9 Essential Event Registration Questions To Ask Your Attendees [Guest Post]

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Finding the right event registration questions to ask can be a tricky mix of asking enough while not asking too much all at the same time. And, let’s face it, event planners often brush off building registration forms as another to-do-list item in the endless sea of event planning tasks.

By taking the time to think through the information you disseminate via your event website and during registration itself, you can set yourself up for major success (and little to less headaches later on).

A well thought-out registration form can:

  • Help you with room, food and head counts to better manage your space and budgets

  • Save you hours of time tracking down missing information (by sending out post-registration surveys) and setting you up to use the information later on during, say, badging

  • Be a good way to collect quality data to help you

What event registration questions are essential & why?

Aside from the standard, built-in things like Company, Address, Job Title and Registration Type, it’s important to consider the following as well:

1. Badge Name or Nickname

Why is this important?

Attendees don’t always use this field correctly but it’s good practice to give folks a place to let you know that they actually go by “Matt” instead of “Matthew” so you don’t have to correct their badge on-site. 

And remember, if you’re collecting this field, QC it before the event and make sure to use this field in your badging process.

2. Clothing/Shoe Size

Why is this important?

If you’re giving out swag at your event or considering doing so, always ask for size. It’s okay if you don’t use that field, but it’s better to gather that info now and not need it than not ask and need it later (cue follow-up after follow-up of a 1-question survey to registrants asking this information).

3. Emergency Contact Information

Why is this important?

Unfortunately, this question gets missed a lot. What if something happens to your attendee on-site and you need to get in touch with someone at home? It’s best to include this information so you have it at the ready if anything happens.

4. Food Allergies/Dietary Restrictions

Why is this important?

This one is pretty standard these days, with so many people having allergies, but it’s worth including. 

You can word it however you want and either include a multi-select option for popular allergies/restrictions or just add a textbox people can fill in if needed. 

TIP: Multi-select boxes might be helpful for quickly tallying up how many vegetarian meals you’ll need at that Gala Dinner.

5. GDPR Compliance Checkbox

Why is this important?

In the age of privacy, it’s best to make sure you’re covered and your attendees know their information is safe. 

This one currently goes missed a lot since GDPR is still fairly new and doesn’t affect all participants (currently GDPR only applies to attendees who reside in the EU) but it MAY affect all companies - regardless of their location. 

International travel is so easy these days, it’s highly likely you will have attendees from the EU at your event so best be prepared in advance. 

6. Password 

Why is this important?

You want to allow registrants to be able to create a password and come back to their registration anytime they need to! 

This feature adds an extra level of privacy so registrants know their registration is safe. Plus it’s easier to remember/save your password than to have to copy & paste a confirmation code to access your registration.

7. Profile Picture

Why is this important?

Profile pictures can be used for more than just an attendee’s actual profile. You can use these images to create collages for your event or pull them over into a mobile app so they don’t have to go hunting for their photo while they’re installing the meeting’s app. 

8. Session Selection

Why is this important?

This one is a biggie. Why? 

It’s important to think through your entire event and include sessions you need attendees to choose from for room capacity or meal count purposes. 

We get it, you might not have your entire agenda set before you go live with registration, but make sure you work on it early enough. This way you can go back and integrate it into registration with enough time to allow registrants to choose sessions and for you to get accurate counts.

A practical example would be a session you didn’t know would be so popular has filled right away (woohoo!). 

Now that you know that session is so popular, you can move it to a larger room and open up more seats. 

Win!

Also make sure if you add sessions later that you’re crafting an email to already-registered attendees letting them know that session selection is now available! 

You’ll also want to remind them a few more times over the coming weeks just in case they don’t do it right away or if you make those room adjustments to open more seats, etc.

9. Travel Information

Why is this important?

If you’re managing the rooming list for a hotel, you must make sure to ask for your attendees’ check-in and check-out dates. 

Bonus points for also getting their air travel information so you can check their work. 

Pro tip: Make sure you include the dates they entered into their registration confirmation email so they have an easy-to-reference spot to pull up what they included without having to log back in to their registration and hunt for this information.

Scrap Those Unessential Event Registration Questions

It’s important to leave out any non-essential fields. 

The longer the form, the less likely your people are to actually register. 

Basically, we want to make information EASY to access, digest and complete.

And speaking of easy, make sure you’re thinking through the process while you build. 

Can you consolidate 3 pages into 1? 

Or should 2 pieces actually be broken out onto 2 pages to make it easier for the attendee to understand? 

Be sure to avoid these Event Registration Form UX Mistakes while you build.

Last, but not least: Test, Test & Test Again

Testing, testing and more testing of your site is crucial. 

Keep a preview page open at all times while building out the registration form. This way you can see the changes you make at the touch of the refresh button

Need to reorder or hide certain fields from certain registrants? It’s easiest to have that page up so you can pop right over to that tab, hit refresh and see your changes (instead of clicking on the event page link, clicking register, and going through to whichever page you’re working on).

Make sure you test everything before going live, including your payment page & gateway, your post-registration pages and post-reg emails to ensure all important information is included and accessible!

Conclusion

Here you are. Hope you enjoyed some hands-on tips from someone who has built a zillion registration forms. Let’s re-cap:

  • Password & GDPR opt-in are super key these days. They not only protect you from lawsuits (especially in Europe), they also make sure your attendees are protected when it comes to data security.

  • Thinking, hoping, planning or already using swag or merchandise at your event? You gotta use those T-shirt size question.

  • Test, test & always test. 

About the Author

Leanne Velky is an event strategist and attendee journey architect. When not building out Swoogo registration forms for clients, she’s working with large and small corporate event planners on their event vision, tweaking customer journeys and making sure they’re set up for the best registration process ever.

 

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