There are many important elements to consider when planning an event. From deciding on the venue to finalizing speakers and agenda conten. Too often event organizers overlook the lifeblood of the event, event registration software.
This could be because it can be one of the most frustrating and time-consuming phases of planning an event. If organizer’s fail to pay close attention to event ticketing and event registration, they may find that attendees get a bad impression of your event from the get go.
If event attendees have a bad experience purchasing a ticket to your event, or during another part of the event registration process, it will have a negative impact on how they perceive the event more broadly. A smooth event registration process can set an attendee up to have a great event or conference experience.
In order to help create a world-class event experience for their attendees, we have put together this list of best practices related to event registration and ticketing.
1. Make sure attendees can register for your event on your own website
In order to sell the most tickets possible, make sure that when an attendee goes to pay for a ticket, they aren’t redirected to a third party website. A platform that prompts your attendees to go through an intermediary credit card processor will likely lead to cart abandonment. Studies show that when a customer is redirected to a third party checkout provider on another website, 30-50% more people will opt out of making a purchase than usual.
Create a seamless and secure event registration process on your event website. Be sure to use a event registration platform that doesn’t redirect users to another website in order to purchase a ticket.
Learn about event website design best practices
2. Excite your attendees with content from past events
Once attendees have registered for your event, it’s time to get them excited to attend. If the event has happened in years past, get them excited about attending by sharing awesome content with them from last year’s event. This clip from Hubspot’s 2014 Inbound Conference of keynote speaker Simon Sinek could be shared with event attendees as a way of setting their expectations for what’s to come at the 2015 Inbound Conference.
If this is the first year of the conference than have no fear. After the event registration processes has finished, you can email event attendees a behind the scenes video like the one Social Media Marketing World shared with attendees.
3. Keep your registration form short to ensure attendees have a positive experience
Once you’ve decided to go with electronic ticketing and registration, it’s time to create a registration form. Your registration form should be concise.
That said, there are certain questions that you simply must ask: if an attendee has a food allergy, needs physical assistance or has any other special requests.
It is important to create a pleasant registration process, burdening attendees with many registration form questions is a sure way to cause unnecessary frustration. The last thing you want as an event organizer is to cause attendees to associate frustration with your event. If you must ask additional questions during the event registration process, it’s better to email your already registered attendees a second short form rather than having them fill out one long one.
4. Create a seamless event check-in experience
Your event check-in processes should replicate that of a luxury hotel. Warmly greet each attendee. Make sure your attendees don’t have to wait long to check-in by making sure your event registration software works.
Post large signs outside of the venue, and on nearby street corners, to help attendees easily find the venue. When attendees enter the venue they should see additional signs that direct them to the event check-in area. There should also be a large sign with instructions for downloading an event app (if your event has one).
Station event venue guides throughout the space so that they can direct event attendees who have completed the check-in process to the first session.
5. Ensure that your event venue has a strong WiFi connection
Prior to the start of your event, ensure that the venue has a strong wifi connection and that your check in table are placed near power outlets should the devices you are using to check people in need charging.
In order to be sure that your check-in process works, try using your event registration platform prior to event day during the times that you expect to be checking people in.
It could be that you are checking in event attendees in a hotel, and that due to heavy morning use, the internet is slow. It’s better to find out the internet usage patterns associated with your event venue prior to having to check-in many eager event attendees.
6. Always have a backup plan when checking in attendees
Sometimes things don’t go as planned, no one knows this better than those in the events industry. So to mitigate event registration disaster, always have a backup plan. It’s best that the event registration platform you are using is capable of checking people in offline.
That way, should the venue’s internet be slow, or stop working all-together, you’ll still be able to check-in guests as though nothing happened.
If you’ve already selected an event registration platform that cannot work offline, then make sure to export your guest list so you have hard copies on hand.
7. Alphabetize your event check-in stations
Organize the check-in processes so that it’s efficient. Set up your tables by the first letter of attendees’ last name. Try to distribute the alphabetical sections evenly so that roughly the same number of event attendees will be checking in at each table.
You should be able to run a simple report on your CRM platform to determine the number of attendees per alphabetical section.
8. Have swag bags ready to go
If you’re planning on giving materials out to your attendees during the event registration process, have them organized before event day.
Check-in will be much faster if you place all of the items into a gift bag. Then set up the gift bags on a row of tables behind the check-in desk. That way, event registration staff won’t have to hand each attendee their items - helping to speed up the check-in process.
To have a streamlined event registration, use an event management service that is easy to navigate and provides a seamless ticketing experience.
Create a simple registration form that’s short so that attendees don’t associate feelings of frustration with your event. Create an event check-in experience that attendees won’t forget (in a good way).
Rehearse the check-in process, make use of signage and event personal, alphabetize check-in stations and have swag ready to go.
If you’re planning an event and would like to learn about Bizzabo’s award winning event planning platform, that includes best-in-class event registration, click the button below to get in touch.