Online registration for trade shows has come a long way over the years. Simple two or three page websites with a just a few registration categories, business rules, and demographic questions are a thing of the past. Show organizers now expect a lot more functionality – everything from mobile optimization to sophisticated web service integrations – all aimed at creating a high-tech user experience and driving registrations. We’ve assembled a list of our most popular tips and tricks, from the over 700 websites we develop annually, that we think can help you take your website to the next level.

1) Register Socially

Leverage your own attendees to help market your event by integrating InGo, an industry-leading social media marketing tool, with your registration website. It allows attendees to register and spread information about your trade show across their social networks. Attendees can also send personalized invitations to their network, which will further increase your event’s reach and impact. Some organizers boast a 20-25% growth in registrations as a result of using this tool.

2) Registration Widget

An easy way for exhibitors, from their own corporate website, to promote both their booth and your trade show. A widget is a small snippet of code that an exhibitor can download and place on their website. It functions much like a banner ad that includes information about the trade show, their booth, and a link to the registration website. A win-win opportunity.

3) Mobile Optimization

Every year, more people register for trade shows using mobile devices and tablets. In fact, mobile registrations for some trade shows exceeds 20%. That’s a reason that it’s so important to mobile-optimize your registration website to be sure you are creating a good user experience for this audience. Mobile optimization accounts for site design, site structure, page speed, and more. Also, Google favors mobile-optimized sites in their SERP (search engine results pages), which means more people will find your website.

4) Web Services Integration

There is a lot of buzz around web services integration in the trade show industry. In short, it allows you to integrate and share data between different systems such as member management, registration and housing, to create a cohesive and smooth user experience for your registrants. It has the added benefit that you, the organizer, receive real-time registrant information. Here are some additional benefits:

  • Single Sign-On (SSO): allow registrants to use one set of credentials for multiple applications
  • Membership validation in real-time: sign up new members and have their status recognized immediately on the registration website
  • Pre-population of contact information, member status, and rates speeds up the registration process
  • Data synced with show app in real-time: provide a seamless transition from registration website to show app
  • Combined housing and registration confirmation: confirmations are compiled into a single confirmation

5) User Experience

The possibilities for adding interesting website features and functionality are endless, but be mindful of the user experience you are creating so that it doesn’t become cumbersome. The process should be quick, simple and pain-free so people don’t struggle and abandon their registration midstream. Here are a few ideas to help you create a good user experience.

  • Keep business rules for attendees simple and straightforward
  • Limit the number of pages on the site
  • Avoid excessive button clicks
  • Minimize required fields
  • Don’t let design elements get in the way of usability
  • Limit your demographic questions to 10 or less

We hope you found this information useful. If you have any questions or comments about this blog, please send us an email at marketing@csireg.com.

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