you don’t need to know someone’s driver’s license number, don’t ask for it! Adding unnecessary questions will just frustrate your potential attendees.
The type of information you need and the number of questions you ask will depend on the type of event you are running, but, in general, keep your forms short, sweet, and to the point.
Make your registration form easily accessible
People do not like to work harder than they have to. If they have to search high and low for your event registration form, they are going to give up before they even get started.
Your registration should be accessible through your event website. A call to action should be prominent so people do not have to search for it.
It is also a good idea to consider creating a landing page specifically for registration. That way, you can easily distribute and market that link to your audience and potential registrants.
If you clearly signal to people where they can register, they are more likely to do so.
Brand your form
One of the most significant things you can do to foster a positive attendee experience is to create a cohesive experience. This means that your branding must be consistent from registration through to the post-event survey.
You’ve taken great steps to create an event brand that speaks to your target audience and that branding should be carried through all of your touchpoints.
By displaying your brand logo or tagline on your registration form prevents confusion and ensures registrants that the link they clicked, or the page they’ve opened, is from you. It adds security and legitimacy to the process.
This is also an opportunity for you to display the logos of any event sponsors. The more exposure you can give them, the more likely they will be to invest in future events!
Make sure that your forms are available on mobile. It is likely that that you’ve optimized your website for mobile but have you optimized your registration forms as well?
By making forms available via mobile devices, registering becomes that much easier for potential attendees.
Make sure all fields are legible and that it is easy to make an entry. You do not want users to have to spend too much time scrolling or struggling to read the text. If it is too complicated, they will abandon the online registration process completely.
Use a Plugin or Event Ticketing System
You do not have to struggle to create a usable registration form. There are many tools available that can help you out.
There are many sites on the web that will offer you a template to make your life that much easier, taking you through the creation step by step.
If using an online template, make sure you pick one that makes it easy to customize and adjust the fields to suit your needs. Many will have drag and drop options and allow you to set up a drop-down menu to make things easier for your registrants.
Often, these same sites will include a plugin that makes it simple to add the form to your page. Simply install the plugin and/or paste in some code and you’re all set.
Using an event ticketing system or app can help to improve the online registration process. Not only can these types of systems handle registrations, but they can also process payments and streamline event check-in.
When using a ticketing system like Accelevents you can design a branded event website and access real-time analytics like registration numbers, ticket sales, and website traffic.
It is not enough to just collect data, you need to make that data work for you. The features included with Accelevents will help you improve your advertising campaign, track progress towards profit goals, and even generate increased donations for fundraising events!
Once registrations are complete, your event management team can take a look at who has registered and tailor your event to better suit these personas. Remember, you always want to create an event experience that people will remember, knowing and understanding who they are is the best place to start!
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 you 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 your entry fields on an online registration form:
- Contact Details: These are your basic fields that are on all registration forms. Include name, address, email address, and maybe even telephone number. You don’t want to have too many fields here. Remember, information someone has to enter, the more irritated they are likely to become. You need to know who people are, and how to get a hold of them, keep it simple and to the point.
- Conditional Questions: These types of fields will cover things like meal preferences and allergies or food sensitivities. If you are hosting a benefit dinner or a similar event, you will want to know this information. This is where drop-down menu options can come in handy.
- 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 integrates with your payment platforms. Doing this means you can better manage credit card payments and the money coming to your account.
- 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 else 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 touchpoints your guests will have, it is important to make a good impression while still collecting what you need.
Creating an online registration form is not a complicated process but by keeping these points in mind, you can make things much easier on you and your event attendees.
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.