Is your registration process killing conversions? Here’s the fix.

Picture this: Someone sees a captivating ad for your event and feels they need to go! But then, they hit the registration process. This crucial step can make or break your attendance numbers. If it’s overly complicated, tedious, or confusing, that hard-won excitement can turn to annoyance, killing your conversion. 

Don’t let a lousy registration process ruin your event! Whether you’re a beginning event planner or a seasoned pro, we could all use a registration refresher. Simple adjustments can turn a tedious process into an intuitive experience that maintains engagement. If you do it right, they’ll feel more excited after registering. 

This article explores the top strategies for creating a conversion-optimized registration process. We cover everything from SSO and event branding to the marketing-registration dynamic. By the end, you’ll be a registration pro!

Create a streamlined experience.

The ideal registration process is effortless and intuitive. Your attendees should feel as if you’re guiding them by the hand through the various sections with little confusion. Keep in mind that our attention spans are less than a goldfish’s (yes, seriously). Hold your audience’s attention with an efficient registration that contains only essential fields. 

Group related fields to create a logical structure and sense of flow. For example, fields related to basic personal information, like name, address, job title, etc., should be grouped. Logical organization creates a sense of flow and prevents confusion. 

It seems obvious, but make sure all fields are clearly labeled. If you have specific fields for first and last names, ensure they’re labeled to avoid the full name ending up in the first name box. Clear labeling is also important for clarifying why specific data is needed. For potentially sensitive information, include a brief copy explaining why it’s being requested. 

It’s a digital world, which means many will come to your registration page from social media. Ensure your registration form is mobile-friendly so on-the-go attendees can quickly sign up for your event experience. If they have to wait to use a computer, you’ll risk losing their interest in the intervening time.

Organization checklist

  • Are all sections/fields essential? 
  • Are related fields grouped? 
  • Is everything clearly labeled? 
  • Is registration optimized for mobile? 

A pro strategy is to have your event team test out the registration process, preferably those who haven’t worked on it. Ask them to identify areas where they were confused or felt it lagged. If the reviews are all positive, then you’re good to go!

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Optimize with smart features.

Sometimes, the cliches say it best: the devil’s in the details! Use innovative features to optimize your registration process and save attendees time and confusion. These subtle details pack a big bunch, maximizing flow and minimizing mental workload. 

Inline validation saves a lot of frustration by providing real-time feedback as attendees fill out each section. It immediately indicates errors, allowing attendees to quickly fix their mistakes and identify fields they may have missed. To boost clarity, errors should be color-coded in red, with correct answers in green. 

Streamline the process by enabling sign-up via Google or social media accounts like Facebook or Twitter. Single sign-on (SSO) allows users to provide large amounts of data, like name, age, and location, in a single step. This simplified data collection saves time, safeguards attention and reduces stress. Give users the choice to fill out a typical registration form, as some may be sensitive about these mass data collection features. 

Who doesn’t love the dopamine boost you get from checking off a task? Implement a progress bar to give attendees an encouraging sense of accomplishment. This feature also shows attendees how much remains so they won’t feel lost in registration limbo. 

Any time you can save matters, even if it’s only a few seconds. It all adds up! Optimize your address field with a smart look-up feature like an auto-fill API. Attendees only need to input the first few letters of an address before receiving a list of options. This feature also helps ensure data accuracy. 

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Boost with branding.

Sure, function is important, but don’t forget about fashion! Your registration form is the final stage of the sales experience, which likely featured a lot of carefully curated branding. Colors, tone of voice, and messaging should be woven (subtly) through your registration. Don’t let enthusiasm fizzle because of a bland form! 

Ensure your registration form’s style matches the overall event design, including font, color combinations, imagery, etc. Keep your event experience title visible at the top of the page, and if you have space, include event sponsors, vendors, and other exciting tidbits. 

Use the registration form to tease exciting elements not otherwise stated in the event marketing. You can include a small section devoted to gauging attendees’ interests while simultaneously hyping certain keynotes and entertainers. Ask which foods they’d prefer or which speakers they’re most excited to see. Use this attendee data to improve event personalization

Branding checklist 

  • Does the design match the event branding? 
  • Is the tone of voice consistent? 
  • Is there space to promote sponsors, vendors, and speakers? 
  • Is the event title clearly visible? 
  • Can you add photos to tease the experience? 

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Strategic data collection.

The fanciest registration in the world won’t help unless it asks the right questions. While it’s easier to copy and paste a basic form, creating a personalized registration for your event will help you design a more efficient, personalized experience. 

  • Basic information 
  • Attendee name 
  • Company 
  • Position 
  • Contact details 

This basic information should serve as a foundation. Collect this info first before moving on to the more event-specific details that you can use to refine your planning. Encourage attendees to register early by emphasizing how the information they provide will dictate the experience. A significant example of this is catering

Use the registration form to gauge how many vegan/vegetarian attendees you’ll have and how many have dietary restrictions like lactose or gluten intolerance you’ll need to accommodate. This information will allow you to offer personalized catering with delicious dietary alternatives so everyone can enjoy the same quality of experience. 

Creating inclusive environments.

Planning an inclusive event requires accessibility accommodations. Provide space for attendees to make note of any accessibility needs they may have, such as physical disabilities or hearing impairments that can be aided with AI technology like talk-to-text. Planning ahead ensures a smooth experience for all attendees. 

While you don’t want to overwhelm them with questions, adding an option to request travel or accommodation assistance will provide attendees with reassuring information that eliminates a possible attendance barrier. Make it simple by creating a packet of recommendations and travel information (such as required documents, visas, etc.) that will automatically be sent to their email after registration. 

  • Personalization info 
  • Dietary preferences or restrictions 
  • Accessibility needs 
  • Primary language 
  • Travel/lodging requests 
  • Experience goals (i.e. networking, education, etc.) 

You don’t have to get all of this information during registration. Consider sending a follow-up email with a short form requesting further details, including their top interests and goals for the experience. Knowing whether someone prefers networking sessions over keynotes will help you craft personalized agendas. 

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Beyond the registration.

Congratulations! You’ve moved a prospective attendee to a registered attendee. It’s a feat worth celebrating, even if you’ve been in the game for a while. However, as the event planning pros know all too well, a registered attendee doesn’t guarantee that they’ll show up. Registration is just one accomplishment on the road to a well-attended event. 

The same efforts that lead to the registration need to continue after. Send exclusive emails to attendees offering “insider info.” Create interactive polls and hashtags that encourage registered attendees to share their excitement. Once people register, funnel them into the online conversation that will culminate in live conversations at your venue. 

Registration, like social media and follow-up emails, is a part of the event experience. It’s the first step in creating a relationship with your attendees and nurturing that relationship over the years by continuing to get to know them and their needs.

When done right, registration goes beyond a logistical necessity, becoming—dare we say it—an enjoyable part of the experience!

June 13, 2024

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June 13, 2024

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