The JET Event Blog
Luke Towers

Luke Towers

What makes great online registration forms?

Date:

Monday, 23 April 2018

Tags:

Expertise
What makes great online registration forms?

Making sure your online registration forms are on form to optimise your event registration process

Even though it is often the first real interaction you gain from any potential visitor to your event, the humble web form is often over looked. Get it wrong and you risk losing the registration which can lead to an increase of onsite registrations (increasing queue and possibly costs) or worse putting the visitor off all together.

Here, we take a quick look at some of the features your registration forms should be using to ensure the registration journey is as smooth as possible while retrieving the data you need in order to run a successful event. Have a look at your online registration forms to see if they are meeting this criteria. 

Mobile First

Something I hope is an obvious one, but without trying too hard you can find examples of registration forms that don't adhere to this basic strategy. With over half of all web traffic coming from mobile devices your registration forms need to be flexible and usable. Your fields and labels should adjust to the space and the form should flow so that the user isn't made to do more work; Enter field, pop up keyboard, enter text, dismiss keyboard, scroll, repeat - No thanks!

Mandatory Fields and Validation

Some details are absolute must haves in order to fulfil the event, others, not so much (fax number anyone?!). If it's not mandatory you must really question if it's needed at all. If it is needed, then a decent set of validation rules are a must - if you're collecting it, make sure you end up with good quality data. Correct use of case, the right set of characters (Even Eleven from Stranger Things, doesn't use numbers in her name), and telephone numbers should make sense.

Data validation on online registration form

In most cases the email address is one of the key pieces of information you request; you will market with it and you will fulfil the confirmation, as well as send any important updates about the event. Therefore your field should check the email structure - do they accept the new TLD's (like .com, but new ones can include .events and .london among many, many more). They should also check that the email server exists - they haven't just entered xyz@abc. 

email and number form validation

Finally, ensure you tell them about any errors as they work through the form. Telling them at the end and making them play hunt the error is not as fun as it sounds. If you do I hope they're not on mobile! Scrolly, scrolly!

Questions Questions

So you have the basics, who they are and how you can get hold of them. Now you need more detail. 

A few key points here, you could say they are the unofficial golden rules.

  • Keep your questions and the responses short.

  • Ensure you have the right input for the job (eg. 3 or less items should be a radio button and not a dropdown.)

  • Multi-selects should have a realistic number of options and ideally no more than 1 multi-select visible at any one time. Break this rule and users will scan the text and jab at responses that roughly match what they are looking for.

Data that's wrong is more harmful than no data at all.

The right route for the right person

So you need to ask different questions depending on previous answers? Your form should be able to hide and show questions and relevant information. You should be able to take the main form flow and customise parts of it as you require. This will keep everything relevant and keep the users focus.

registration form conditional logic

Look over here!

If you've managed to get your potential visitor to your reg form you need to ensure that you keep them focused and help them complete. Your websites are probably lovely and all those fancy headers, footers and power bars are great, but when it comes to your online registration forms you should be cutting back on the distractions. Also keep in mind that on mobile all the extra content will s-t-r-e-t-c-h out the page. If you must have it ensure it comes after the form and isn't in the way.

What's just happened?

When the user is all done, ensure they know that there is nothing else to do or include clear calls to actions on what they can or should do next.

Register or invite a colleague, head back to a section on the main site, edit their details, share to social and printing off e-badges or other joining instructions are all great options.

Quick round up

So, your registration forms are usable on a range of devices, they check the data as the user enters it, its nice and concise (should take the average user no longer than 5 minutes to complete) and it's clear when they have finished and what they should do next - super! You're rocking it! Go make a cuppa and watch those registrations roll in.

Next Steps

If you need further help on how to improve your registration journey then give us a shout. We'd be happy to take a look at your specific requirements and turn your process into something seamless.

Contact Us



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