One of the essential pages of an event website is its registration page. A registration page, sometimes called an enrollment page, or a sign-up page is the place where you have the chance to convert visitors to registrants. These pages typically include a value proposition, a description of the event that creates excitement and a form that allows guests to register or express interest in registering.
A user-friendly registration page makes all the difference on whether an event has a high registration rate. To make an event registration page compelling, you need to use a mix of enticing copy, conversion rate optimization, and design hacks. After all, your registration page should be your very best sales person when selling your event.
Here are three easy steps you can take to create a conversion-optimized event registration page and sell out your event (that's usually the goal, right?)
Step #1: Optimize your sign-up page copy and design
Event registration pages need to follow the same copywriting and design principles as any other sales page on your website. Take for example, this "ideal" page mock-up put together by Unbounce titled The 6-point punch below; this is a good model for a high-converting well optimized landing page for an offer.
Now, there will be event-specific needs for your registration page. After all, a sign-up or enrollments differs quite a bit from a content offer landing page or product offer.
Use the following outline to help create your registration page:
Above the fold
Above the fold means that the user doesn't need to scroll to see this information. This is prime real estate on your page! Make sure that your above the fold page content includes:
Event Value Proposition
Your event’s value proposition should be the headline of your event registration page. Inject your brand's personality and the unique value attendees will get out of the event being marketed. It may be easier to write the "Why come?" section detailed below first so you can identify key values you want to convey.
"When, Where & Why?" section
For the "When, Where and Why?" section, make sure you include the date, time and location of your event and then write three key benefits your attendees will get from coming. You'll need to be brief as you don't have much room above the fold, so think of it as an elevator pitch!
Answer questions like:
- Will the attendees be able to showcase their products or services?
- Will they be able to explore the solutions to their work problems?
- Will they get to connect with their peers?
- Will they get valuable insights from industry experts? And so on.
Take for example IMEX America's value statement below. The "where, and when" are found above the fold, and then a summary of what attendees will experience and learn creates a compelling case for "why".
Adding visuals to your page can help hold attention on the page, and not discourage visitors from reading a wall of text. You may consider including an image of:
- A past event
- A keynote speaker
- A brochure, or ebook associated with the event
Going for a strong CTA like "Buy a ticket today" or "Register now" can help conversion rates. Make sure that there is an action verb that tells registrants exactly what they need to do: buy, register, enroll, sign-up, schedule, etc. Also include a sense of urgency such as: now, today, soon, early, etc.
Below the fold
Below the fold means that a user must scroll to see this information, you won't want your most important information to fall below the fold but this is a great place to include supplemental supporting content for your event. Include things like the below, below the fold.
Write sharp summaries of what the sessions will be about. Use tips from this copy tutorial to create interest in the minds of the visitors. Your agenda should really amp up the excitement for your event, and it isn't a place to save time by cutting corners! Include unique write-ups for each speaker, and activity throughout the day(s).
Request your event speakers send you their bios early, so you can make any needed changes. pair those great bios with their professional headshots and your speaker’s lineup will totally shine, or coordinate a custom photo shoot for your speakers especially for your event if you have the resources to.
Here is a great example by INBOUND of including upcoming speakers on their event sign-up page below the fold. When you scroll down you can get a sneak peek at speakers for the upcoming year's conference.
Discuss the logistics in more detail then you were able to get into above the fold here. For example, the date, timings, accommodations, travel arrangements, pricing, etc. This is also a great place to provide a contact for more information about the event.
In this section, add testimonials from people who attended your event the last year. Recent testimonials are the best. If you don’t have any testimonials to show, get quotes from your company founders and other speakers on what they’re looking forward to in the event.
Repeat your CTA here once more for those who have made it this far down the registration page, they are likely very qualified to convert for your event. Once you’ve all your event copy ready, it’s time to pick an event registration solution.
Step #2: Choose a user-friendly event registration solution
Half of the success of your event registration page depends on how it looks and reads. This is the part that you can take care of by writing great copy (step #1), and then choose a provide power yourself with a conversion-friendly event registration solution that's built around the preferences of users.
Take payment processing, for example. According to the Statista study, Preferred payment methods of online shoppers worldwide as of March 2017, 39% of people prefer paying via PayPal if the option is available while 42% of people prefer paying with credit cards.
To make your event registration and checkout experience more conversion-friendly, you must support the payment methods your users prefer.
But, again, to make these options available on your registration page, you need a backend solution that can implement them. For such advanced features and more, you need a powerful registration tool.
Many companies use a bunch of different tools for these jobs. For example:
- A landing page builder tool to design the event’s registration page
- A form builder tool to design the event’s registration form
- A ticketing solution for selling the tickets
- And so on.
As you can imagine, getting all these tools to work together can be a nightmare. It’s best to use a turnkey solution that can offer a seamless registration experience from the page set-up, to payment, and beyond.
Step #3: Customize your event registration page
Once you’re ready with your event registration page copy and the tools you’re going to use to build your event registration, you can start with the design. Work on the following to get the design right.
Event registration pages are great branding tools — so make sure you match your event registration page with your brand and other digital properties as best you can. Use your company colors and style guides to make it unique to your event. Avoid registration tools or systems that don't allow you to customize page colors/branding.
The page where your event registration lives may be just as important as the content on the page itself -- for those searching for your event which looks more official?
We'd guess that the second option is preferable! Look for an event registration platform with the ability to edit URLs and make your brand stand-out.
A great hero shot
The image you use inside your event registration page’s hero area sets the mood of your registration page. Using cityscapes as hero images is a popular practice, but not the only option! Alternatively, you can use actual photos from your earlier events, fun patterns that convey the personality of your brand, or many other options.
Pro tip: make sure your hero image is sized appropriately to the page's dimensions so that you don't have blurred or distorted images.
As a rule, a shorter form gets more registrations than a longer form. Simply because it takes lesser effort and time to fill-out. So keep ONLY the fields you need. For example, there might be some data you could need for personalizing the attendee’s event experience. But, if this is something you can ask in a follow-up email, use a follow-up email.
Here are four more event registration form tips to keep in mind:
- Keep it Mobile-friendly: A lot of your users will reach your event registration page on their mobile devices. So a mobile-friendly form is a must. Implement features like field focus, autofill, and better touch control.
- Be clear with error messages: When a user types in a wrong input, prompt a clear error message. If your error message isn’t clear, the user might make the same mistake again, feel frustrated with your registration process, and abandon your website.
- Use a single column layout: A single column layout outperforms a multicolumn layout. So stick to a single column!
Call to action buttons
Make sure your CTA buttons pass the “lizard brain” test which according to Joanna Wiebe of Copy Hackers is a liking for "bright shiny objects and it’s likely to respond well to things that grab attention." Essentially, your CTAs should contrast heavily with the background and instantly catch the attention of potential registrants.
In short: A well optimized event registration page is essential
Your event registration page’s main goal is to get a user to fill out the registration form. So when you build your next event registration page, pay special attention to the form, copy and design to ensure you are creating the best page you possibly can. Follow the above outline for copy and design best practices and you'll surely have a winning event registration page!