Event registration is at the core of any successful event.
Naturally, events in different industries have diverse strategic objectives. These can range from educating an audience, to improving a brand’s image, to promoting a product or service.
However, without attendees, an organization cannot achieve any of these long-term objectives. So, convincing people to register and ultimately attend is in the mind of every event professional.
Event organizers put registration at the top of their priorities, and they often scramble to attract people with different tactics. In that light, this article will review the different aspects of event registration, the best practices to optimize it, and the strategies that can help you attract attendees.
What is event registration
From the organizers´ viewpoint, event registration encompasses the process of recording and organizing an event´s attendance. From the attendees´s perspective, it is the moment when a person signals his or her intention to attend an event.
It is important to distinguish event registration from event attendance. To the despair of event professionals, a registrant is not always an attendee. In fact, many people register to events but do not follow through their commitment and end up not attending them.
In that regard, one of the key jobs of the organizer is making sure that registration and attendance are not completely disparate. Converting registrants into live attendees is undoubtedly a key event prof objective. By following up, sending event reminders, and clarifying the benefits of attending, event organizers can work towards that goal.
Event registration tips
Optimizing event registration is a tougher job than it may seem at first inspection.
Event registration is not simply about setting up a form for people who already want to attend the event. Crucially, it is about attracting new people to sign up.
Organizers should invest time and effort into event registration, so that it is user friendly, attractive, trackable, and is consistent with the event brand identity.
There isn´t a one-size-fits-all formula to set up registration since event professionals have different needs and objectives. But, we can certainly highlight some tips that can elevate your event registration today.
Make it easy
While a considerable amount of work can be put into it from the organizer’s side, event registration should be straightforward for attendees. Make sure your registration form is easy to read, and there are clear instructions to follow.
Additionally, don´t clutter your registration form with too many fields. Understandably, as marketers, our initial intuition is to gather as much information as possible from attendees.
However, this can dissuade people who are reluctant to give out personal information. Generally, including the email, full name and company fields is sufficient.
If needed, you can follow up after registration, inciting attendees to complete more profile information such as social media profiles, job title or bio.
Customize your event registration form
As with any other attendee touchpoint, make sure to convey your brand identity within your event registration. A simple google form is a quick fix, but it can easily be perceived as bland and uninspiring.
Contrastingly, designing on-brand, colorful and visually enticing landing pages and forms can truly captivate potential attendees. These elements should blend seamlessly with your event brand identity, being consistent with your event website, social media posts and promotional materials.
Integrate it with your email marketing
Instead of being a standalone action, registration should constitute the beginning of a personalized event journey.
Indeed, event registration is the key point at which attendee’s data is captured. Based on that, it should be automatically followed by a personalized email welcoming the attendee to the event.
Then, subsequent email reminders can contribute to engaging registrants and converting them into live attendees.
As part of the event marketing toolbox, registration should be integrated with your CRM and email marketing services. This will increase your chances of offering a better event experience for attendees, as well as expanding your brand audience afterward.
Marketing strategies to boost event registration
The ideas we discussed are intended to improve the event registration flow for attendees, making it intuitive, eye-catching, and personalized.
Yet, strategies driving traffic towards event registration also need to be implemented. Logically, the above-mentioned ideas cannot work if people don’t come across your event registration form or landing page. You can design a world-class registration landing page; if no one sees it, it’s worthless.
With that in mind, we can recommend marketing strategies to increase traffic to your event registration.
Promote your event on social media
It goes without saying that social media is a useful tool in boosting event registration. However, it’s not about simply using it but about how we use it.
Firstly, devise a plan outlining what type of content you will share in the days leading up to the event. Also, incorporate how your content can interact with social media trends, such as #fridayfeeling. For instance, if you are planning on charging a fee for event tickets, you could consider running promotions within a social media campaign.
Then, analyze the type of content that engages your audience the most. Instead of posting text describing the event, produce video content and visuals ramping up the excitement more creatively.
Importantly, always keep in mind your event brand’s personality. Whether your event aims to attract young entrepreneurs or executive-level professionals, your brand personality will guide your tone of voice and the kind of promotional content you share.
Leverage your speakers and sponsors
Most probably, the speakers and sponsors at your event have a following of their own. It would be foolish not to take advantage of it.
Don´t hesitate to ask your speakers to share the event registration page with their followers or to re-share posts promoting the event.
Similarly, sponsors have a direct interest in making your event successful and in maximizing attendance. To make their job easier and more effective in increasing registration, send them shareable assets such as a graphic pack and a template copy.
Added to that, think about delving into the speaker’s profiles in-depth when promoting your event. While your audience may know the speaker´s company, you need to communicate clearly why this person will make your event worth attending.
Consider creating a content series going into each speaker´s background, career path, and what has made them knowledgeable in the industry.
Embed clear CTAs
Embedding clear call-to-action (CTA) buttons in different strategic touchpoints can significantly boost your event registration.
Include one on the home page of your company’s website, so that people casually browsing your services can come across your event. Your website is possibly your highest reach asset in terms of views. So, examine where in it you can put your CTA to the fore: as a tab on the menu, as a pop-up, as a banner, etc.
Also, if you regularly publish blog articles, embed a short form at the beginning or end of each post. This can tap into an audience that is interested in thought-leadership content, and that is more likely to take the time to attend an event to keep up with industry trends.
Besides that, a newsletter with engaged subscribers can also prove an effective channel to increase event registration through CTA buttons.
Conveying a sense of urgency within your registration messaging is vital. Most likely, you will already have encountered messages such as “24 hours to go” or “last chance” that event organizers (and marketers more broadly) use to push registration.
This is because, as humans, we tend to leave things for the last moment. Therefore, including countdowns, and urgent messaging can definitely help in boosting registration.
Finally, it is worth noting that each of these tactics and channels have to be assessed continuously. At least on a weekly basis, review how well these registration strategies are faring.
Are people clicking on social media links to event registration but not filling out your form? This might indicate your social posts are working, but your registration form is not intuitive enough.
Are you seeing hardly any registrations through your home page? This might tell you that your CTA is not visible enough – consider placing it elsewhere.
In summary, registration is a key factor to consider in building a successful event. While it is important to keep it easy for the end-user, event registration forms and landing pages should also be visually enticing and consistent with the overall event brand. And, several strategies can be implemented to drive registration and attendance, from using social media effectively, to leveraging the power of sponsors and speakers, to conveying urgency and embedding clear CTAs in marketing communications.
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