Registration can make or break an event, and even the best venue, speakers, and materials won’t neutralize disinterested staff and obnoxious, long lines. Here’s how to make the process better.
Today, registration includes much more than just printing badges. It’s about collecting data to help create more successful shows in the future.
Designing registration platforms can be tedious and thankless, but it is important to remember that they are a necessary initial operational step to meet goals and objectives.
Strategizing early in the process and applying data discipline are key, “Registration does not exist in a vacuum,” said Darcy Gabriel, event technology at BW Events.
Consider how data will flow through the organization. “The first step for each registration creation is to thoroughly think through your integrated (data flow) stack,” Gabriel said. “Only collect data that will be used and measured for a predetermined purpose.”
Automation increases completion rates. “Pre-fill fields for returnees where possible by integrating with your customer relationship management,” says Hannah Pattison, DES, SEPC, freelance event planner and consultant.
Single sign-on is recommended. “It highlights your established company brand experience, makes the process more enjoyable and faster for attendees, and will give you richer data collection for reporting and more accurate demand generation campaigns,” said Frederic Masson, global event consultant .
Pattison and Mason encourage planners to highlight and repeat dates, rates, and locations within forms, or prospects may become distracted from viewing this information on another microsite page and abandon the form. “I see experienced associates make this mistake all the time,” Mason said.
Global data privacy must be a focus. “If any attendees will be invited to the public event from the EU, Canada or California and can register, ensure that the registration flow and form comply with the Common Data Protection Regulation in the EU, California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) Regulations (GDPR) in the United States, and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) in Canada,” said Mason.
create a checklist
To articulate the fundamental framework around a registration creation plan, Katie Sacco, CMM, CMP, event strategy consultant at Sacco Consulting, has created a helpful mnemonic tool, “Take Those Coats to the CAR.”
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• Consult with the teams curating the sessions, events and user journeys in your event. Support the participant in capturing the correct data during the registration process.
• Set policies. For example, there may be no changes in a session room that doesn’t get a sign-off from the operations lead.
• Compile questions for registration process which will help in final reporting. Work backward from your goals and objectives.
• Leverage Event Tech Companions to test everything and ensure you factor in dynamic mobile and tablet views, Android and IoS, and multiple web browsers.
• An escalation and exit plan as well as strict terms and conditions, a code of conduct, and a list of competitors and/or bad actors who should not have access.
Once you have buttoned up your COATS for the overall registration flow, your next steps are to ensure that the registration questions include recreating your car:
Language style, ratings, values, naming conventions, coordination scales, and organization methods.
Compile essential questions requiring operational actions – examples include food allergies, accessibility requirements, welcome attendance and community meetings.
Cross-reference your goals and objectives and make sure you report on the questions asked in flow.
arrival should welcome
Engineer the space to accommodate maximum flow and design the process to be as welcoming yet efficient as possible. Consider adjusting your schedule to accommodate staggered arrivals. If lines are unavoidable, take advantage of floating registration ambassadors to answer questions, help people check in, and guide attendees to the right location. If budget or sponsorship allows, add a DJ and pass out mini food and beverages.
“Having a super-fast badge printing system is critical,” Masson said. In addition, she recommends pairing a badge collection with a material pick-up. “Create a seamless process and avoid sending attendees to multiple stations unless you have intentional interactivity like a personalized water bottle or tee,” she says.
Important Post-Event Survey Metrics
If you’ve set up your registration system for success from the start and created a welcoming, surprising and joyful atmosphere from the first arrival, you’re setting yourself up for better metrics, especially for your post-event surveys. have been
Masson outlines how important it is to collect a statistically relevant sample size. “Aim at ten percent or more of your audience,” Mason said. “Keep all surveys short, similar to registration forms.”
Ten questions or less is ideal.
“Don’t repeat any questions from the registration forms, or you’ll annoy the attendees and skew your data,” she adds.
He said incentives for completing surveys are helpful but not critical. Repurposing their floating registration team to collect surveys has proven successful. She places them in high-traffic areas with iPads and has them assertively approach attendees.
“Passive survey collection doesn’t work,” she said, adding that she’s found success taking surveys about halfway through each day, “don’t wait until the end of the day because you want to get attendee feedback from all vantage points.” “
She also includes digital surveys in post-event emails but suggests measuring and comparing these two groups separately. “While you still want this data, attendees who respond to surveys 24 hours or more later do not have the details fresh in their heads and often represent the extreme ends of your scale and Net Promoter Score “