Mistakes to Avoid When Setting up an Event Registration Page
Events bring people with similar interests together. Whether you teach art classes, organize social events for young professionals, or get together scientists to tackle challenging problems — you are helping people feel connected around a common purpose. But before you can host an event, you need a way for attendees to register.
An event registration page can help you solve that problem. This article will discuss five common mistakes when creating an event registration page and what to do instead.
1. Not including an event image
An event image helps break up the text of a webpage. It is also one of the first things visitors see when they land on your event registration page. An event image can also create positive feelings towards your event.
Chip Heath and Dan Heath, the authors of the book Switch, introduce us to the idea of a destination postcard. A destination postcard is “a vivid picture from the near-term future that shows what could be possible,” they wrote. Let’s say you are hosting a paint and sip class where guests will paint a beach sunset while enjoying their favorite beverage.
Using the “show, don’t tell” technique will help them see what they’ll be painting. That can create some anticipation where an attendee looks forward to relaxing and painting with some friends. The anticipation could nudge an attendee to register.
Action steps: Take a look at photos from your past events. Select a picture that you think will appeal to your audience. Add it towards the top of your event page.
2. Accidentally setting the wrong date or time
Imagine you’ve put a lot of effort and time into organizing an upcoming seminar. You’ve reviewed your presentation and even asked students to send in questions in advance. You arrive at the event location and get set up ahead of time. It is time for your seminar to begin, but there are no students.
A few minutes go by, and you start to panic…
You open up your email to see if any students are running late, and you see an email from a student. They’ve sent over a new question for Q&A and close their email with “See you tomorrow.” Your panic now shifts to frustration as you realize you chose the wrong date and time.
Don’t let this happen to you!
Action step: Double-check the date and time that you add to your event page.
3. Using jargon that your audience doesn’t understand
An event registration page is designed to do one thing well. That is to encourage visitors to register for your event. Any points of friction will work against this goal. And one of them is using vocabulary that your attendees don’t use.
Consider these audiences:
– Biology professors who want to attend a conference on conserving rare tropical plants.
– Parents want to register their children for an upcoming music summer camp.
Biology professors could easily have engaging conversations with each other while using scientific terms. However, using jargon for academics would be out of place on a children’s summer camps registration page.
Action steps: Think about your audience. What are the words and phrases that they use? Use them across your page in the event description, registration options, etc.
4. Not offering online payments through credit cards
If you skip allowing card payments, then you’ll have to handle payments offline. That adds more tasks to your growing list of to-dos. Here are some things that you’ll have to take care of:
– Follow up with attendees who started a registration but haven’t paid.
– Mark attendees as paid once you’ve received a payment.
– Visit the local bank often to deposit checks as you receive them.
In other words, offline payments are a hassle!
Allowing an attendee to pay online is a win-win for you and your attendees. Your attendees can pay online, and your WordPress event registration plugin can instantly confirm their registration. Online registrations happen around the clock, even while you are asleep. This power of automation saves you time so you can focus your attention elsewhere.
Action step: Connect your event registration page to a payment gateway that processes card payments securely.
5. Forgetting to test out the registration process
Stepping away from setting up your event registration page and returning later is one way to spot potential issues. For instance, here are a few things you might discover:
– A payment gateway was left in test mode, which doesn’t process real funds.
– A venue or event location doesn’t have an address.
– Custom questions aren’t enabled, and you need this to learn about each attendee.
Allow yourself to find and fix these issues.
Action steps: Look over your event page with fresh eyes. Try out the registration process as if you were an attendee.
Atul Gawande, a surgeon and author, describes the value of checklists. “It is common to misconceive how checklists function in complex lines of work. They are not comprehensive how-to guides, whether for building a skyscraper or getting a plan out of trouble,” he wrote in his eye-opening book The Checklist Manifesto. “They are quick and simple tools aimed to buttress the skills of expert professionals.”
In other words, checklists are tools to keep you on track, and they can be helpful for event pages. Learn from these five mistakes below:
- Not including an event image.
- Accidentally setting the wrong date or time.
- Using jargon that your audience doesn’t understand.
- Not offering online payments through credit cards.
- Forgetting to test out the registration process.
Use lessons learned above as a quick checklist to get your next event registration page ready for an upcoming event.
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