Asking the right questions for your event registration is essential in being able to use the data to your advantage. There is a saying in information manipulation software development: “Garbage in, garbage out”. And it is so true! If you did not ask the question, there is no way the information will miraculously pop up. Furthermore, asking the right questions will allow you to give your attendees better and faster service.
Surprise, surprise… asking the right questions starts with a great event registration software. But that is a given. Having a great software that will allow you to filter and report on the data you gather during registration is invaluable. The whole point of asking the right questions is so you can use it in the appropriate way. Choose a software that lets you do that!
But I’ve written a whole eBook on the subject, so moving on…
After searching through Regpack’s event registrations, I saw many themes and also many questions that surprised me, but in a good way! Questions that you wouldn’t necessarily think of but that can be super helpful in planning and organizing your event.
I’ve compiled some top questions you should be asking in your event registration, including some you might not have considered, but should!
This is pretty obvious and most people don’t mess this up. But just for the sake of being thorough, you should always ask:
- Phone number
- Company information
- Hotel information
You might also consider asking for…
Emergency Contact Information
You never know when an emergency can happen. If you have an attendee who is attending alone, it can be invaluable to have emergency contact information on hand in this extreme case. You’ll be glad you have it if and when the need arises.
Social Media Usernames
If you are active on social media, you can spend time before the event connecting with your attendees through your event profiles. Hopefully they will follow you back, so during the event when you are posting photos, your attendees will see them, tag themselves and share!
If you plan on doing giveaways or producing event swag, having the sizes of everyone before hand can make ordering easier!
In addition to the hotel information, if relevant for your event, having arrival times of attendees, especially for a multi day event, can be great. You can easily run a report on arrival times and see the breakdown of attendees arriving on day 1, before the event, or after it begins.
Personal Responses and Feedback
While sending out an event survey after the event is a great idea, asking attendees beforehand for feedback can be helpful as you plan your event. Questions like:
- What do you hope to experience at the event?
- What do you hope to learn?
- What are you goals?
- What do you hope to take away?
- Why are you attending this event?
Understanding why people are coming and what they hope to gain from your event can help you focus on the most important elements of your event and make sure you are giving attendees what they expect!
Food issues to know about!
If you are serving food at your event, this is a must. Ensure you have a question or section of your application dedicated to the needs of your attendees. This includes religious conditions (Halal, Kosher), as well as vegan, vegetarian, gluten, etc. Accommodating these requests goes a long way for attendees to feel comfortable and respected.
This is kind of a big duh if your event costs money, but hear me out. Make sure you not only have an easy way for attendees to pay, but an integrated payment system that can save payment information. You want payment information saved for a variety of reasons, including:
Making payment plans and automatic payments easy.
Make checkout easier for attendees if they add another session, meal or product to their cart after their initial registration is completed.
Unless your event doesn’t cost much, saved payment information is essential for ensuring you get paid on time. Once they decide on a payment plan, a saved card makes charging the attendee the amount due on each payment due date. They don’t have to remember to pay, and you don’t have to remind them!
Saved payment info is also great for groups that register together, so anytime a new attendee is added, you can easily pay their fees with the saved card on file.
How to ask these questions!
Conditional logic is I’d say the top feature you want in an event registration platform to help you ask the right questions.
Conditional logic essentially means presenting questions or forms based on the answers to previous questions. This helps to personalize the process and can also make the application as quick as possible for every applicant.
Based on the question we outlined above here is how the conditional logic questions would go:
Are you staying in an event hotel?
No → Proceed to next question.
Yes → Which hotel?
Social Media Info
Would you like to connect on Social Media?
No → Proceed to next question.
Yes → Please share your social media handles
Post Event Surveys
If you use your event software to conduct post-event surveys, conditional logic is great for this as well. Anytime someone answers negatively to a question, or positively depending on the question, you can use conditional logic to trigger another question for follow-up to get more information.
I wrote a great post with how to manage the post-event landscape with attendees.
Knowing what your attendees want and need, will make your event more successful!
Asking the right questions in advance means you can be better prepared to meet their needs once they arrive. It also makes the registration process itself more enjoyable.
No one likes filling out forms, but if you can ask only what you need and only once, it makes registration quick and painless for everyone!
When you have happy attendees, you have a great event, gather great data that you can use for your marketing and future planning, and a huge pool of returning attendees to count on for your next event!