With the introduction of integrated web analytics reports into online event registration software event professionals now have access to statistics that provide great insight into the way their registration forms (or don’t work!). An important statistic for event professionals to monitor is the average ‘time to complete’ of their form. This telling number provides information on how easy it is for your prospective registrants to interact with your registration process. So how do you find out what your time to complete is? A few of the leading edge online registration software packages now provide integrated analytics reports with their standard registration package. However, if you don’t currently use a system like this, or are locked into a restrictive contract with another company, then you may be able to implement a free tracking program like Google Analyitcs to help you determine your time to complete. But the easiest way to get this information is to use an event registration company that has already done the work for you to give you the right stats. What you really want to know is how long the entire process takes (introduction to confirmation) as well as how much each page of the form contributes to the total time. This is one of the great advantages that web forms have over paper forms: you can virtually be sitting over your registrants’ shoulders watching their progress through the form. Once you know the total average time to completion you can use it immediately to help increase completed registrations. By adding a line to your introductory page stating that “Registration Takes Only X Minutes” you can help your registrants better plan their time. This in turn will make them more likely to commit a specific block of time to your registration process. The next step you should take is to break the registration process down into the specific components. This will help you to identify where there are specific sticking points within your registration process that can be improved. Are registrants spending 15 minutes on your lodging page? Maybe you can pare down the options a bit. Are they looking at the pricing options for an inordinate amount of time? Maybe you should look into providing more or less options so that they don’t need to work around your system. Finding out how long it takes your registrants to complete your form gives you great insight into where you can make improvements, and can also make your registrants more comfortable with the registration process. Putting it all together makes great improvements in your form.
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