The primary key to securing registrations once your attendee is on your site is to make the entire process as easy and accessible as humanly possible. Ensure that all of these top ten ways to get your event’s online registration forms submitted are being checked off on your website and you won’t be overwhelmed by “abandons.”

  • Short & sweet form. Do you really need to know all that info on your registration form, or would a name, contact, and payment processing suffice? When attendees feel like they’re filling out an FBI Background Check form just to be at your event, you’re going to lose registrations and alienate many of the ones who actually do manage to register.
  • No account required. It is fundamentally obtuse to demand that your attendees register with your website before they can register for your event. Providing that as an option once the registration form is submitted is going to be seen as a much more “friendly” way of handling your website registration requirements.
  • No password required. Exactly what is the reason to force your attendees to create a password? If they need to make changes to their registration they can contact you from the email on the form and that should be more than sufficient for you to confirm that it’s the same person who registered.
  • Prominent privacy policy. Your registrants are going to be far more comfortable entering their personal information if they know where that data is going to end up and in whose hands. Some of the more squeamish attendees might even refuse to fill out your registration form unless this policy is prominently posted and clearly stated.
  • Cancellation, refund or transfer policy. You never want to lose an attendee but adopting a policy of No Refunds may cause some registrants to hold off until just before the event and you could lose them by then. If you absolutely can’t stomach a refund, consider allowing registrants to transfer their ticket to somebody else. Whatever your decision, ensure that it’s prominently stated throughout your forms.
  • Real-person contact info. It’s much easier to just have the attendee email if they have a problem, but some people prefer the human touch so having the phone number of a real person with a pulse to help them through their issues can help you rescue a registration that might have otherwise been abandoned.
  • Consistent branding graphics. If your attendees go from your branded landing page to a form that looks like it was created for a 1950s mimeograph machine you’ll confuse them to the point where they might not even complete it. By carrying over a consistent graphics branding look from your website to your registration form, you’ll encourage registrations and portray that professional image.
  • Match your payment type. If you’re holding a Pop Warner player pow-wow is credit card payment only really such a great idea given that none of these kids have their own cards? Similarly, if you’re dealing with large public and private institutions, you should give the option of accepting a Purchase Order. Many people prefer to pay with debit or Paypal so you should give them that option as well. You can stop short of accepting Bitcoin if you like.
  • Forget the fax. Most people have no access to a fax so why are you asking for their number on your registration form or even worse why are you telling them to fax the form in? It’s the 21st century so get with the program and make it easy for your attendees to perform the registration process 100% online.
  • Forget the Flash. Remember that Flash is a no-no on Apple devices so you’re shutting out an enormous number of potential registrants if you insist on having your registration form created in Flash. Keeping the form simple, straight-forward, and with a minimum of Flash-y moving graphics is a more professional approach anyway!

Use these top ten ways as well as common sense in facilitating your attendees in the entire online registration process and you’ll see the difference!