How To Create An Effective Registration Form For Your Training Event

conference reg form cover

Whether you're launching a brand-new workshop or running a well-established seminar or training series, an effective registration form can make all the difference when it comes to the number of sign-ups you get. But there’s more to event registration forms than just taking payment and reserving places. The additional value of your event registration form lies in effective data collection and its subsequent use.

First of all, a good registration form needs to work. This seems like an obvious one but any kind of glitch or crash during the booking or payment process can cost you a customer. While we're on this, don't forget about mobile users. In 2017, 50% of eCommerce purchases were made using a smartphone. Don't halve your market by not providing a mobile-friendly event booking process. 

Ultimately, your registration form should be simple, easy to use and collect only the information you need (and be very clear on the reasons why - remember GDPR?). 

Pair this with a well-thought-out post-data collection plan, and you can not only sell-out your event, but make your newly collected data work for you in the future.

Here's some ways that you might be unintentionally missing out on bookings  (don't worry - you're definitely not the only one!). 

Where You're Going Wrong With Your Training Event Registration Form

1. Making it too complicated 

Nobody wants to jump through hoops to book on to an event. The aim of a registration form is to get as many sign ups as possible so by keeping it simple, you are reducing the friction between the start and end of the booking process. The last thing you want is someone dropping out in the middle of the process!

Common mistakes include asking for way too much information, using a clunky booking tool and not clearly articulating the information that you need (simplify your language as much as possible and avoid using jargon). 

Top tip 💡: If you're using a third-party booking tool (here's ours), make sure you can add your company branding. Jumping from a company website to an unbranded registration form can be confusing for the end-user and leave them wondering if they've clicked the wrong link!

2. Collecting too much information

Don’t overwhelm potential bookers with tons of unnecessary questions. Your customers want a slick, simple process that takes the least amount of time possible. Using drop-downs and check boxes is also a good way for your delegates to save time throughout the process. 

Top tip 💡: If you have information that would be nice to have but isn't absolutely necessary then don't mark those fields as mandatory. 

3. Not collecting the right information

Think about what your delegates are coming to your event for. And, what can you offer to them in the future that will be of interest to them, and of value to you. Use this to work out what data you need to collect. Names and email addresses as well as areas of interest are an absolute must if you’re planning on doing any form of re-marketing.

Top tip 💡: Think about how you can best segment people. For instance, you could ask which speaker they are most interested in hearing, this would give you a good idea of what subject matter they are most concerned with. Another good segmentation question would simply be, what business sector they work in.

4. Not informing delegates of how data will be used 

It is important that you inform your sign-ups about how you will be using their data in the future. Create an opt-in marketing box that they can select. This is preferable to saying ‘If you fill out this form, we will be using your data’ without any option to opt out, as this could put off quite a few potential bookers.

Top tip 💡: By being honest and upfront about how data will be used, delegates will be much happier to hear from you again!

5. Not offering popular payment methods

In today’s fast-paced online marketplace, people like ease of use; in-fact they expect it. Online fast-payment methods like PayPal make purchasing a product easier, faster and less of a burden for people. However, if your delegate doesn't have a PayPal account, setting one up adds another step to the journey that could prevent a sign up.  

Top tip 💡: Offer online payment methods that are universally accepted and don't put up barriers for attendees. Do you accept invoice payment? Make this an option too so all of your delegates are happy! 

6. Incompatible on mobile devices

As well as the shift toward alternative payment methods, mobile use for online purchases is also on the rise. Not only does creating a mobile friendly form help you capture more sign-ups, it also ensures that google looks kindly on your page and site as a whole, and ranks you higher up the search list.

Top tip 💡: Before launching your registration form, test it for yourself across all devices such as smartphones, tablets and desktops. Your delegate should receive the same experience regardless of their device. 

How To Create An Effective Training Event Registration Form 

Getting your registration form right is an effective way to secure more bookings and give your customers a great experience from the outset. Our top tips for creating an effective training event registration form are:

  1. Keep your form simple and easy to use 
  2. Only collect the information that you really need
  3. Collect information that will allow you to offer segment and target your audience post-event
  4.  Inform delegates of how their data will be used
  5. Offer the payment options your customers want
  6. Make sure your registration form works on all devices

Providing online booking is just one way you can automate your training business and get more time back. Want to know 9 more? Download our guide to training business automation here or below. 

10 ways to automate whitepaper

 Further Reading:

- GDPR Guide For Training Companies

- The Ultimate Guide for Attending an Exhibition or Conference

- What You Missed At Everest Conference 2018