Taking a trip these days requires little guesswork. Simply enter a destination into Waze or Google Maps and you’re on your way! The steps to get to your destination are pre-determined and the app chooses the ‘best route’ possible given current traffic conditions and other variables. This gives you the wonderful experience of getting exactly where you want to go without any detours or unwanted pit stops!
Now, imagine if online event registration were as smooth as this.
It IS possible with accurate attendee personas and registration pathways.
First: Get to know your attendee
Creating a streamlined registration experience for your attendees first requires a good understanding of what they want. Do they prefer registering from their phone or desktop? Are they registering themselves or is someone registering them? What are they looking to gain by attending?
Developing attendee personas beforehand can help answer some of these questions and we’ve written a separate article on the topic which you can access here.
Once you have your attendee personas, it’s time to determine what each persona would like to see as they go through the process of registering. We call this mapping the registration pathways.
What are pathways?
Pathways are the steps you would like each persona to go through when registering.
Steps could be anything from ‘entering contact information’ to ‘selecting sessions that relate to their profession.’ The key is to consider exactly what each persona would be interested in and only offer those items. This requires narrowing the options or steps on the pathway so they reach their desired location but feel like it took no time at all because the steps they had to take not only met their needs but interested them too.
Consider These Pathway Opportunities
Since registering for your event may be the first or only interaction your organization will have with some customers, it’s worth considering these pathway opportunities to make the most out of this customer touchpoint.
- Collect membership dues. Event registration is a good time to encourage members to renew. One idea is to send an email promoting the conference and asking them to renew their membership in order to get a reduced conference rate. Include a link for them to renew and a separate link to register for the conference.
- Sell resources and publications. Depending on the interests of your attendee persona, suggest books, guides and other publications that your attendee might be interested in. This is a great way to increase revenue for your event.
- Target market. When an attendee completes their registration, consider displaying some marketing items or events on the confirmation page. For instance, if an attendee resides in Oregon, display a message that says “Support our advocacy initiative in Oregon” and provide a description of the legislative action your organization is taking. You can also suggest other events relevant to their profession or their geographic location with a message like “We thought you might be interested in this event happening in your neighborhood.” This keeps attendees interested in your organization beyond the event they just registered for.
Tips and Tricks for Streamlining
While it’s great to add these additional items to your registration pathway. Be cautious not to make it too long! Try to streamline it so you do not lose prospects along the way. Here are some tips:
- Auto-populate data. Integrating your online event registration with your AMS or CRM makes it possible to auto populate attendee data into the online registration form. The registration module will recognize the attendee’s Member ID or other key information and will auto-populate the rest of the attendee’s data as it pulls it from the database, thereby expediting the process for your attendee.
- Avoid using too many pathways. As much as you would like to cater to all types of attendees, resist the urge and limit the number of member types and pathways you use.
- Get attendee information upfront. Having the attendee enter their information at the beginning of the registration process ensures you capture that person’s info for ‘abandoned cart’ follow-up marketing in the future in case they don’t complete their registration. It also allows you to tailor your message to that particular attendee. For example, it the member selects their profession upfront you can customize the message to fit their professional needs.
- Keep it simple. Finally, the best advice is to keep it simple. When in doubt, opt for less information and options rather than more. It’s less likely to confuse your attendee and lengthen the registration process.
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