7 Ways to Simplify Event Registration Process and Improve Attendee Experience
The event registration process seems like such a small part in the bigger scheme of things. However, it’s important that you get this part right because it has a bigger impact on attendee experience than you may realize. There are a few steps to implement to simplify the process and improve the experience for guests.
- Group Registration
Group registration is beneficial for two reasons. One, it encourages attendees to bring an additional guest or two, thereby increasing overall registration. Second, it also simplifies the process as it only requires a single registrant to register an entire group.
This saves everyone else in that party from having to register separately. This can prove to be a huge timesaver for attendees. If guests have to register separately, some may hold it off and simply never get to it.
- Keep It Simple
Don’t make the registration process feel like a burden. Keep it short and sweet. This means the process should only include the basics, such as your name, address, number of guests, payment information, etc. To expedite the process even further, you can also enable auto fill options, which comes in handy for attendees that have previously inputted their information.
You may, however, present a follow-up offer or two after a successful registration. This is known as upselling and is an old-time marketing tactic for boosting sales. A follow-up offer in this instance can be an offer to upgrade to a VIP ticket or an optional survey to complete in exchange for a discount code. Limit the upsell and/or survey to two at the most, or else attendees will feel like they’re being pestered.
- Make the Process Mobile-Friendly
Give attendees the option to register wherever they are, whether they’re at home, in their car, or at a bus stop. If you do opt for mobile registration, be sure to include a separate link for those that want to register from their portable devices.
The mobile registration page should have a different layout to make the process as user-friendly as possible. The page can, for example, include one question at a time to avoid crowding the screen. Some registration software can detect the type of device being used and automatically adjust the page layout accordingly.
- Ask Preference Questions
Just because you want to keep the registration simple doesn’t mean you can’t ask additional questions. Go ahead and ask anything that you feel would improve attendee experience. This may include accommodation questions, such as whether they require certain dietary needs or disability access. Other questions include shirt size if you’re handing out apparel for event swag. You can also ask whether they’ll be attending a specific workshop or prefer one presentation over another.
These questions are useful because it helps improve attendee experience. It also makes guests feel like you care about their preferences.
- Digitize the Process
Online registration seems obvious, but it must be mentioned because some companies still opt for paper registration. While there may indeed be folks who prefer to register through pen and paper, these people are in the minority. Everything should be done online. Not only does this expedite the process, but it also ensures for more accurate information.
Not only is paper registration an environmental waste but errors are also more likely, not to mention you may struggle to decipher sloppy handwriting. You may keep a few physical copies of registration forms handy for those who absolutely insist on registering the old fashion way. Beyond that, though, everything should be in digital format.
- Be Sure the Registration Page Works on all Browsers
Once your registration page is set up, double check to be sure it works on all browsers. Most issues you may run into are relatively minor, such as spacing and alignment inconsistencies. However, it’s also possible that the page may not work at all. If this is the case, it can reflect poorly on your company. It may also prompt attendees to hold off on the process until “later.” Of course, later sometimes means never.
Double check the registration page on all the primary browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Also check it on lesser used browsers as well because you never know who uses those.
- Allow Multiple Payment Options
Some people may choose to pay by credit card. Others may opt for PayPal. There may even be those that opt for less conventional methods, such as wire transfer or electronic check. If attendees have previously inputted their payment information on your site, then there should be an autofill option so registrants don’t have to input the information a second time.
Also, if you are expecting guests from overseas, then there should be an option for foreign transactions. This way, oversea guests don’t have to deal with complicated currency conversions.
Make Registering an Enjoyable Experience
Event attendees gauge every part of the event experience. A dissatisfaction in a single area can overshadow what would otherwise be a positive experience. Make sure the registration process is simple and engaging so attendees aren’t left with a bad taste in their mouths by the time they reach the confirmation page.
About the Author: 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. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.