Many non-event planners probably wouldn’t believe us if we told them that building an effective online event registration form can actually get quite complicated. Finding a balance between asking for information you need without being overwhelming (and risking losing a potential registrant) is not an easy task. Not to mention, ensuring your registrants have a clear understanding of how to fill the form out and make their selections...

Well from our experience, there are 7 things that you should ALWAYS include on an online event registration form. Use this as a guide to any time you start to build one:

  1. Event name, date, location, and a short description. Duh, right? But you’d be surprised how many event planners forget to include this crucial information on the form itself. Consider how your registrants will land on your form: If they click a direct link off an email or social media, they may miss the actual event listing on your website with this basic information.

  2. Price. Similar to the above, if there’s a cost to attend your event this should be clearly stated. If there’s no cost, well, consider stating that, too! People love a free event - and will love you for it, by proxy.  

  3. Event branding. Wherever your online event registration form is hosted, it should match the look and feel of your event. This functionality is a MUST when working with a third-party form provider: If your form doesn’t look associated with your event, it could cause people to get skittish and bail before they register.

  4. Make the email address field required. SO much event communication happens over email. You’ll want to be able to confirm registrations, send important details leading up to it, and follow-up with a post-event survey - so don’t let your registrants skip out on this! Pro tip: If your online event registration form allows people to register multiple attendees, make the email address required for all of them.

  5. Your own email address. Reciprocate the above requirement by providing your contact information. Questions will undoubtedly crop up, so give potential registrants a place to ask. (And then answer them quickly so they complete their registration.)

  6. Fields that’ll collect data to improve the attendee experience. Here’s where my suggestions get less specific, because what these fields are greatly depends on your event and your goals. A couple of examples -
    • If your event includes meals consider asking about dietary preferences and restrictions - and follow through with providing options to the best of your ability!

    • Ask registrants for more specific “demographics” so you can group attendees for meaningful activities. This is especially applicable to conferences. If you can gather all of your marketing folks, or all of your entry-level attendees, for a panel discussion, it’ll be more targeted and impactful.
  7.  Refund and cancellation information. Things happen! You’ll want people to register comfortably knowing that if something comes up, they’ll be entitled to some kind of refund. Make your policy super clear, though, so there’s no back-and-forth. You might also consider including a cancellation policy of your own, especially if your event is outdoors and could be affected by the weather.

Do you have any must-include items for online event registration forms? Share them in the comments below!

While these are the basics we recommend including for any event, there’s a lot more to consider. And many online event registration systems can handle it all! That said, you want to choose the one that will work best for you and your needs. If you’re on the hunt for an online event registration system, here are five questions you NEED to ask yourself:

5 Questions to Ask: A Guide for Event Planners