These days, small businesses and nonprofits have really started thinking differently about the way they approach planning, hosting, and promoting events.
This is especially true when it comes to event registration.
With an online registration form, small businesses and nonprofits can collect valuable information from event registrants without having to do any extra work or without it take up any more of their time.
Instead, all they need to do is create an online registration form, make it readily available to their target audience, and keep track of the information as it comes in before their next event.
This has certainly simplified the registration process but has also led to some important questions from the businesses and organizations running these events.
“How do I know what type of information to collect before my event?”
When it comes to figuring out what type of information to collect, knowing what not to ask can often be as important as knowing what you should be asking.
After all, nobody wants to spend fifteen minutes (let alone a half hour) filling out a survey when all they really want is to sign up for your event.
Instead, focus on only asking the questions you need to effectively run your event.
If a question doesn’t fall into the category of something you can actually use to improve your event and offer a better experience to attendees, it shouldn’t end up on your registration form.
What type of questions could fall into that category? Here’s a snapshot of the type of information you may want to collect:
1. Demographic information
Even the simplest information like: name, age, gender, or address can be hugely helpful when it comes to planning your event.
Example: A nonprofit can use demographic data when planning entertainment or auction items for their annual silent auction fundraiser.
2. Number of guests
Whether your event only allows for a “plus 1” or lets attendees bring the whole family, knowing how many people are attending will enable you to monitor capacity and stay organized when planning out seating for your event.
Example: By asking registrants if they plan to bring guests, a restaurant can avoid over crowding at their monthly wine tasting event.
3. Relevant contact information
Being able to collect relevant contact information from your target audience is one of the biggest benefits of using online registration. This will enable you to learn more about the people who are attending your events and most importantly—will allow you to stay connected before, during, and after your event.
Example: A B2B hosting a training seminar could collect attendee email addresses and send a follow-up survey after the event has ended.
4. Event specific information
Sometimes the information you decide to collect will be completely specific to your particular event. Are you offering different seating options, meal choices, or fundraising opportunities to attendees? Use online registration to get those details squared away before your next event.
Example: A race organizer that wants to give away a free t-shirt to runners in their annual 5K road race could collect shirt sizes before the day of the event.
5. Payment method
In addition to collecting attendee preferences, online registration also enables you to provide guest with different payment options as well.
Example: A theatre could give guests the option to buy tickets ahead of time or pay at the door.