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Learn how to create an event registration strategy in 2019 and beyond. We’ll show you how you can deliver the best registration experience for your attendees, increase traffic to your event registration page and secure potential revenue.
Creating an event registration strategy for your attendees is one of the most important parts of the event lifecycle. By registering for your event, attendees are clearly interested in what your event will offer them. Making the process as simple as possible will ensure that they complete the registration and attendees will head into the event with a positive impression. Not only does a clear and easy registration process increase the number of people who complete it, it also creates a level of trust between attendees and the event organizers.
Within in this guide, we’ll show you how you can deliver the best registration experience for your attendees, increase traffic to your event registration page and secure potential revenue in 2019 and beyond!
Registration is at the heart of meetings and events. It’s is how event professionals secure attendees and thus how you secure potential revenue. In addition, pre-event registration acts as the first impression your attendees will have about your meeting or event and may impact their event satisfaction. As a result, you need to ensure your pre-event registration is as efficient and user-friendly as possible.
Once someone decides they want to attend your event; they want the registration process to be as quick and efficient as possible. Think about it from the attendees perspective, meaning that if you or a member of your team finds the process a bit more difficult than expected, odds are your attendees will feel the same way.
Keep the number of pages and forms to click through to a minimum. Think about what information is truly essential for you during the registration process and what can be collected later.
Make your registration fields pre-loadable for returning attendees. Once they type in their email address, all their basic information will automatically be filled in.
Only provide questions that are relevant to them. Customizing questions by attendee type (speaker, sponsor, basic attendee, etc.) will streamline the process by only showing questions that matter to them.
Test and retest payment functions for your event, especially if you are accepting multiple currencies. Nothing causes more anxiety than when an attendee sees an error message after putting in their payment information.
Features such as confirmation emails and the clear display of refund and private policy information help build a level of trust between the organizers and attendees that will carry through the rest of the event process.
No matter how straightforward you think your registration process is, there are bound to be questions from attendees.
Provide contact information for support in an easily accessible area. Go even further by having a help chat window or include a link to FAQs on your event website.
Quickly and easily answering attendee questions can make the difference between having a committed attendee or one that finds an excuse not to register.
Consider linking your registration to your email marketing and send an email to someone who started a registration but didn’t finish it. If they left the process, give them a reason to come back with a follow up email that highlights a popular keynote speaker or exciting networking opportunities.
When allowing attendees to edit their registration information, make sure they can’t change details that have been solidified on your end, i.e. rooming information already sent to a hotel.
In addition to your event registration website, you should integrate a mobile event app into your registration process. With over 5 billion smartphone users in the world in 2019, a number that is steadily increasing, event apps are a convenient and easy way for your attendees to register for your event.
In addition, by having your attendees pre-register for your event on your mobile event app, you ensure that they download your event app before your event. This secures the opportunity for you to customize attendee’s registration paths and to communicate directly with them before, during, and after your event.
Recommended Resource: Wondering how a mobile app can enhance your event experience?
Find out how in our Complete Guide to Event Mobile Apps.
A simple way to make travel management easy is to include hotel booking options right in the registration form.
Things like room rates and room types should be presented in a clear and concise manner. For attendees who are not ready to make accommodation decisions while they’re registering, allow them to go back in to add or edit hotel needs at a later date.
Go beyond typical options like hotel room block discounts and coupon codes to include selections such as room sharing. This can help make your event more affordable, as well as greatly reduce your housing budget.
Consider integrating your event registration software with a global distribution system (GDS). This will automate transactions between travel service providers and travel agencies, making it easier to offer your attendees the best travel accommodations and make all of your data seamlessly connect.
As the common first touch point with potential and returning attendees, your website needs to be the central location for all event information. No matter if you created your own event website, or it lives on a page on your site, or you’ve utilized an event management software to create a registration site you always need to be driving traffic to your event website. It’s not enough to simply have an event website if it’s not widely accessible to your potential attendees!
Whether you’re looking to drive organic traffic or direct traffic, there are plenty of techniques to help the popularity of your event registration site.
Social media allows event professionals to reach their audience on a more personal level via platforms they regularly use and love. Make sure you’re properly utilizing all of your social media channels and cater your content appropriately keeping your hashtags consistent across all channels.
Now is the time to reevaluate your social media efforts to find new ways to connect with attendees, get them excited about your event and promote your event registration website.
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are staples, but consider using other mediums as well. It can be overwhelming as there are countless choices seemingly popping up every year, but before you jump on board, take a look at your audience first. What type of people attend your event and what platforms are they already using? For example, if your attendees are young and tech-savvy then Instagram and Snapchat with a branded geofilter are great options. If your event is more business-focused, having a strong LinkedIn presence is perfect.
Even though communicating with attendees can be done through a variety of channels (social media, phone, text, etc.), email is still a event professionals go to throughout the entire event lifecycle. Whether it’s used to promote registration, send important event updates or even just to say “thank you for attending” post-event, sending exceptional event emails is crucial to maintaining attendee engagement.
When you design event emails, keep it simple and clean. Attendees won’t know what to look at first if an email has an overload of graphics and information.
Consistency is important with design. Include your event’s logo, colors and other design elements to tie everything together. Make important actions, like registering, utilizing a discount or even following social media accounts, easy and clear by including buttons and widgets.
Think about what information is crucial for your attendee to know in that moment and link to the website for additional info.
If you’re planning an event that’s annual, and you have a list of former attendees who’ve opted in, send them special “VIP” or “early bird” opportunities to access your event registration website. If you have some attendees who’ve already signed up, consider offering them referral links to the event registration site for their friends, or link to the Facebook event in your confirmation email. Incorporate CTAs into your emails as well to make your event registration accessible and available with nothing more than the click of a button.
Don’t forget to include a captivating subject line. Along with looking to see who the sender is, attendees will also look at the subject line before even opening the email. Make the subject line a phrase or sentence that will make attendees want to open your email.
When it comes to scheduling emails, finding the right balance throughout your event timeline is critical.
Consider scheduling emails on a consistent weekly or biweekly basis. You want to send enough emails to keep attendees up to date, but also not so many that you’re bombarding them with your messaging. You can always increase messaging the closer you get to the event. Use an email scheduling calendar that can be created through your marketing automation or email software to stay on track.
Encourage your employees to link to the event registration in the signatures of their emails. Chances are, they’re interacting with people via email on a regular basis in the same industry who would be interested in registering for your event.
Use an effective event email marketing platform that can track who has registered and who needs additional encouragement. There’s no point in filling a committed attendee’s inbox with registration emails if you can prevent it. Tracking clicks and open rates can help you find the email schedule sweet spot, which is beneficial for both you and your attendees.
As your event approaches you really need to be aware of how you can reach your audience and get as much visibility in Google search. Take the time to thoroughly evaluate which keywords you need to drive traffic to your event registration site and create content that resonates with your audience. The more relevant your content is to your event, the more interest your attendees will have, both pre- and post-registration.
Driving traffic to your registration website via organic search is less invasive than digital ads as well as more appealing if done correctly. Consider investing in guest posts or advertorials on sites that feature event industry news. The more places the link to your event registration website lives, the greater the traffic!
Don’t be afraid to go back and update old content as well. By updating your old content, you can give it a second life and transform it into content that will continue to drive massive search engine traffic. If you can dig up old posts that are relevant to your current and upcoming event, use that as another means of event promotion.
When it comes to SEO everyone wants quick results, but the truth is that it can take weeks for you to see the impact from your SEO strategy. Paid search on the other hand can provide more immediate results making them the ideal supplement to organic search efforts.
PPC ads appear at the top of organic results in the search engine results page (SERP) when users search for relevant keywords and phrases. These ads help boost the visibility of your registration website and can be helpful in connecting you with a wider audience online.
Recommended Resource: Are you in need of fresh creative event marketing ideas that actually work?
Download our guide on The Future of Event Marketing to learn how to navigate through the overarching
trends in our industry today.
What’s important at this stage of your event is to make a good first impression for attendees and stakeholders. And since onsite registration and check-in is one of the first things your attendees experience on day one, you want it to go as smoothly and quickly as possible. By creating an efficient process, you will help set a positive, professional tone for the rest of your event.
Setup self-service kiosks near the registration desks where attendees can verify their own information and print their own materials.
If you allow last minute attendees to go through the entire registration process on the kiosks as well, make sure they can accept all proper payment methods.
To help the self-service process go even quicker, preload registrant data from previous events to further benefit your loyal attendees.
If you want to save time and money, print attendee badges and other credentials onsite instead of prior to the event. Your attendees will not have to wait while your staff flips through hundreds (or even thousands) of pre printed badges, and any last-minute changes or edits can be completed in-person.
Think of the valuable data you can track during the check-in/registration process. For example, it could be the number of attendees who used self-service kiosks over those who checked in in person, the number of day-of/ last minute registrants or the highest number of registrations at a certain time. These numbers can help you decide the ratio of staff to self-service kiosks or to have a larger check-in space next year, but above it all it can help guarantee that your attendees are having the best onsite experience that you can provide.
Recommended Resource: Are you looking to transform your attendees into loyal customers?
Just as other marketers trace the buyer's journey, you must trace the attendee's journey. Learn how to do just that and much more with our Onsite Guide to Optimizing the Attendee Journey.
Have a dedicated staff member to welcome attendee. This person can make sure that people waiting to check-in have the proper information readily available or that their phone brightness is high enough to ensure their mobile barcode scans. Not to mention, it's nice to add a little human touch to those who choose the self-service route.
Data is crucial to analyzing your successes and recognizing your failures at each event you organize. All in all, it’s the stuff that helps you create a better event experience for your attendees, as well as increase your event ROI.
Deciding on your KPIs, or key performance indicators, is a crucial step for event ROI. But if you’re collecting all this data, you need to make sure you’re reading it in the right way and often enough to get the most out of it.
Consider these four registration KPIs to successfully tackle getting measurable results from your event and to understand event ROI better.
From early-birds to last-minute registers, understanding the registration times can tell event professionals a lot about the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.
Having this information at your disposals allows professionals to make data-driven decisions based on insights from their event and help them evaluate success and recognize areas of improvement during the registration cycle.
Tracking what promotional or discount codes work and don’t work enables event professionals to better align their pricing and marketing structure. Moreover, they gain a deeper understanding of attendee thoughts, behaviors and intent.
EventProfs can not only see what discounts were the most popular, but they can determine how long and at what point of the registration cycle to incentivize potential attendees to register for their event.
By tracking walk-in data year over year, you can account for the unexpected number of attendees and be prepared by having additional meals and supplies ready.
Collecting and analyzing this data allows organizers to determine how many "extras" to budget for. If your expectations for walk-ins in the past have been too high you will now be better prepared for the unexpected, which can save you money and provide a better event experience.
It's no secret that attendees are becoming more tech-savvy and are accessing the internet on mobile devices more-so than ever before. Understanding where your visitors are coming from is helpful when want to capture their attention when they land on your website.
If you track how your audience prefers to register for your event, you can deliver a more personalized experience by running online ad campaigns on the devices they used to access your site.
Bottom line, you could be using the best reporting software, but if you’re not taking the time to customize your data experience to your own unique needs and goals, then it could end up hurting your organization in the long run. Work smarter, not harder when it comes to analyzing your event data!
The meeting and event industry is constantly changing as improvements in technology make it easier for event professionals to engage with attendees. But what hasn’t changed is the importance of creating a seamless registration process for your attendees.
Implementing an event registration strategy that keeps your unique goals and audience preferences in mind will lead you to event success and increased ROI. Furthermore, by collecting and analyzing registration data you’re able deliver a perfect registration experience that fully aligns with your brand and resonate with your attendees, exhibitors and sponsors.
At Aventri our Event Registration Platform is the most secure, easy-to-use, highly customizable and feature-packed platform powering meetings and events of all sizes. Learn more how Aventri can help deliver a perfect registration experience and increase the number of attendees at your events!
Schedule a demo today to see how Aventri can help you Connect Better and start creating unforgettable meetings and events.