When it comes to business events such as conferences, event planners have 101 responsibilities related to speaker outreach, vendor management, venue coordination, and more. But a key area where some planners drop the ball is event registration. It may seem like a simple, straightforward task, but when you give it a little extra thought, the information you gather at registration can help enormously with event logistics and marketing.
So what questions should you include on your event registration form to make the most of it? Below are some suggestions from Courtney Ordway, creator of the Dink Life Blog. Ordway has worked in the wedding and special events industry for 10 years and has experience in conference coordination, fundraising events, and wedding planning.
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1. What is your contact information?
Get the basics, including first name, last name, address, and whatever else makes sense for your event. “You need these details for proper spelling on name tags and table cards,” Ordway explains. “In addition, these details will help in personalizing future communications with attendees, such as when you email reminders about the event they registered for and potentially for ones in the future.”
2. How did you hear about this event?
“This question helps you figure out where your marketing spend is working,” says Ordway. For example, many attendees may have learned about your event through Facebook or another social media platform; others might have heard about it on the radio or through word of mouth.
“Whether you’re holding a conference or fundraising, knowing where attendees are finding out about you can help you reach more of your target audience next time,” Ordway explains.
3. Do you have any dietary restrictions?
Ordway notes that if you’re making food available, you want to be mindful of attendees’ dietary restrictions. There’s almost always someone who needs accommodations in this area.
“Someone may have a peanut allergy or be a vegan or pescatarian,” says Ordway. “Not being aware of these aspects could result in someone getting sick or not eating at all. If you don’t ask, you could cause stress for the kitchen staff and provide a poor guest experience.”
4. Do you have any accessibility or accommodation requests?
Some of your attendees may use wheelchairs, have hearing or vision impairment, or need to bring a service animal.
“An attendee may need to be closer to a screen, speakers, or the bathroom,” says Ordway. “Whatever the case, attendees need to feel considered and be able to have an enjoyable time — the same as everyone else.”
5. What are your social media handles?
Ordway says asking for social handles enables you to connect with them via social media.
“You can follow people and tag them in photos so they feel included — assuming you’ve gotten their permission to take their photo and post it,” she says. “You can ask for that on the registration form as well. This goes both for slide shows for next year’s event promotion and social media.”
6. What part of the event are you looking forward to the most?
Are attendees mainly coming to hear a particular speaker? Is there a unique activity in which they want to participate? Is there something specific they want to learn?
“This question helps you gain a deeper understanding of what’s drawing the audience in,” says Ordway, “and you can use the answers to plan for future events.”
7. What is your emergency contact information?
“This is really more applicable for multi-day events,” says Ordway. “Just in case something happens, you want to be prepared, especially for people traveling to the event from far away.”
8. What is your payment information?
Of course, you need a way to collect payment for the event. Be sure to offer several payment options, as people have different prefered methods, such as credit, debit, PayPal, etc.
9. Which sessions would you like to sign up for?
“To help with logistics, you can see what sessions attendees plan to view,” says Ordway. “For example, if a certain speaker has a lot of signups, you can put them in a larger room and ensure there’s enough food and refreshments.”
10. Do we have your permission to add you to our email list?
“You should always get consent from attendees before adding them to your email list,” says Ordway. “This gives you legal and psychological leeway to reach out in the future for feedback and event promotion.”
11. Can you tell us more about you?
Ordway says it’s also helpful to give attendees the option to disclose additional identifying details about themselves, such as gender, age range, geographic location, etc. This information can help you refine your target audience for future events.
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Whatever event registration questions you choose, they should accomplish at least one of two objectives: support the execution of the event (such as helping with logistics or catering) or give you more information about your target audience.
Ask the questions you need answers for using Jotform’s Form Builder. You can build a customizable event registration form from scratch or start with one of tons of relevant templates — complete with a wide variety of form fields.
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