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Conference and Event Registration Conversion

Nearly 90% of marketers today place an increased emphasis on conversion rate optimization (CRO) – and for good reason. In the meetings, travel and hospitality industry, CRO is the key to more registrations — and more importantly, more customer relationships made.

Some CRO tips are universal. But there are other strategies and tactics that can be customized to your specific industry audience.

To help maximize your marketing efforts, we’ve created a list of four ways to capture more conversions specifically tailored to professionals looking to increase registrations and bookings. The recommendations are based on findings from our 2015 Form Conversion Report, which was built on data gathered from more than 650,000 form users.

These findings provide an informed approach to help event marketers move the conversion needle according to the benchmarks and best practices associated with their specific industry.

#1. Create buzz on social media for more conversions.

We know that contests are a tried-and-true marketing tool for event marketers and other tourism professionals. But there are lots of ways to make sure this lucrative approach delivers the best possible results.

For example, don’t forget to include Facebook and other social media platforms in your promotion plan. Users who promote their forms on Facebook average up to 122% more conversions than those who do not. In order to capture even more entries, travel-minded marketers should embed forms on their Facebook page. Users found that conversion rates more than doubled (from 9% to 20%) when doing so.

#2: Don’t lose opportunities with potential attendees because your site isn’t mobile-friendly.

Most of us understand that no matter what industry we serve, it’s important to be mobile-friendly. Consumers spend nearly 60% of their time on the Internet on mobile devices.

On April 21, Google’s new algorithm update – designed to provide a better search experience for mobile users – moved mobile optimization from nicety to necessity. In short, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you can expect your search engine rankings, and ultimately your web traffic, to take a hit.

Google’s new search protocol isn’t the only good reason to retool your playbook for mobile: Today’s consumers don’t have the time or the patience to navigate a poorly functioning mobile site. In fact, 57% of customers say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site – and we all know how important word-of-mouth is in travel marketing. Basically, a bad mobile experience means lost clicks – and missed referral opportunities for your conference or event.

Of course, major website overhauls that require outside support can be expensive. This can be a challenge for companies of all sizes, but is especially taxing for smaller agencies. Fortunately, some mobile optimizations can be achieved just by paring down the amount of content living on your site.

Mobile screens are smaller, so it’s harder to scroll. With that in mind, adjust site design so the most important content displays in the top few pixels of the page.

If funds for an upgrade can be allocated, it will certainly pay off: Mobile-optimized redesign results in a nearly 15% increase in unique clicks.

#3: Don’t earn bad reviews for form length.

Survey conversion rates, while still high relative to other form types, experienced a seven-point drop in conversions since 2014. That change might be due to the fact they got longer – the average survey now contains 22 fields.

With more than 50% of Internet access occurring on a mobile device, 22 fields may be too many to keep a potential traveler or attendee filling out your form. If the fields are necessary to get the information you need, try building a smart form that automatically shows or hides questions based on how users respond. Or, consider using a horizontal layout for checkboxes and buttons – this creates the illusion of a shorter form.

#4: Don’t be afraid to explore new ways to get from point A to point B.
You can boost conversion rates simply by changing up the types of online forms used on their website. Contests and events are among the highest-converting forms, at 35% and 11% respectively. On the other hand, the old stand-by contact form only delivers a 1% conversion rate.

If your goal is to increase attendee numbers at your next convention or event booking, offer a giveaway to invitees who RSVP and note the gift will only be offered if the person is present. Or, use an event form enabled with Social Autofill to increase conversions. The Form Conversion Report revealed a 189% conversion increase when users take advantage of Social Autofill.

About Chris Lucas

chris_paul_headshotChris is the vice president of marketing for Formstack. He is passionate about setting the vision for Formstack’s marketing and sales departments, as well as discovering new ways to drive web traffic and leads. Follow Chris on Twitter at @chris_c_lucas.