Let me guess, every year you host a big event for your members or customers. Am I right? And this event is very important for achieving your organization’s revenue goals and securing your continued success. This much you know all too well. But did you know your online event registration is one of the most important touch points you have with customers?
If they’re registering for your big annual conference, this may be the only purchase they make from you throughout the year, besides membership. So this is your one shot to get it right and to blow them away.
When it comes to making online purchases, customers want it to be quick, easy, and straightforward. The same is true with event registration. If the registration process is not smooth, many will abandon the registration process and skip your event altogether.
Here are some tips for streamlining your registration process and giving your customers a great purchase experience.
Identify Attendee Personas
Do you have different kinds of attendees coming to your event? For instance, speakers, students, and exhibitors are all different kinds of attendees. Each one may require a different registration process. Exhibitors may need to select their company’s booth placement and students may pay less than full conference attendees. Identify all your possible attendee types and then decide what information each person needs to provide and/or receive during the registration process.
Map Out a “Registration Path” for Each Attendee Type
Once you have your attendee types, map out a registration path for each one. This includes planning the web pages all attendee types will be led through before confirming their registration. Be sure to consider the information you need to collect from them. For example, are there additional sessions or products they need to purchase? Or contact information they must provide?
Keep it Short
As you create your registration paths, remember to keep it short. Best practice is to include a maximum of five form web pages and keep the whole checkout process under one minute. Otherwise, your registrants can get “form fatigue.” One study found that 25 percent of people abandon their online purchases because “the process was taking too long.” That’s 25 percent of your revenue walking out the door! Keep it short, so you don’t lose revenue.
Match the Appearance
Style your registration website after your main company website. Doing so makes customers feel as if they’re still on your website when they begin their registration. This gives them a level of comfort and trust when going through the registration process. They’ll also be less likely to ditch the process because of security concerns.
Find the Right Technology Solution
The last step is finding the right technology solution. Write a “Request for Proposal” for all the things you require. This RFP should include requirements for processing payments and building a site with the features you need. Also, look for a provider that can integrate with your database of record, so all your data is stored accurately and in one place. By keeping registration records in your database, you will be able to pull accurate reports and execute follow-up marketing anytime you need. Integration also allows you to pre-populate data fields for attendees who are members of your organization or have registered before. This speeds up the process for repeat customers.
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