The answer to the question “What should a registration form do?” might seem obvious, but if you respond with “Collect registration data,” chances are you can improve your registration forms to increase conversions and put on memorable events.

From our experience, here are eight things your registration forms should be doing in addition to collecting data:

1. Make you look good – Your registration form should reflect your professional image by having consistent branding, flawless formatting, well-positioned text and, of course, looking the same in all browsers.

2. Convert the people who arrive at the form into paying customers – Getting people to your form is only the first step. Usability headaches like too many required fields, confusing registration options, and incorrect pricing or dates all contribute to people abandoning the registration form for good.

3. Give people a second taste of your event – The first taste comes from your marketing materials, so now you need to reinforce it. Your form should have a similar look and feel to your marketing material and be well organized, error-free, and work as intended. (Just like the event will be!)

4. Make people feel safe and secure – Having a professional looking form is a great help, but you also need to ensure you have a clearly displayed privacy policy and that your form is hosted on a secure server.

5. Prevent mistakes – Let’s face it: People don’t read instructions, so even if you add text to your form explaining what to do and what not to do, it likely won’t be read. Set your form up in a way that’ll make it impossible for mistakes to happen in the first place!

6. Reduce calls to the event planners – You’re busy! And you don’t need to be answering calls and emails about registration form issues. Always have a contact phone number on your form in case people do need to call, but try to anticipate common questions that might come up and make sure they are answered on the form. Also, always test, test and test your form to make sure it’s perfect before going live.

7. Make people say, “Wow! That was easy!” – Even registration forms with lots of options, categories, and workshops can be made to seem simple with the right planning and layout. Invest the time before you start to eliminate frustrations and problems later on.

8. Collect data the right way for meaningful reporting – There is more than one way to set up a question for many of the fields you find on typical registration forms. All of the question types may get the data into your database, but you need to consider whether the format of that data will provide you meaningful, consistent, and reliable reporting.

Want to learn more about online event registration? Starting to wonder if your event registration solution can handle everything? Our free guide, 5 Tough Questions to Help Pick the Perfect Online Registration System, will help you decide if it’s time for a change!