Lil Regie

Event Registration Management - Best Practices for a Smooth Registration Process

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Registrations check in at a conference

Planning an event involves juggling countless tasks, and one of the key elements that can make or break the experience is event registration management. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through some practical best practices for managing event registration like a pro.

Preparing the registration for your event

Event goals

It’s important to take a step back and make sure you’ve clearly defined your event’s goals. If you understand the core drivers for your event, as well as your target audience, you’ll be in a better place to make the right decisions about your platform, registration form, and marketing approach.

Target audience

Hand-in-hand with your event’s goals is consideration of your target audience. Can you identify who they are? Consider their interests and motivations; can you develop a registration process that will resonate with them? Putting your audience at the forefront can also help you customise your messaging, design and user experience.

Do I need a registration or ticketing system?

Consider whether you think your event is small enough to get away with a manual way of handling registrations. This might be the case for some events. You might be happy with playing spreadsheet ninja, sharing your bank account details (with strangers) for payments and then manually tallying them up. However, as soon as your event becomes a bit bigger, you will find that an event registration platform might be called for.   

What are your ticketing requirements?

If that is the case, think about your must-have features for a registration platform. Will you need different templates, ticket types or payment options? Built-in analytics and reporting or a shop-front? Do you want the registration software to
hook up with your accounting software? What will you (and your attendees) need during the actual check-in process? What level of application support are you likely to require? Make sure to do your research, not forgetting to seek out recommendations from within your industry, networking sources or
service rating sites.

Apply your branding
Once you’ve selected your platform, you’ll want to start implementing your branding and theme. Don’t forget email branding and signature options, too. Customising your landing page and registration form to show your event’s theme will help keep a consistent experience throughout the registration process. (We’ll talk a bit more about what to include in the registration form, below.)

Stay consistent

Keeping your theme and branding consistent will also help to drive potential attendees to your landing page and registration form. Other ideas for marketing include using email campaigns or social media platforms to create some buzz about your event, and implementing “social proof” features, such as letting attendees post about their registration, or displaying real-time purchase pop-ups that can also give a sense of urgency and credibility.

How to streamline registration

Here are a few ways you can really make your event’s form and interface pull their weight:

Simplify your registration form

Decide what information is essential to gather from your attendees, and what is just “extra”? While collecting a lot of data might seem useful, too many fields to fill out will just slow down registration. In a worst-case scenario, an unwieldy form might nudge a potential attendee to abandon their sign up before they finish registering. Aim for brevity, and also make sure the layout and interface are intuitive and the ‘register’ button is prominent.

Give options

Another way to make things easy for potential attendees is to give them multiple registration options. As well as an online registration form, think about whether any of your target audience would appreciate an offline option. If you’re taking registrations on the day, you’ll also want to make sure there’s an easy (and quick!) way for staff to get someone into the system. Don’t forget about mobile! Having a snappy form and optimised website will keep smartphone users happy.

Secure payment

Finally, make sure to go with a payment gateway that has a proven security record, and ensure that this information–as well as privacy protection–is easy to find on the site . Using reliable gateways that support multiple payment methods will help reinforce attendees’ trust and confidence in your site.

Enhancing the attendees’ experience

There are a lot of ways you can improve your attendees’ registration experience, apart from a quick sign up and friction-less payments! Think about how you can provide people a more customised experience, with offerings such as tailored communications, special discounts and support.

Personalise and segment communications

Emails are a mechanism to communicate information but they’re also great to help build a relationship with your attendees. Address them by name in your messaging, and make the most of any other data you’ve collected to send further tailored, specific information about sessions or special offers. A personalised touch will let your attendees know you understand their needs and goals for the event.

Make the most of attendees' inboxes

Still on emails, think about other ways you can make the most of attendees’ inboxes. Sending calendar events, automated booking confirmations or digital tickets  straight to attendees once they’ve registered is a great way to confirm their sign-up was successful. Encouraging attendees to save tickets to their phones, or save a calendar event to their computer also helps to “lock in” your event and drive attendance.

Incentivise sign-ups

Offering incentives like early bird discounts or access to limited places or resources can be a great way to encourage early registration. Early sign-ups are a great way to generate anticipation and cash flow for your event, so make sure you mention these exclusives in your promos and other marketing efforts. At the same time, the inclusion of cut-off dates for these can also introduce an element of urgency, and give potential attendees a nudge to click on the “register” button.

Be accessible

Don’t forget to set up ways for attendees to get in touch before the event, such as a dedicated email address or chat channel where people can bring up any questions or confirm details. 

Data and analytics

If you’ve designed your registration form thoughtfully, you’ll be able to strike a balance between offering a quick process for attendees, and gathering useful data to help guide your planning and decision-making. Even if you aren’t using a customer relationship management (CRM) system, it’s a good idea to be stringent about how you organise and store your data.

Make sure your data is accessible

Also, check if you can easily gain access to your data, by downloading it into Excel or hooking the chosen registration software up to other services, such as email providers for more convenient segmentation. We mentioned customising your communications earlier, but it does bear repeating: everyone loves the personalised touch. Make the most of your attendee data to help keep people feel special and engaged throughout your event.

Analyse your data

Analytics tools can help you spot trends and patterns, as well as attendee behaviours. Not only can this information help you with your marketing, but you can use it to guide any refinements to logistics and event content as well.

Be transparent about data collection

If you are using analytics to gather further insights on potential attendees, it’s important to be transparent about what information is collected, as well as how it will be saved and used. Familiarise yourself with data protection regulations; note these can apply across countries (such as the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulations). Make sure you take the necessary steps of implementing security measures, getting consent for data processing, and being transparent about your privacy policies. It’s all about respecting people’s privacy and keeping their information safe and sound.

Registration on-site

Registration logistics

There is a lot you can do on-site to keep things running smoothly. In terms of logistics, think about the layout and flow of your registration area, and make sure it’s easy for attendees to find and navigate. You can make the process easier for your staff and volunteers as well, by marking clear signage and designated lines for queueing, and finding ways to make your helpers stand out visually. Don’t forget to make sure they have enough necessary supplies like registration forms, badges, and pens, to aid check-in.

Train your registration staff

It’s a good idea to take the time to make sure your registration staff and volunteers are comfortable with the check-in process. Run through the software, discuss how to answer phone calls or other queries, and make sure they know how to handle on-the-day registrations.

Use technology to your advantage

Make the most of mobile apps and QR code scanning to save time and reduce the hassle of paper printouts and manual data entry. Take the time too, to make sure everyone knows how to use these, as well as backup methods if something should go wrong.

Be reactive and have a backup plan

Despite all of your best efforts, it’s possible that unexpected issues will crop up on the day. Try to nip these in the bud by preparing contingency plans for your most crucial elements, such as having alternative registration methods or back up staff who can come in at late notice. A good backup plan–and a dedicated team member to manage any contingencies – will make sure that even if something goes awry, your registration process can keep running smoothly.

Following up after the event

It’s not quite time to put your feet up! Taking the time to reflect on lessons learned and attendee and vendor feedback will help you to make sure future events will be even more successful.

Gather feedback

Send out post-event surveys to gather feedback from attendees. Ask them about their experience, including what they loved and where you can improve for next time. Insights from this data can also help you develop new content or re-frame the activities your target audience would like to experience.

Check in with your team

Likewise, getting together with your team for a debrief is a great way to find out how the process went for them. What went well? What do you need to improve for next time or change completely? Make sure you document these lessons for next time.


With these best practices in place, you’ll be able to streamline registration, make a lasting impression on your attendees, and ensure a great day for you and your team!

 For more tips on running events, check out our Event Planning 101 article.

Next steps

☐ research and choose an online registration system that will align with your event’s needs

☐ test and review your registration form. Simplify by only asking for essential information. Make sure it’s accessible, user-friendly and responsive.

☐ brainstorm ways to personalise the registration experience for your attendees. Can you customise your communications based on data you gather during registration? Can you make personalised recommendations or tips?

☐ if the system you’ve chosen doesn’t include secure payment options, you’ll need to organise these. Make sure you offer multiple payment options and display security information, in order to show the payment options’ trustworthiness.

☐ make the most of registration data - can you gain further insights into your attendees’ preferences, their demographics and their behaviour? Can you use this information to personalise their experience?

☐ establish ways to gather attendee feedback: surveys, forms or even face-to-face 
conversations. Making adjustments based on the feedback you gather will help you improve future events!

☐ keep up to date on trends in your industry- industry blogs, webinars and networking

☐ consider (after your event) how you might improve upon what you’ve done. Were there any bottlenecks, areas of friction, or did you get feedback on any practices that might be considered outdated or “done”?

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Lil Regie Team

Our passionate and experienced team loves to share insights on how to set up and execute exceptional events.