How to create a conference registration form

How to create a conference registration form

by Sarah McCunnMay 09, 2024
How to create a conference registration form

Conferences provide an incredible opportunity for professionals and people with a passion within a field to learn from experts, connect and stay updated on latest trends and developments.

For organizers, a conference registration form is a crucial tool for both information gathering, and creating a great first impression of your event.

In this article we delve into the importance of a user-friendly conference registration form, highlight best practices, offer tips for promoting your conference and walk you through creating a fully customized registration and payment page.

Conference attendees networking in a glass sided area corporate building, sun shines through the window.

What is a conference registration form?

A conference registration form is a tool used by conference organizers to collect important information from participants who wish to attend—such as contact information, accommodation preferences, dietary restrictions, emergency contacts, workshop attendance and other special requirements.

It’s also a great way to capture why the registrant is excited about attending your conference and what they are hoping to gain from attending—so you can make you customize the experience to meet their needs.

Man sits on stage talking to an audience of conference attendees

Best practices for conference registration forms

Taking time to create a great registration form is important for for several reasons:

  • Streamlined process: A well-designed registration form simplifies the process for attendees, making it easy for them to sign up for the conference. This can lead to higher registration numbers as it removes barriers to entry.
  • Accurate data collection: Registration forms are a primary source of collecting essential information about attendees, such as contact details, dietary restrictions, session preferences, etc. Accurate data ensures that organizers can plan and execute the event effectively.
A laptop sits on a table next to a sheet of colorful bar and pie charts.
  • Communication: The registration form serves as a communication channel between organizers and attendees. With the data collected, organizers can send relevant updates, reminders, and important information to participants before, during, and after the event.
  • Personalization: A good registration form allows for personalization of the attendee experience. By collecting specific preferences and details, organizers can tailor their offerings to match the needs and preferences of participants, enhancing their overall experience.
Three women sit on stalls in front of an audience, giving a talk.
  • Professionalism: A well-crafted registration form reflects positively on the event and the organizing team! Attention to detail and providing a seamless registration experience will give a great first and lasting impression to attendees.
A woman in black stands on stage delivering a presentation, speaking into a microphone.

Attendees will value a registration form that prioritizes efficiency, personalization, transparency, effective communication and clear ticket and payment options.

A smooth experience from the start sets a positive tone for the event and will set the stage for your conference's overall success!

What should be in a conference registration form?

An effective conference registration form captures key information from attendees to streamline event planning and organization. It should balance capturing the crucial information needed to ensure great communication and slick logistical planning, with making the process as smooth hassle free as possible for your registrants.

Let’s look over the key components to consider and include when creating your registration form:

Personal and contact information

First up, you are going to capture essential personal details from your registrants like:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Organization

⚡Make the process as frictionless as possible by only asking for what you absolutely need.

For example, there is no need to capture a home address unless you plan to send them physical products or information.

A woman's arms can be seen on a laptop, typing.

Day or time slots the attendee wants to attend

To schedule events in accordance with venue capacity and make sure you have sufficient staff on hand, it’s vital to capture the numbers of people attending either the full conference, or individual days only.

🥂In addition to the main conference, you may be planning special workshops, networking drinks or dinners, so ensure to add all of these options to your form.

Event-specific details

If you are laying on refreshments or organizing networking dinners or drinks, you are going to need to capture dietary needs from registrants.It’s also vital to ask attendees if they have any accessibility requirements so that you can plan for these ahead of time.

👕 Many events give away goodie bags with merchandise or conference T shirts, so you may need to capture information to help personalize this.

Two people stand with clipboards and lanyards, giving them out at the entrance to a talk.

Accommodation

Some conferences allow you to book conference allocated rooms on campuses or in local hotels and reserve these as part of the registration process. If you plan to offer accommodation as part of your conference package, state the options for selection on the form.

Balance mandatory and optional fields

Make use of optional fields to capture ‘nice to know’ information from participants. There are going to be people who are happy to provide extra information that helps you tailor things effectively.

By giving them the chance to do so voluntarily, you can keep barriers to registration as low as possible for those who want to zip through registration as quickly as possible!

Use a user-friendly registration platform

Selecting a great platform that offers easy customization, mobile optimization and features like payment processing if necessary, will be key to your success!

If you are taking registrations without payment, platforms such as Survey Monkey offer a great selection of form templates and allow you to create fully customized forms from scratch, while platforms like Whova are tailored to large scale conference and expo registration, offering features to boost engagement and networking.

Checkout Page allows you to create both non-payment registration forms and registration plus payment pages for your conference, whatever the size!

Using Stripe as a trusted payment processor, our rich functionality allows you to tailor the registration process perfectly to your needs - no code skills needed!

Screenshot of a tech conference checkout page.

How to create a conference registration form in Checkout Page

Our platform helps you create registration pages with or without payment functionality that you can embed on your website or link to as a standalone page from your social media accounts, newsletters, blogs—or anywhere you’ll connect with potential delegates!

🚀 If you’d like to speed up the registration form setup even further, we’ve created a conference registration form template which will get you off to a flying start!

To get a step-by-step overview, let’s walk through the process of creating a fully customized conference registration form with payment functionality from scratch:

Step 1. Select ‘Checkout’ or ‘Form’ and add title

Depending on your event form's purpose, select 'Checkout' (which enables payments to be taken) or 'Form' (for registration and signup only).

  • Checkout: For paid events with seats, event ticketing, packages, deposit, or merchandise.
  • Form: For RSVP, event signup, waitlist, or event registration without payment.

In this case we are selecting ‘Checkout’ in order to take payment for tickets as well as gather registration details:

Note: In this case we are not adding a single event price because we’ll be utilizing Checkout Page’s product variant functionality to create multiple ticket types later:

A sceenshot of the first stage creating a page in Checkout Page, enabling you to select from page or form, and add pricing information.

Step 2. Choose your page type and layout

Choose from either a ‘Hosted page’ option, or ‘Add to site’ embed code. There are also three different page layout options to pick from:

Screenshot of Checkout Page form enabling you to select page layout

Step 3. Add a description

Add a description for your page and let people know what your conference is offering, when and where:

Screenshot of Checkout Page form enabling you add a description to your page.

Step 4. Add images

Add images that are on brand and show registrants what your conference is about:

Screenshot of Checkout Page form enabling you to add images to your page

Step 5. Use ‘Variants’ and variant options to create different ticket types

Our ‘Variants’ functionality allows you to set up different ticket types. Each Variant can contain multiple options within:

Screenshot of Checkout Page form enabling you to add product or ticket variants for sale.

Step 5.1 Set-up your variant ‘Options’

Each ‘Variant’ can contain multiple ‘Options’. Here we see the ‘Select access day(s)’ variant housing options for ‘All access’ tickets as well as individual day tickets:

Screenshot of Checkout Page form enabling you to add options for each variant.

Step 5.2 Add prices and stock to your variant options

Under the ‘Buy single day pass’ variant, several ticket types have been set up, each with their own price and stock limit set:

Screenshot of Checkout Page form enabling you to add prices and stock for each option.

Step 5.3 Use ‘Conditional show/hide logic’ to show or hide ticket options

Checkout Page’s conditional logic feature is used to dictate which options are shown and which are hidden when particular variants are selected by a registrant.

Here, the ‘Single day pass’ options are set to show only when a registrant selects a ticket that is not an ‘All access days’ option:

Checkout Page form enabling you to add conditional logic for which options show or hide depending on the variant selected.

The result is that when any of the ‘Day pass’ options are selected on the form, only the day pass ticket information is shown, and the ‘All access’ ticket information is grayed out:

Screenshot of Checkout Page preview showing options that are hidden.

To learn more about using this functionality, read our articles Guide to product variants and Conditional logic for product variants

Step 6. Add files to your form

If there is a free PDF or any other information in file format that you want your conference registrants to receive, you can upload the files here:

Checkout Page form enabling you to add files for download to your checkout.

Step 7. Add custom fields

Select from a variety of custom field types such as free text, dropdown, and multiple choice, in order to capture the relevant information needed for your conference registration process:

Checkout Page enabling you to add custom registration form fields to your page.

💡If you want to dive deeper into exactly what you should be asking attendees when creating your form, read Top event registration questions to ask attendees.

Step 8. Customize the pages’s appearance

Create a form that matches your branding by choosing the colors for background, buttons and button text. For those with additional branding requirements, our custom CSS option is at hand:

Checkout Page form enabling you to customize the colors of you page

Step 9. Preview your conference registration form

You can review your progress the whole way along using the handy preview pane beside the form builder, and when you are done you can admire your work before sharing it!

Checkout Page preview of a newly created conference form and checkout

Step 10. Share or embed your page

The share & embed popup provides you with either a URL to a hosted conference registration page or embed code to add to a site. You can also generate a QR code which can be use on promotional materials such as posters:

Checkout Page popup which enables you to share and embed your page

Step 11. Set up your submission confirmation

Choose how you’d like your guests to receive their form submission confirmation, either as an ‘out of the box’ or custom page, redirect to URL on a website, or as an email:

Checkout Page form enabling you to customize your confirmation emails

Step 12. Create your confirmation email

Choose either a default email template or customize it yourself, and send a test email to yourself in a simple click!

Checkout Page form enabling you to select from custom or default email confirmation templates.

Step 13. Integrate your form with Google Sheets, Webhooks or Zapier

Use Checkout Page’s integration functionality to send your attendee data to a Google Sheet which can be used as a simple CMS, integrate with webhooks or Zapier to send data to your own server, third-party services and other apps:

Form enabling you to integrate the page with Google Sheets, Webhooks or Zaiper

Promoting and marketing your conference

Now that we’ve seen how simple it is to create your conference registration form with Checkout Page, let’s look at tips for marketing your conference effectively and maximizing those sign-ups!

💡Identify your target audience: Define who your ideal attendees are based on demographics, interests, and professions. Tailor your marketing efforts to reach this specific audience through targeted channels and messaging.

People sat in a large audience in facing a stage.

💡Develop compelling content: Develop engaging content that highlights the value of attending your conference. This can include teaser videos, keynote speaker profiles, session previews, testimonials, and behind-the-scenes glimpses to generate interest and excitement.

💡Utilize social media: Use platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram effectively to promote your conference. Create a social media calendar, engage with your audience, use relevant hashtags, run social media contests, and collaborate with influencers to increase visibility.

A persons hands scroll through a social media feed on a mobile phone.

💡Email marketing: Build an email list of potential attendees and send targeted campaigns to drive registration. Use personalized content, eye-catching visuals, and clear calls-to-action to encourage recipients to sign up for the conference.

💡Collaborate with partners: Partner with industry influencers, organizations, media outlets, and relevant brands to expand your reach and tap into their audiences. Collaborations can include guest blog posts, co-hosted webinars, cross-promotions, and sponsorships.

Hands are stacked on top of each other ready to celebrate as a team.

💡Offer early-bird discounts: Create a sense of urgency and incentivize early registrations by offering discounted rates for early bird attendees. Limited-time offers can motivate potential participants to secure their spot in advance.

💡Contests and giveaways: Run contests on social media or during the event registration process to reward participants and generate buzz. Prizes can include complimentary event tickets, exclusive merchandise, or access to special sessions.

A stream of tickets with the word 'WIN' on them are held up by a hand against a pink backgroud.

💡Online advertising: Consider using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media ads, and display ads to reach a broader audience online. Target specific demographics, interests, and geographic locations to maximize the impact of your ad campaigns.

💡Engage with industry associations: Collaborate with industry associations, relevant forums, and online communities to promote your conference to a targeted group of professionals. Participate in discussions, share event updates, and leverage industry connections to boost attendance.

Plastic board game pieces representing people are scattered about with lines interconnecting them.

💡Provide value-added content: Offer valuable content such as whitepapers, infographics, expert interviews, or industry reports related to your conference theme. Demonstrate the expertise and insights attendees can gain by participating.

By incorporating a mix of these promotional strategies, you can effectively reach your target audience, create a buzz around your conference, and maximize the chance of registrations.

Conclusion

In this article we’ve looked at the importance of setting up a great conference registration form, best practices to keep in mind when creating your form, and what information you need to include.

We walked through a step-by-step guide to using Checkout Page as a conference registration and payment platform and shared a conference registration form template with you to get you up and running and we layed out some tips for promoting your conference to potential delegates.

If you’d like to learn more about how Checkout Page can help you sell tickets for your conference, checkout our article How to sell tickets with Stripe & How to sell multiple ticket types for your event

We wish you an inspiring and successful journey planning your conference!


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Sarah McCunn

Sarah McCunn

Sarah is a content writer with a passion for helping businesses grow. She enjoys creating content that helps businesses succeed and grow.


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