Designing Event Registration for Success

Designing Event Registration for Success


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Long gone are the days of wandering around carrying a heavy Planner binder stuffed with registrant information and scribbled notes about last minute changes.  Today’s event Registration software allows you to access all of your registration information right from your laptop, or even directly from your phone.  Registration, and the reporting capabilities it offers, is essential to understanding the delivery of your event. It brings together attendee information, rooming lists, session schedules reporting and more – all to one place and viewable in real time.

Whether you have your own in-house registration software, use a pre-packaged tool offered by companies such as cvent, or prefer to utilize a third party like MicroTek to build a customized registration for you, there are several key components that will assist you in developing a successful registration program for your event.

Start from the End:
Most of us are familiar with the term GIGO (garbage in/garbage out), and nowhere is this more relevant than when designing an event registration site.  To develop a successful registration site, you must first understand what information you will want the ability to view and report on, how you want to see that information and who you will need to share it with.   Asking, or importing, critical reporting information into your registration build during the development stage will prevent you from having to maintain additional reporting tools, or spreadsheets, outside of the registration system.  Another important consideration is how this information, once collected, will be communicated, or integrated, into other in house or external data systems.  Taking the time to incorporate these critical items into your registration build will save time, money and potential data consolidation errors.

First Impressions are Everything:
Registration is often the first touch-point between your attendee and event.  A good registration process has two key qualities: simplicity and easy access. The best way to achieve this is by creating a dedicated page or website where the registrant has 24/7 access to complete the process online. You’ll also want to make sure your registration solution allows you to filter the registration information that is relevant to that registrant.  Scrolling through questions or session options that are not relevant to that particular attendee, can be frustrating and cause confusion and errors during the registration process.  In addition, allowing attendees to wait list when sessions are full can avoid turning away valuable attendees or missing out on filling your sessions should people drop out.  Making the registration process as easy as possible for the attendee will go a long way in ensuring the success of your event.

How’d We Do?
As event planners, we’re always in a state of perpetual self-evaluation, constantly thinking about how to improve our process. But that really only makes up a small portion of the information needed to improve future events. Guest feedback is far and away the most powerful tool at our disposal for evaluating the events we plan.   Many registration tools today offer the ability to create pre and post event surveys allowing you to easily gather, analyze and report on attendee feedback.

When creating your survey or evaluation, remember to keep things concise. What information do you really want to know? The more you can streamline your questions and cut down on the time it takes to complete the survey, the more likely you are to get a good response rate.


Beth Becker has more than 20 years’ experience in the travel/hospitality and meetings industry.  Beth's career has focused on high visibility enterprise-wide training programs, meetings and virtual events.  Active in the Meeting community, Beth currently serves as a Moderator for MeCo and a Global Correspondent and Talent Bench member for i-Meet, the online business community for people who plan meetings and events.  You can connect with Beth via Linkedin.


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