The registration page is one of the most important pieces of content that you’ll produce for your event. It’s more than likely going to be the first interaction that possible delegates have with you, so it is absolutely crucial to get it right. According to Nicholas Carr, author of ‘The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains’: “Web pages are viewed for ten seconds or less. Fewer than one in ten page views extend beyond two minutes, and a significant amount of those seem to involve unattended browser windows … left open in the background of a desktop.” This highlights how important it is to capture the attention of website visitors in just a few seconds across a few lines of text.
Having worked on thousands of registration pages for our clients, the Eventsforce team and I have come up with our top-ten tips to help you create the ultimate registration page.
Think about appearance
1. The way that your registration questions are presented will affect how successful your page is at attracting delegates. The key is to make their life as simple as possible – group the questions in sections so that registrants aren’t faced with one long list and in some cases it may even be possible to hide various questions and have them appear depending on previous answers. If the questions aren’t self-explanatory make sure you have some help text explaining what is required!
2. Make sure your registration pages look sharp – don’t use a boring, plain registration template. This is a great opportunity to reinforce branding and maintain consistency. Just be careful that you don’t include huge images or videos that take a long time to load – Studies have shown that 32% of consumers will start abandoning slow websites between one and five seconds.
Ensure it’s a clear, flowing process
3. Allow group bookings, so one person such as a PA or an office manager can book for a larger group of people at one time. It makes it easier for them to keep track of information, travel plans and finances.
4. Don’t make pages too long. If registrants have to scroll endlessly it can discourage them from completing the process.
5. Use progress bars to indicate how far through the process the registrant is. Alternatively, providing total number of pages will help them understand how long it may take them to complete, in the event they want to return to the registration later.
6. Where appropriate, invite people to register for sessions in advance and limit capacities. This forward thinking will prevent disappointment for attendees on the day.
Make it convenient and secure
7. Consider accepting different currencies during the payment process. For attendees in different countries it can make reconciling expenses much simpler and make them feel more welcome.
8. Add flight and accommodation booking options to the process. This can save registrants time and give you even more information about their event experience.
9. If you’re expecting registrations from multiple countries consider writing the registration page in a number of languages.
10. Ensure your registrants’ personal or sensitive details are protected from malicious attackers by using encrypting pages.
And finally – test test test!
We can never say this enough, but no registration process should go live and no emails should be sent until ample testing has been completed by different stakeholders. Let your event, marketing, finance, sales and management colleagues go through your setup to ensure nothing was accidentally left out and all your bases are covered.
George Sirius, CEO of Eventsforce
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