A large part of organizing successful events involves setting up a system for event registration. There are many different event registration tools available that can help you drive registrations without manual work. With these features and tools you can set up and automate the entire event registration process.
Event Registration Tools
Some of the most important types of event registration tools you can add to your website technology stack include:
- Ticket sales and registration
- Registration forms
- Online payment
- Confirmation emails
- Printable (or electronic tickets)
In this second chapter of our Ultimate Guide to Event Registration, we’ll introduce you to some of the most important event registration features and tools that you should be using on your website to manage your events and to stay current along with competitors in your industry.
#1: Ticket Sales and Registration
The first thing you need to do is to create event tickets or set up a registration process on your website. In other words, you need to decide how prospective attendees can register for your events.
For example, you can create three different paid tickets for your event – General Admission, VIP, and VIP Plus. We recommend creating and selling paid tickets for events to increase event attendance.
Depending on the type of event you’re organizing and the event venue, you can set ticket quantity limits to control access to the event. Setting quantity limits can help limit total capacity at a location or limit how many tickets are available for a certain type of experience. In addition to this, you can also create printable tickets to send to attendees after registration that they can print at home.
#2: Registration Forms
Once you’ve decided on the registration process, the next step is to create your event registration form. A registration form on your website makes it easy to collect attendee information.
If you’re using WordPress to power your event website, the easiest way to create registration forms that integrate with the rest of your event planning tools is by using an event registration plugin, like Event Espresso.
Event Espresso is an event registration and ticketing plugin for WordPress that lets you create customizable event registration forms for your events on your own website. You can reuse questions across different events and drag-and-drop them to change the order.
However, if you don’t have a WordPress website, you can use Event Smart to create a simple event website and host your registration forms online. The platform also lets you create and sell event tickets, accept payments, and much more.
To make it easy for attendees to register for your events, you should ask for only the essential information that you need from your attendees to help plan your event. For most events, this would mean the attendee’s name, email address, the ticket they’d like to purchase, and billing information. Asking too many questions can burden the attendees and prohibit them from registering. However, some information is necessary and worth gathering. The balance between asking for enough information and not too much must be balanced so that you can provide your attendees an excellent experience while registering and while participating in the event.
#3: Payment Gateways
To help streamline the payment process for your events, an online payment gateway can be integrated into your website to accept payments for tickets and registrations. This way, attendees can buy tickets for the event directly from the event registration website. Combining the event registration and payment processes into your own website allows attendees to register for the event, and secure their spot with a payment all within minutes.
We recommend offering popular payment gateways on your event registration site such as Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.net. These widely used online payment services will allow you to accept credit card payments and often a variety of other payment options..
This way, attendees can purchase tickets for the event and complete their registration from home or wherever they are. It also lets you collect payments from attendees well before the day of the event making it easier to plan, and fund the event in advance.
#4: Google Analytics
Google Analytics can help you measure visitor behavior on your event website. For example, you can use it to see which channels drive the most traffic to your event website. This helps you better understand how attendees discover your events and what you can do to increase event visibility.
You can integrate Google Analytics with your event website to streamline your event registration workflow. For example, if attendees drop off before they actually reach the event registration form, you can improve the user flow by adding the form to your landing page rather than having it on a separate page.
Similarly, you can harness the power of analytics to identify which marketing campaigns are working best for your events and double down on them.
Mailchimp is a popular email marketing tool that lets you build your email list and reach out to prospective attendees with targeted messaging. Event Espresso’s Mailchimp integration lets you automatically add attendees to a separate mailing list once they register for your event.
The key benefit of building an email list of attendees is that you can reach out to them after they’ve registered. For example, you can:
- Share details about the event to build momentum and generate hype.
- Encourage attendees to upgrade their tickets by highlighting the benefits of the VIP passes.
- Ask attendees for feedback after the event.
Tip: Mailchimp can also be a great way to send out pre-event reminders to your attendees; however Event Espresso has a built in feature to do this as well. See Automated Upcoming Event Notifications.
#6: Infusionsoft (now Keap)
One of the most important tools event organizers need is a CRM. Infusionsoft [Keap] is a popular CRM and sales and marketing tool that lets event organizers transfer attendee information after registration. It integrates seamlessly with the Event Espresso plugin. You can create a sequence of messages that are sent to your list based on timed triggers or certain actions.
You can use Infusionsoft with your event registration tool to automatically tag attendees based on their actions and trigger specific campaigns. For example, you can tag attendees who purchased the General Admission ticket using the GA attendee tag and upsell them on your VIP pass.
If you collect leads on your event website, you can send out marketing messaging notifying them about your upcoming event. Infusionsoft’s marketing automation capabilities can be used to incentivize leads to register for your event with special discount offers.
Event registration tools enable event organizers to drive event registrations and streamline the registration process. Whether you’re planning a live event or a virtual event, there are some event registration features that are essential:
- Create and sell paid tickets for your events.
- Set up registration forms to automatically collect attendee information.
- Collect online payments from attendees.
Event registration tools do more than just sign attendees up for your event. They help you deliver a seamless experience while collecting data from attendees that you can use to inform your event marketing activities.
Next check out Chapter 3 of our Ultimate Guide:
And don’t miss the rest of our “Ultimate Guide“:
If you’re looking for an all-in-one event ticketing and registration solution, we recommend trying out Event Espresso for your next event.