When it comes to building registration sites for an event, we often find ourselves under time constraints, limited budgets, and last-minute content additions. This can create a frantic sense of “just get it done and launched.” As a result, registration for your event might go live without much thought into the experience of your attendee end-users.
With eager anticipation attendees click on that ‘REGISTER NOW’ button from the email that just hit their inbox; keep in mind this is their first experience of your event and the registration site sets the tone of what’s to come. If it’s haphazardly built with pages and pages of what seems like a Word document on screen—what does that convey to your attendees? We only get one chance to make a first impression, so why not knock it out of the park and generate excitement.
With the official sunsetting of Cvent Classic at the end of June 2021 and the conversion to Cvent Flex, this is an opportunity to step back and re-examine the user experience and overall design whether you are building sites within your own instances of Cvent or relying on our Cvent Certified Web Designers.
Well-Designed Registration Sites Matter
- Adjust your content layout. While we know that ‘content is king’, also remember that design isn’t just “making it pretty.” While a slick website may look great, if an attendee can’t find what they’re looking for or follow steps to register in a seamless experience then all that beautiful design is for not. Like most of us, our attendees are in a hurry and time is of the essence. While there is so much important information for them to read about the event, if they are overwhelmed with paragraphs of text, they’ll end up skipping over all of it and not reading anything. When laying out your content, think of placing it in columns rather than single rows. This allows for easy scanning in an online environment and is much more enticing than dropping your Word document on screen. You may start with a lofty Word document including uber important details, however, pull out essential data required for registration and highlight key information. Most people scan, not read, so if we can extract these key data points and highlight them in a visual way (bold or color) it will draw people’s attention to what’s most informative for them to know about your upcoming event or the registration process.
- Mobile matters. With so many of us on the go, fewer and fewer people spend all day sitting at a desk. In fact, 59% of attendees register for events from their mobile devices1. Be sure the design of the registration website is mobile responsive. We live in a digital world and know that most people are consuming online content by way of a mobile device. When building your registration website, don’t forget to check out what it looks like on a tablet or mobile phone. What can appear amazing on a laptop needs to also visually transfer to an iPad, tablet, iPhone, or Android.
- Incorporate motion graphics or media within your website. The human brain absorbs 50% more information through moving pictures and sound2. Ask yourself, is there somewhere I can incorporate a video? Think back to all those paragraphs of text that need to be included on the registration website. Why not put it all in a short video? We know that 75% of people are more likely to watch a video than reading print. Taking that content, creating a simple video from key stakeholders or presenters will not only personalize the registration experience but also help attendees absorb more information site so they can quickly move onto the registration process.
- Include key visuals. This could range from past event photos, beautiful images, or vector art drawings. By providing photos of previous events, you’re including a glimpse into a window of insight for what’s to come or perhaps bringing back great memories from past experiences. Those previous event photos which most all of us have are a sure way to drive excitement while tapping into human emotion which can generate excitement for attendees well in advance of stepping foot into that conference space, hotel, or ballroom. If there are no photos from a previous event, or maybe on a tight budget, there are a plethora of royalty-free image websites at little to no cost; Unsplash and Pixabay are two really great no-cost resources. If a graphic designer is available, consider vector imagery which really amps up the design and gives your registration site an elevated design touch. Without a graphic designer, consider including icons to enhance the overall look. Sometimes small visuals can help guide attendees on where to visit or click on the registration website with simple visual cues. But remember, don’t just add images to add them – use them in meaningful ways to draw your audience in. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.
- Less is more. When building registration websites, often the instinct is to find a blank spot and fill it up. By all means, there is so much important event information that needs to be crammed on there. But whitespace can be our friend! What’s more, event planners tend to think of whitespace as expendable, especially when there are loads and loads of wildly important content to share with the attendees. I mean, “whitespace” by its very definition holds no information, so what’s the harm in packing in more event information? Letting websites “breathe” and including not all, but rather key content that is essential for the event will give the attendees a great user experience, showcase what’s important and ultimately drive them to complete their registration which is your main goal.
Simplicity is Fundamental to Good Design
Dressing up anything is counterintuitive to good design and creates clutter. Keep in mind that design at its core is about solving problems. Designers strive to solve these problems in the most convenient, elegant, and meaningful way. Registration websites aren’t about embellishment or decoration, but more about making your event communication as easy and clear for your registrants as possible. When building registration websites, focus on the imperative information to display. Event managers are not impressing people with paragraphs upon paragraphs of detailed text, slapping on a bunch of different mismatched banners, images, and graphics all over the place. They are actually doing the opposite by overwhelming the cognitive system with loads of stuff.
Cvent’s Flex is a great example of an enhancement to help drive this positive user experience. It facilitates creativity and simplicity with its drag and drop system. Sections are easily created and can be divided into 2, 3, or 4 column layouts without HTML, and it’s already configured for a mobile responsive design! The same holds true with alternate registration systems. Keep these tips in mind, as they can be applied to whichever technology system being leveraged for registration.
Remember, simplicity is fundamental to good design and if a registration website appears simple and is easily navigated, then the designer has done their job of getting the attendee to their ‘ultimate goal’ and setting the tone of what’s to come.
Interested in viewing examples of event registration websites designed by our team of Certified Cvent experts or scheduling a demo of Cvent Flex to see it in action, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.