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5 Little Mistakes That Will Affect Your Event Registration

The last thing an event planner wants to do is to frustrate a potential participant with a difficult registration process.

If you currently use online forms to register for events or make purchases, it's more than likely you've come up against this and perhaps on occasion have even abandoned the task altogether?

When online registration is setup right, the advantages for both the event planner and the event participants are untold, but common mistakes can have a dramatic impact on the success of your event.

Here are five ways you may be accidentally frustrating your event participants.

Mistake #1: Confuse Registrants By Trying To Use Modified Shopping Cart Software To Collect Payments.

You can buy tools that claim to do the job of five different pieces of equipment, but in reality they only do a mediocre job on one task. The same idea applies to software.

Most online shopping cart software is designed for merchandise, with shopping carts, fields for shipping addresses and items that are referred to as products. Reports designed specifically to make the event planner's job easier don't exist.

Shopping cart software may work for your event registration, but it isn't the most professional solution and can cause your event participants to become frustrated trying to make sense of it all.

Mistake #2: Forget To Include Event Officials' Contact Information On The Form.

Online registration forms are self serve. If a form is well designed, the users should be able to take care of everything themselves, but sometimes there are still questions that need to be answered. If a person can't find a number to call to get an immediate answer, they will become frustrated. If a user has to click back to find a phone number and then loses all of the data they've entered expect a very unhappy caller.

Mistake #3: Make Divulging Personal Information Mandatory And Failing To Think Through "Validations".

Mandatory fields will help you get completed registration forms, but making people fill in details that aren't necessary for the event will cause frustration, especially if the information is private in nature. People will either abandon the form or enter bogus information, either way you lose.

Validation is where users are forced to enter postal or zip codes, phone numbers or other data in a certain format. It is a very powerful feature, but if you don't think of all the possible combinations such as extensions and country codes on phone numbers and postal and zip codes from other countries, you will frustrate people.

Mistake #4: Make Users Open An Account Before They Can Register.

The idea is to make things easier, so don't force people to register with a service, enter a password or jump through other hoops. There are advantages to users having accounts, such as recalling address information for future registrations, but no one needs another password to remember, especially when they are sick of giving out their information and just want to submit their registration.

Mistake #5: Make Event Participants Do The Math.

Surprisingly, there are still online registration forms out there that require users to do their own math. Not only should your registration form automatically do this for them, it should also adjust for early bird rates, provide member discounts and prevent users from making conflicting or invalid selections.

Jim Romanik - founder of ePly Online Event Registration (www.eply.com)
We are online registration experts and treat your reputation as our own to build registration forms that help your events succeed and make people wonder how you did it.

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