7 Steps to Simplify Your Event Registration and Improve Attendee Experience

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All guests who want to attend an event have to first register. Being that it’s the first step, the registration can impact an attendee’s impression of the event as a whole. If the process is overly cumbersome and requires multiple forms to be filled out, then people may just decide not to bother with it.

Simplify your event registration

You need a way of streamlining the registration so that it’s quick and efficient for your guests while also providing you with all the information you need for metric purposes.

1. Allow for Multiple Payment Options

Whatever event management software you use, it should be able to accept multiple forms of payment. This includes the basics like credit cards and PayPal. Ideally, it should also be able to accept foreign credit and debit cards if you have guests attending from overseas.

This saves them the hassle of having to bother with complicated logistics of currency conversion. Also, if your guests already have their payment information saved in your company website, then they should be able to quickly make their payment without having to reenter their payment information.

2. Group Registration

Allow for attendees to register as a group. Everyone will still have to register individually, but by enabling group registration, you’ll be able to better break down the total number of guests by group. This is helpful when making seating arrangements. Group registration also enables the head of the party to pay for the group. This is useful for people attending with family members and kids in tow. Head members can pay for their own ticket as well as their spouses and children with a single payment.

You can also encourage group registration by offering discounts, perhaps 10% off the total price for group registration of four or more people. Guests may be more apt to convince one or two extra people to tag along just to take advantage of the discount. This, in turn, boosts total turnout and also means more brand exposure.

3. Provide Preference Choices

The registration process should include a few simple questions where you ask the guests about their preferences. This can be in the form of fill-in-the-blank or “check all that apply” questions. Examples of preference questions include:

  • What is your shirt size? (if handing out promotional wear at the event)
  • What type of cuisine do you prefer for the event’s lunch hour?
  • Will you be interested in checking out workshops X and Y?
  • Will you be attending the event’s supplementary lecture by our guest speaker?
  • Do you require special or disability accommodations? If so, please describe.

Asking preference questions serves a twofold purpose. First, it helps you acquire important metric information. Second, it impresses the guests knowing that you are taking their preferences into consideration. Of course, you should include a note at the end that though you will do your best, fulfilling specific guest preferences is not guaranteed.

4. Make the Process Mobile-Friendly

If guests want to register while riding on a bus or out and about, they should have the ability to do so. How does the registration page look when accessed via mobile device? Is the print still legible? Is there a lot of zooming in and scrolling required?

If need be, create a separate registration option for those who use a mobile. This option can include showing only one question at a time so as not to crowd the screen. Most software systems these days also have the ability to detect the type of device being used and automatically adjust the page to optimize it for the specific device.

5. Short and Sweet Is the Best

Registration should take no more than five minutes. The only information that attendees should be required to enter includes the basics like their name, address, and billing information. Include a few preference questions in the end and leave it at that.

Afterwards, however, you may also direct the guest to an optional survey or option to upgrade to a VIP ticket. Don’t get too salesy and try to overdo it with the upsell, though. Just one offer followed by a confirmation and thank you page.  

6. Keep the Registration Page on Your Main Event Site

At no point should guests be directed to a completely new site with an unfamiliar URL during the registration process. This is especially the case when it comes to the payment section. People are naturally wary – and rightfully so – when submitting information online. The Web is littered with phishing sites that pose as legitimate companies.  Preferably, the registration should be done on your site.

If the registration is on your company site, then regular members should already have their information stored in your database. Enable autofill so that the rest of the information is automatically filled in when the first letter or number is inputted into a blank field.

7. Provide Paper Registration Forms

The majority of people nowadays handle day-to-day transactions online. Nevertheless, there are a small minority that still prefer to do things the old fashion way. This means filling out a paper form and sending it via snail mail. Even though people in this category are small, they are still a segment of your consumers, and you don’t want to alienate them by not providing their preferred registration method.

The registration page should come with a “print page” icon along with instructions where the form can be mailed to and who to make checks payable to.

Streamline the Process for Your Guests

Don’t waste your guests’ time with a lengthy registration process. People will be put off if they are bombarded with questions left and right. For those who are still unsure about attending your event, they may decide to just forget about it because they don’t want to spend another minute filling a seemingly endless questionnaire.

Looking for Event Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Event Management software solutions.

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About the Author

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Dan McCarthy

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Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at Ultimate Experience, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 5 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog.

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