What does the future of event registration look like?
That was one of the topics we explored during Event Tech Live 2018 with a power-packed panel of leading industry organizers:
- Stephan Forseilles, Head of Technology and Digital Transformation, Easyfairs
- Gerry Sherwood, Head of Customer Success, Gleanin
- Rob Hawthorne, Head of Marketing Operations, Clarion
- Steve Smith, Product Management Director, Visit and Poken by GES
- Emily Nichols, Head of Marketing, UBM
As revealed in Gleanin’s new white paper, “The Case for Mobile-Optimized Registration in B2B Events,” the future of event registration is increasingly mobile. (download your free copy of the white paper here)
Yet our exclusive research also revealed that the abandonment rate on mobile is significantly higher than the abandonment rates on desktop – due in large part to a lengthy registration process and poor user experience on mobile.
Here’s what the panel had to say about improving the attendee experience through mobile-optimized registration.
Mobile-Designed Registration Isn’t Enough
Stephan said while organizers are thinking about mobile-optimized registration interfaces, it isn’t enough. Case in point: the registration questionnaire.
Most typical questionnaires are too long for mobile. In a world where it takes 5 clicks and a few minutes to order a sofa, no one is going to spend twenty minutes entering information just to register for an event.
According to Stephan, “even though we’re trained to do our best with design interfaces, we’re not doing our best when it comes to the user experience because we still ask too much information upfront.”
Rob added to Stephan’s point about trying to get too much information initially, suggesting event organizers think instead about creating customer journeys tied into capturing data pre-registration, post-registration and post-event. “If we can progressively profile attendees instead of trying to capture all information at once, we’ll see a reduction in abandonment rates and better data quality.”
Make Small Shifts to Achieve the Ideal Customer Journey
Emily pointed out that much of the registration data is used by event teams to sell events. But there has to be a better balance between gathering data that benefits the visitor versus data for the sales team.
Emily explained one shift to gamified registration forms with a BuzzFeed-style quiz element has paid off for UBM. Visitors were asked to fill out a form to see what percentage visionary they were within the industry.
This focus on a visitor benefit has had a big payoff: a 20 percent reduction in drop-offs and the corresponding follow-up results email had the highest open in the event campaign.
Emily said it’s important to “have a view about what the customer actually wants, and what kind of journey you can give them within the realms of the technology you currently have.”
Segment Data to Boost Registration to Conversion
Rob urged organizers to think about the correlation between the registration process and attendee conversion. “Be very clear at the start of the process about the data you’re collecting and what elements of that data are going to help convert pre-registrations into attendees.”
Too often information is collected and none of that information is reflected in communications in the build-up to the event, or used to tailor content to attendee’s interests.
“The whole registration process is a significant part of the conversion because if your registration process is a pain, your conversion, in the end, will be much lower. If the registration is a great experience, there are more chances people will turn up,” said Stephan.
Keep an Eye on Facial Recognition
While Steve predicts facial recognition will play a big role in the on-site experience, don’t count it out for the registration process too. “Imagine you registered the previous year, and you’re registering again. Instead of completing a registration form, you just hold up your phone and most of the registration information is filled in.”
To learn how Gleanin can help you unlock additional data to improve your registration and conversion rates through social referral marketing, contact us.