Online Registration: 10 Success Secrets

We’ve seen some truly amazing ways to improve event registration through our work with over 1000 clients. And the best part is that many of these techniques can be automated and streamlined with the advent of online registration systems.

As a result, your registrants will have a more positive experience. Additionally, these online registration systems alleviate many of the daily headaches you and your team face.

These ten small success secrets will help you achieve the following:

* Increase the number of registrants

* Increase the monetary value of events

* Increase attendee satisfaction

* Simplify your life as a meeting planner

1. Dedicate time up front

You may be surprised at how simple changes to your registration design can make things significantly easier and more efficient for both you and your attendees – which benefits everyone! Additionally, preparation ahead of time will save you a great deal of time and aggravation in the long run. Online registration systems are event registration tools that assist you in quickly developing your event. However, all too frequently, event planning takes longer than anticipated due to insufficient time spent designing the registration process.

Allow at least a week to create an excellent design for your online registration. This way, you can generate some truly excellent ideas, bounce them off of others, and even seek assistance from the support team for your online registration system. Certain support teams will assist you in scoping out the project, brainstorming ideas, and even building your registration pages.

2. Maximize the time allotted for registration

Allow ample time to register and gather registrants. The more time you have before an event to register people, the more registrants you will have. We see a lot of events where registration begins a few weeks prior to the event. By extending the registration period, people perceive the event as larger, more significant, and more worthwhile for them.

Additionally, this enables you to offer tiered pricing structures, such as early bird specials that encourage people to sign up even earlier. Certain online registration systems will automatically toggle between different pricing tiers based on the dates you specify.

3. Make Registration Simple

Provide as many opportunities as possible for prospective attendees to say “yes” to your event. How many times have you encountered an event that piqued your interest… only to be forced to sift through web pages in search of the small “register here” text link tucked away at the bottom of each page. This results in the loss of registrants and revenue. Additionally, it requires additional staff time to direct people where to go. Promote the link prominently on your home page, in the navigation bar, and, most importantly, on every page that discusses the event, at the bottom of emails (in the signature), and on printed materials.

4. Assist them in establishing a sense of belonging

With the majority of online registration services, your attendees will navigate from your site to that of the registration provider. This could be perplexing for your attendees and may make them feel uneasy about sharing their contact and credit card information. This can be avoided by customising the registration pages’ border, headings, and font colours to match your site. Additionally, you can include your logo in the custom header and/or footer pages. Now, when people click to register, they get a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that your brand and colours are right there alongside them.

5. Inviting them in

A “welcome” message is a nice touch that informs people about the event for which they have registered and makes them feel good. It’s an excellent opportunity to remind prospects of the benefits of attending your event. Be precise. Whether it’s a conference, incentive trip, training session, or golf tournament, we all require justification for our time and money investments. Additionally, this is an excellent place to explain a little bit about the online registration process (especially if there is a lot to choose from or fill out).

For instance:

We would like to extend a warm welcome to the Conference on Happy Golden Retrievers. We are overjoyed that you will join us in Lake Tahoe from August 20th to the 23rd.

Between the 300 happy goldens, the cool dog tricks they’ll perform, and the fun we’ll have socialising together, it should be doggone fun! We’ll ask you a few questions about you and your dog on the following four registration pages, as well as about your meal preferences, hotel preferences, and preferred method of payment.

Please contact us via phone or email if you have any questions or encounter any difficulties along the way. We want you to be as content as your golden.

6. Provide access to specifics

One reason people abandon their registration is to learn more before making a purchase. It is critical to have links from the registration pages to more detailed pages (either on the registration form or on your website). It enables the registrant to open secondary windows and obtain additional information before returning to complete their registration. You may wish to encourage people to call you while they are registering, so they can receive immediate assistance and complete their registration on the spot.

7. Inquire More Thoroughly

Inquire about more than your registrants’ contact information, meal preferences, and credit card numbers. Discover more about them; their expectations for the event, their perspectives and experiences on event-related topics, as well as their demographic information. Your registrants will perceive that the event is more tailored to their specific needs. You can actually use the data to enhance the event’s relevance.

Several examples include the following:

* What do you hope to gain from this event?
* How were you made aware of the event?
* What prompted your decision to attend?
* How frequently have you attended this event?
* Have you passed it on to others? Why?
* What would you change to make the event better?
* Which portion(s) of the event are you most anticipating?

You can use this data to improve the event, promote it, track marketing efforts, compile aggregate data to share with all attendees, and highlight aspects that attendees are most excited about. Certain online registration systems allow you to incorporate customised questions such as these into your registration pages. Additionally, they may output the responses in a nice, neat format for you.

8. Satisfy their desire to purchase

Allow registrants to purchase more than just an event registration. Your subscribers are already in a purchasing mood. They may be itching to obtain something that will assist them prior to, during, or following your event. Are you selling books, t-shirts, tapes, white papers, or autographed books from your event’s speakers? Alternatively, if you are a charity, this could be an excellent opportunity to solicit donations. With an online registration system, you can provide additional value to your registrants (with minimal additional effort) as they complete the registration process.

9. Express gratitude to your registrants

With online registration, the system sends confirmation emails to the registrant automatically. Utilize this opportunity to reassure your registrant about their decision to attend. Write a confirmation email that expresses your sincere gratitude, increases their excitement about attending, and serves as a subtle reminder to tell their friends and colleagues. You might even include a special offer in the confirmation email that enables their friends to save money on your event.

10. Include value prior to the event

The majority of online registration systems offer the option of sending automated reminder emails at specified intervals. Utilize this capability to increase your attendance, build stronger relationships, and generate more referrals.

The trick to supercharging these emails is to include additional value… a sneak peek at a topic that will be discussed at the event, an article written by one of the speakers, an industry whitepaper, or a look at some of the industry’s most contentious issues.

Perhaps just prior to the golf tournament, it’s a blurb from Tiger Woods on proper putting technique. Give something that will enrich and enrich the lives of your registrants… Anything that makes them feel as though the event organisers have done their homework and, as a result, the event will be extremely valuable as well.

Bonus Suggestions:

You may be wondering, after reading these ten tips, “Is there anything else I should know?” We decided to include a few bonus tips to help you improve your event and registration experience even further.

1. Recruit testers to attempt to circumvent your registration.

Completely test your registration pages prior to launching them. It is far more convenient to invest the time up front than to deal with the hassles and embarrassment associated with an incorrectly aligned registration form.

At times, you may be too close to it and require another set of eyes to conduct an adequate test. The more testing you conduct, the more seamlessly everything will run. Rehearse the registration with several members of your organisation while it is still in testing mode. Request that your online registration provider’s technical support advisors test it for you. Their expertise in event configuration will ensure that you get the most from the application.

2. Reintroduce those who have abandoned

Certain systems are capable of automatically emailing users who attempted to register but did not complete the process. The email would inquire as to whether they had any questions or concerns. This enables you to be proactive in assisting individuals with completing their registrations, thereby increasing your registration numbers. This may be a report that you can run and then email manually on some systems.

3. Interact with attendees following the event

Following up after an event is frequently overlooked. You can differentiate yourself from the competition by sending a post-event follow-up email and/or survey. Thank your attendees and inquire about what they liked about the event and what could be improved. Certain online registration systems are capable of automating this process as well. For instance, configure the system to automatically send personalised emails with a link to a survey one week after the event concludes.

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