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Event Software

How to Set Up Registration for An Event (Tools, Tips, and More)

Andrea Amorosi September 27, 2023
Table of Contents
11 min read

Setting up your event registration is a crucial first step that sets the tone and expectations for your event. It also drives excitement and anticipation. A great event registration experience can boost attendance, provide you with important data for improving future events and your organization as a whole, increase event profits and ROI, widen your reach, and provide new sponsor and donor opportunities. 

According to a recent study conducted by Personify, 67% of participants expressed either moderate satisfaction or neutrality towards their registration process. This presents a valuable opportunity for your organization to take advantage to set you apart from the competition, and it’s easier than you think.

Below, we’ll cover how to create a seamless event registration experience that resonates with your audience, supports and drives your event goals, and helps grow your organization. 

  • How to Set Up Your Online Event Registration
  • How to Get More Event Registrations
  • Optimizing Registration for the Day of Your Event
  • How to Find the Right Event Registration Software
  • Event Registration Software That Supports All Your Event Needs

How to Set Up Your Online Event Registration

Create your event registration form

When you build registration forms for events your organization is running, you’re also collecting important data for your event such as contact information, event interests (such as industries, streams, and sessions), and dietary restrictions.

Here are the elements of an effective registration form:

  1. Simple format. Streamline your form by including:
  • The most relevant information first such as cost, date, time, and location
  • An event summary that’s less than 140 characters
  • White space to increase readability
  1. Event photo and/or a quick and engaging video. Vision is responsible for 80% of learning and people retain 95% more information via video vs text. Photo and video adds interest and gives attendees a glimpse of what your event will be like.
  2. Enabled mobile payment. Mobile payments are more popular than ever. They’re convenient, a secure way to pay, and fast. Make sure that this is an option in your event registration form.
  3. Embedded checkout. Adding an embedded checkout adds convenience and it’s an easy way to improve your attendee’s experience and to retain them, all while boosting your event revenue and attendee conversions. 
  4. Optimize loading time. Make sure your images aren’t too large and check that your event registration page loads quickly.  7% of conversions are lost with every second your page is delayed!

Lastly, once you’ve made your form, upload it onto your event website or event registration page.

Make sure your event registration page is mobile-friendly

Over 90% of people use their mobile device to access the internet, so make sure you’ve optimized your page for mobile devices and different browsers. You may want to use a tool like BrowserStack to test your page.

Check for errors

Have multiple people go through the registration process and pretend to sign up for the event, especially those with different levels of technological proficiency. Make sure they do so from different devices and browsers and iterate and improve accordingly.

Offer event support

  1.  This is crucial for both before and during the event. Make sure your response time is consistent and quick. Great event support will:
    • Maximize event attendee satisfaction 
    • Improve the registration process experience
    • Increase your number of event attendees through word-of-mouth (When you have a good experience, you’re more likely to tell your friends about an event!)

Add travel management

After your attendees register, offer the ability to browse accommodations, flights, places to eat, and sights to see. Within your page, you can either link to helpful sites or to topical, high-value content on your blog that’s relevant to your event. This will keep attendees engaged, excited, and interested in your event and organization.

How to Get More Event Registrations

Here are some strategies to help your event stand out and attract more guests.

Early bird and referral discounts

Offer early bird discounts for attendees who register early. You may even want to add a VIP treatment to entice them. It’s a proven way of boosting registrations because it leverages urgency, scarcity, and the fear of missing out. You can also offer referral discounts that allow attendees to send a discount code to a friend after purchase. This can be done through your purchase confirmation email. Be sure to use tracked links to measure engagement.

Event promotion with social media ads

A recent Personify survey revealed that 41% of event professionals cite that social media advertising is the most effective method of event promotion, with email marketing campaigns following at 35%. Take advantage of this by leveraging ads on the social media channels your members and ideal member profile frequent the most.

Use a multichannel marketing approach

Inboxes get flooded with emails every day, so to cut through the noise, you’ll want to use a multichannel marketing approach that leverages email, social media, paid advertising, and word of mouth.

Optimize your emails

Remember, email is still a top promotional channel. Get more registrations through these email optimization tips: 

Promote in community areas

Make use of your organization’s membership website and promote your event in member areas, as well as message boards and social media platforms like Linkedin to extend your reach.

Partner with thought leaders and relevant influencers

Collaborating with thought leaders and influencers who your audience trusts builds your reputation and reach, while making an impact that adds value to your event.

Contests and giveaways

Use your organization’s social media to conduct a giveaway or contest for tickets. This is an easy way to drive excitement for your event, while boosting your brand visibility and increasing your following.

Testimonials and success stories from past events

This is an authentic promotional technique that builds your credibility through social proof. It encourages more registrations by showcasing your event through the lens of people like your attendees.

Optimizing Registration for the Day Of Your Event

Here are some tips for optimizing your registration for the day of your event:

Use an event app

Going digital is a growing trend and is now a part of attendees’ expectations. Not only does it benefit your guests, it also provides your organization with effective tools to maximize your event’s success. Use an event app like GTR to leverage benefits such as:

  • Streamlined check-in. When attendees can check into the event via an app, it saves time, money, and eliminates lines and bottlenecks.
  • Reduced environmental impact. Digitizing elements of your event such as badge printing and event programs reduces paperwork and your organization’s environmental footprint.
  • Enabled data collection. With attendee data analytics and reporting, you can get real-time information about your guests during the event, as well as crucial event feedback after the fact. 
  • Personalized experiences. An event app makes it easy to create experiences that are customizable, such as personalized itineraries
  • Improved overall event experience. With mobile becoming increasingly more popular, using an mobile event app makes your event more enjoyable, reduces friction by keeping essential information in one place, and is intuitive and easy to use.

When selecting the right event registration app, look for features like:

Improve your on-site experience by going digital

Look for software like GTR, that offers self-service digital check in and badge printing. This reduces waiting and bottlenecks, minimizes the need for administrative resources, and gets your attendees in the door right away and builds excitement.

Ultimately, optimizing your event registration experience for the day-of comes down to finding the right event registration software, like GTR, that can deliver a memorable event experience, all while giving you back the time and resources to focus on what’s important: creating an event that makes your attendees want more from your organization and attracts new members.

How to Find the Right Event Registration Software

Here are the key steps to finding event registration software that fits your organization’s unique needs and helps you reach your event goals.

Understand your budget
Before you begin your search, you’ll need a clear understanding of what costs are involved with your particular event. This will help define your available spend for your software investment. Remember, you want software that will give you the most ROI, not just the cheapest, which means one that can grow with your organization and offer end-to-end event support

Determine your goals
What are you looking to accomplish with your event? Can your software support these goals and then some? Confer with crucial team members involved in your event and build SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timebound) along with KPIs and metrics for success and choose a tool that can help drive these goals. 

Identify what features your organization needs.
Here are the top 8 features to look for in your event registration software:

  1. User-friendly and easy to use. Your software should be intuitive and work quickly and easily for both you and your attendees.
  2. Customizable. Your organization is unique, and your event registration tool should facilitate event customization, such as waitlists, early bird registration, and more.
  3. Safe and secure data collection. A recent Personify survey identified that over 65% of event professionals use secure online event registration software to safeguard sensitive attendee information and identify this as the most effective solution. Look for features like GTR, such as SSL encryption, PCI compliance, GDPR compliance, and secure payment gateways
  4. Supports attendee engagement and communication. Like Memberclicks Conference App, you want features that support networking, chat participation during the event, social media engagement, entering giveaways, and more. Bonus if it helps provide virtual experiences that extend beyond just this event. 
  5. Handles a large volume of attendees. According to a recent Personify survey, dealing with technical issues and glitches are the largest obstacle for event attendees. It’s now more important than ever to make sure your event registration software can handle the size of your event and not get slowed down by your number of attendees. 
  6. Third party and API integrations. Does the software work with your tools for email marketing, payment processing, CRM, social media, and more? Look for a tool that integrates seamlessly with your membership management software, such as GTR, which integrates with Memberclicks via Zapier.
  7. Data analytics and reporting. This important feature helps your organization adapt and refine events for the future by identifying areas of improvement, and where to iterate and streamline to create more attendee-friendly and positive event experiences. With comprehensive data analytics and reporting, you’ll be able to identify patterns and manage upcoming risks.
  8. Grows with your organization. As your organization gets bigger and your events grow, you want a solution that can move with you and can handle that volume. Looking for a new solution later down the line involves migrating data and re-training staff, which drains your valuable resources, time, and money. Your best bet is an all-in-one event solution, such as GTR, that can handle all stages of your event.

Research which software is best for your organization!

To help you out, here’s a list of the 10 best event registration platforms, software, and tools:

  1. GTR – Seamless, end-to-end event management software for member organizations and organizers of trade shows, conferences, corporate meetings and other events of all variations and sizes.
  2. MemberClicks – Event and member management and event registration software for nonprofits, associations, chambers, and other member organizations of any size to host successful meetings, events and conferences.
  3. WildApricotIdeal for small to medium member organizations, this event and member management software offers a complete solution for organizations.
  4. Google Forms – Google Forms is a great tool for individuals hosting small events who want to create registration forms for free. However, this only handles one aspect of your event registration.
  5. EventLeaf – An online event management software for virtual, hybrid, and in-person events. It supports event creation, online registration, email, event badges, and more.
  6. Whova – An affordable event management and conference app and online platform, offering features focused on saving time and creating an engaging event.
  7. Webex Webinars (formally Webex Events) – A webinar platform focused on creating impactful, interactive experiences for small to large organizations’ global audience. 
  8. Cvent – A flexible, user-friendly solution for event management focused on increasing the number of attendees and attendee engagement.
  9. Bizzabo – A data-focused open platform that helps event professionals create and manage events and engage audiences. 
  10. Eventbrite – An event management and ticketing platform for creating, managing, and promoting events. 

Event Registration Software That Supports All Your Event Needs

When it comes to choosing the right event registration software for your organization, look for software that supports all aspects of your event and helps build experiences that leave a positive impact, so your attendees aren’t just attendees, they become members and evangelists of your organization and mission.

With GTR, you get access to powerful, end-to-end event management tools that delight your attendees and drive growth, so you’re not just creating a memorable event, you’re creating a memorable brand and an audience that wants more. With unrivaled customer support and features to grow your member organizations, GTR provides innovative, modern experiences to help you reach a global audience. GTR gives your organization access to:

  • Memorable, interactive experiences that boost profits
  • Streamlined event operations
  • Networking for your attendees 
  • Year-round engagement to foster community and brand loyalty
  • insightful data and reporting for iterating and growing your organization
  • Seamless data integrations

GTR’s features include:

  • Online registration
  • Check-in and badge printing
  • Lead retrieval
  • Attendance tracking
  • Ongoing software support and education for your team

An Easy Way to Create Memorable and Effective Events

There’s no denying that managing events can sometimes be a stressful and overwhelming experience, but it doesn’t have to be. The right event management software will help with all stages of your event, automate tasks, and help you nail your event registration (an easy win!), all while providing you with the right data and support to make an impact with your event and grow your audience. 

When you deliver a great event registration experience, you’re already on your way to an event that boosts your member retention and engagement, member experience, attracts new members, and increases profits. And when your event has come to a close, don’t forget to take advantage of your software’s data analytics and reporting and conduct an event feedback survey. This is a key part of assessing and learning from your event registration process, and your event as a whole, and iterating for the future. This way, each of your organization’s events is one that represents your mission and the unique value that makes it stand out. 

Further Reading: 

Free Member Retention Guide

Ready to retain members and keep them coming back forever and ever? This guide will teach you everything you need to know about member retention. We cover all the basics, like the first steps to member retention and how to map out your member journey. From there, we dive a bit deeper into retention tips.