There’s nothing worse than starting the registration process for an event and being required to answer outdated information. Not only does that leave the registrant feeling a bit annoyed with the experience before the event even begins (not good), it’s just a waste of time overall.
The world is changing quickly, sometimes even by the day, and that means that your registration forms need to keep up. In this blog, we’re going to be talking about 13 registration form updates you need in 2021.
Goal of Event Registration
While you are reading, remember that the goal of event registration is to get the essential info you need and get out. Don’t make questions required if they truly aren’t necessary, and keep the fluff questions to a minimum. With each question you put on the form, ask yourself if it’s necessary or fluff. We also recommend starting with all of the required questions and then adding the nice-to-haves after the required so you can get an idea of the length.
Event Registration Software
The truth is, good registration software can make or break the registration experience for your attendees. If you don’t have conditional logic and flexible visibility settings you can’t personalize the experience which is a huge miss. Another miss is not being able to drag and drop the questions in the exact order that you want them. Sure we are judging you for wanting to put allergies above name and email but to each their own. It’s your event!
Admittedly this is the part where we’d typically suggest some technologies that do these exact things, but we happen to have a really strong preference on this one, and…well, it’s us.
Now that we’ve got the why and how out of the way, let’s get to the what.
13 Registration Form Updates You Need in 2021
1 Don’t be a robot & have a little fun
Add a little spice to your reg forms with some fun lingo, cheeky comments, or by adding beloved emojis 😝. This will make your registration form stand out and get people excited because it foreshadows that it’s not going to be a boring ole event. Cough cough. So if you’re going to talk the talk, make sure you walk the walk too.
2 Customize in-person and virtual registration pathways
It’s a big no-no to have one registration pathway for all. Not only should you have customized registration pathways for different types of attendees (attendee, guest, sponsor, etc.), you should create customized pathways for in-person vs. virtual attendees. You can do this using conditional logic and visibility settings. If you’re not sending virtual attendees a shirt, then don’t ask for their size. And if your registration software has a limit to how many times you can use conditional logic, then ditch your current software.
Where ever your attendees are, keep it local. That means languages, timezones, and address fields. This is becoming increasingly important as events expand their reach.
4 Fully responsive registration pages
55% of page views in 2021 come from mobile phones (Tech Jury).
It’s imperative that your registration form is fully responsive. Registrants must be able to access and have a smooth registration experience on any device. Remember, the registration form is one of the first touches with the customer, and it will leave a lasting impression.
5 Accessible registration formFirst things first, you need to have an accessible registration form for people with disabilities to be able to register for your accessible event. Here are a few considerations for making your registration form accessible*:
- Use ARIA tags
- Platform accessible in multiple languages
- Customizable interfaces that allow screen magnification and screen readers
- Adjustable font sizes
- Contrasting colors for all web pages
*This is not an exhaustive list, please do your own research.
6 Asking for accommodation requests
Events must be accessible to all, and you’ll want to know the accommodation requirements of your attendees ahead of time so you can build them into the planning stages of your event. By addressing accessibility on the registration form, you’re also sending a message that you’re having an accessible event where all are welcome.
There are a lot of considerations for both in-person and virtual attendees. Please do your research for both in-person and virtual attendees as there’s a lot to consider for each attendee type.
7 Radio buttons > drop downs
Radio buttons are fantastic because they are straightforward and don’t waste any time. Don’t use dropdowns options unless you need multiple response answers, and remember to stack radio buttons vertically.
8 Ask where they heard about the event
In the internet age, your registrants could have come across your event literally anywhere. If you want to get a better idea of where your audience is coming from so you can double down your efforts and maybe ditch some others, collect the info via checkboxes. Don’t forget to add an “other” field, so they can write in where they heard about the event if it’s none of the above. Pssst. You can use conditional logic so when an attendee selects “other” another box pops up for them to type in where.
9 The ability to navigate back and forth
There's nothing more frustrating than having to go back to the previous registration page and all of your information disappears. Make sure your form has the ability to navigate back and forth while keeping the information on the form. It’s simple but it’s expected in 2021.
10 Emergency contact
It’s easy to brush this one aside, but we’re adding it to our 2021 list because it’s one of the most useful if ever needed. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use this information, but when an emergency strikes the last thing you want to be doing is panic searching for how to contact an attendee’s family.
11 Stop the word vomit
Less is more. That’s not new in 2021, but some people still haven’t gotten the picture.
Make cheeky comments but don’t go overboard adding a bunch of unnecessary text to the registration form. The more you say, the more confusing forms can be. If a field needs an explanation, keep it short and to the point.
12 GDPR compliance checkbox
In the age of privacy, it’s best to make sure you’re covered and your attendees know their information is safe. This one is missed a lot since GDPR doesn’t affect all participants (yet), but things can change on a dime and it’s easy to add the little checkbox.
13 Covid informationYou didn’t really think we’d get to the end of registration form updates you need in 2021 and not include a field for covid information, did you? Whether you’re asking if the registrant has felt any symptoms in the last 10 days, asking a yes/no if they’ve been vaccinated, or you’re asking them to upload their vaccination card, most reg forms in 2021 will have at least one covid related question. That is unless you’re sticking to virtual events. 😉
If you’re on the fence, put it on the form
We get it. It’s a balancing act trying to get the information you need while keeping the form short and following all of the dos and don’ts. However, if you’re on the fence about a field, just put on the form.
Having a couple of extra questions on the form will be better than wishing you had that information or even worse, trying to get individual tidbits from your registrants via email.
Test all of the different attendee types
When you’re testing your form, make sure you are testing for each attendee type as they will have different questions (cough, cough...conditional logic and visibility settings). You want the registration process to be as smooth as possible and the only way to ensure that all your hard work doesn’t go amiss is to test and test again... and maybe one more time for good luck.
The registration form is one of the first points of contact registrants are going to have with the event so you’ll want it to leave a boomin’ impression. You can do this by making the form easy to complete, short & sweet while gathering the information that is necessary.
Last but not least, have some fun! Being a real human goes a long way in 2021. ✌️
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