If you’re running an event, you almost certainly want to have advance online registration. Here are ten tips for making sure you do everything you can to have a smooth signup process.
Our first set of tips come straight from the blog post that inspired this one: 5 Event Registration Best Practices written by Stephanie Fisher at SpinWeb. Read the whole post, but in summary:
1. Create an event landing page – Have one place, one URL with all the key info.
2. Use an integrated online registration service Instead of saying “email us to register”, use a form-based online tool to collect information.
3. Encourage social sharing – Ensure that people can use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other relevant networks easily to let their contacts know they are attending.
4. Follow up with your registrants – At the very least, send a reminder email! But also, consider sending a note after the event to thank them and solicit feedback.
5. Managing tickets and registrants at the door – Make certain to check in people who attend. That way you’ll know who was there, as well as who intended to be there and did not show.
Those are all great tips, but here are five more to consider.
6. Don’t Re-Market to People Who Have Already Signed Up
This is something we at AccelaWork have learned by trial and error. Suppose Bob Smith signs up to attend your event next month. Later you send out an email campaign to all your subscribers suggesting they sign up, but this list includes Bob Smith. What he might think is that you didn’t get his registration or that you forgot, and he’ll sign up again. Or, he’ll get annoyed and decide not to attend!
Instead, put people who have already signed up into a different bucket so that they get reminder emails instead of marketing messages.
7. Sign People Up On Their Behalf
This is such an easy trick I’m amazed that more people don’t do it. If you’re on a phone call or in a meeting and someone says they want to go to your event, sign them up yourself. Just go to the online form and fill it out as if you were them.
This saves them the time and they will still get all of the reminders. But of course, do the signup as soon as possible after they commit to attending, so they aren’t surprised by the messages.
8. Allow Registrants to Pay Later
If you look at online abandonment data—that is, when people get tired of a process and decide to quit—you’ll see it often happens when it’s time to enter the credit card info. This can be too onerous for many individuals.
Try to adjust your process or your online payment vendor to allow people to make payments at a later date. This can be through an invoice or just by returning to the form, or paying at the door. This will increase your signups and improve your customer service.
9. Ensure That People Can Register Others or as a Group
Many of your event attendees may have an administrative assistant taking care of their registration, or they may be coming as a team to your program. Your process should make this easy. A quick checkbox should let the end user add more names or clarify they are registering a person other than themselves.
10. Make Confirmation Calls
Reminders are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, a professional should keep their calendar and not need to be told again when they are expected. On the other hand, if you don’t remind people about their stated intent to attend, they are less likely to show up.
A powerful way to address this is by picking up the phone and calling each of the attendees before the event begins. This gives you the chance to address any questions as well as offer a personal touch. It’s time consuming, but it works!
Consider these tips for your next program. And let us know if you need help with speakers or resources for an event or event series!