How to Create an Event Registration Form (That Doesn't Suck)

How to Create an Event Registration Form (That Doesn't Suck)

Registration forms - not always the most exciting topic is it?

Probably not something you should bring up at a party if you're trying to impress someone anyway...but...

Hear me out. Sit down while I tell you this...

Picture your ideal attendee to your event...imagine him or her in your head. Let's call this person 'Jordan'.

Jordan is not coming to your event if the registration form looks like someone made it in 1999 and it requires Jordan to free up an entire evening to fill it out.

This is the start of your attendee's experience at your event.

Registrations forms are like that quiet guy at the party that no one really knows about, but he organised everything and he's the whole reason you're there! Without him, all this would have been impossible.

Creating a registration form isn't a chore. This isn't doing the washing up. You're about the create the digital red Ferrari that's going to chauffeur your guests to your event.

Ready to learn how to create that beautiful red Ferrari? Let's go...

What makes a event registration form suck

So what makes a good registration form?

Sometimes it's easier to turn things on their head and ask the opposite. What makes them suck?

Lean in. I'm about to tell you the number one thing that makes it a thousand times less likely that a person will complete a registration form.

Too many fields. Too many questions. This is the cardinal sin of event registration forms, do not do it.

Ask only what you absolutely need. And then, re-check the form and double check it's exactly the minimum you need to ask.

Do you really need their home address?

Do you really need their phone number?

Do you really need to know if they want your bacon flavoured snacks?

Every. Single. Field. Creates. Friction.

If you want someone to register, give them as little friction as possible.

There's a good chance that someone will fill out a form that looks like a Blobfish (Google 'Blobfish' if you're on your lunch break) as long as they can do it quickly.

Information that they don't care about

Another thing that makes registration forms suck is adding information that your customer doesn't care about at this point in the journey.

I've seen forms that contain information like:

"Once you get here, take the second door to the right"

Or pre-class instructions:

"Don't forget to bring your wet weather gear and a packed lunch"

Your attendee does not give a monkeys (pardon my British slang) about this sort of thing yet. They haven't even said they're coming yet.

Give them this sort of information after they have signed up for the event.

The one bit of information they might care about

The one thing they might care about, is what is going to happen after they register. You might choose to add something like:

"After you register, we will send you a confirmation email to confirm".

That's it. That's all you need.

What makes a event registration form drive like a Ferrari?

Ok, now we've got that out of the way, what actually makes an event registration form great?

  • It looks great. And doesn't look like a Blobfish (last chance to Google).
  • It's simple, and easy to use. You're Grandma should be able to use it, all while she's shouting at your Grandad for having the TV too loud.
  • It works on mobile. 60.67% of internet traffic comes from a mobile phone. Let's make sure it works for these people.
  • It should inspire trust.

This last point is very important. It's only second to:

Every. Single. Field. Creates. Friction.

(last time I mention that).

It should inspire trust.

Inspire trust? What does that even mean - the form isn't a person...

Yes, true...but...

Everyone is super careful with their personal data these days. Remember - there's still people who wont even buy from Amazon because they think they're going to be scammed. You should make sure your form is friendly to even these people.

So how do we do that?

One of the best things you can do, if people are finding your event registration form on your website, is make sure they can actually fill out the form on your website.

Do not send them to and hope that 1. they're going to fill out the form and 2. they're ever going to come back to your website.

Most good tools for building event registration forms allow you to embed the form on your own website. Do that.

If you really must send them to a third party website to fill in your form, make sure it's branded as much as possible. Make sure your logo, any images, and any other branding is all there. This helps to create trust.

If someone trusts your form, they're going to feel comfortable sharing personal information and your more likely to get a registration. Bingo!

Ok, now we know what makes an event registration form great, let's get our hands dirty...

(Actually) Creating an event registration form

I'm going to be using our tool for this, Event Calendar App.

We make it easy for you to add your events to your website, and build simple, beautiful, event registration forms that satisfy everything I've spoken about in this article.

Hands up, I'm plugging my own tool here. But we've spent a lot of time getting this right. If you want a free alternative, I'd go for something like Google Forms. But that's not going to have a lot of the fancy features I'm about to speak about.

Once you've signed up to Event Calendar App, you should see a dashboard that looks like this:

Click 'Create a widget'. The widget is the 'thing' that you'll embed on your website which will allow your customers to register.

Remember what we were saying earlier about the importance of the registration form being on your own website? I built Event Calendar App from the ground up to do this.

The next thing to do is to create an event. You can edit this later, but let's add in some basic information about the event. Let's give the attendee all the information they need to know what they're signing up to.

Once you've done that click 'Add event'.

Once you've done that you should see your event on the right hand side.


Now, remember what I was saying earlier about branding, and the importance of images?

Let's add some images to the event.

On the left, click the appearance tab.

Scroll down a little, and you'll see you can add a thumbnail and primary image. Let's add an image for each of these.

The other thing I did was head to the theme settings and chose a theme that I preferred.

I ended up with something that looks like this:


Ok we've created the event, but now let's create the event registration form.

Creating the event registration form in Event Calendar App.

Click on the event. Then click 'RSVP/Tickets' and then 'Allow RSVP/Tickets' for this event.

Once you've done that you should see a button appear next to your event.

Clicking this button will then open up a form.

This is the exact form your customers will see when they register for you event.

That's it. Simple.

  • Name
  • Email
  • How many people are coming?

Sometimes that's all you need, and that's ok. Someone can complete this form in about 10 seconds flat.

Asking more questions

If you do need to ask further questions as part of the registration you can use the 'RSVP form fields' functionality.

Remember, keep things simple, and only click 'Required' if it is absolutely essential.

Embed your event registration form

The final thing to do - embed the 'widget' on your website.

Click 'Embed Instructions'...

...and then copy code.

You can then paste this code onto your website. The rest is magic, and you'll have an embedded even ready for people to register to.

Your setup.

That's it. You've created a registration form for your event and your attendees can now register.

After registration (the making of the Ferrari)

Remember me talking about your registration form being a Ferrari?

Well at the moment you've made an Audi a3. It's nice. It's respectable. People see you drive past and they approve. But - we can do better...

We now know this person wants to come to your event. This is a big change compared to the person we thought they were 5 minutes ago.

We now know there's a bunch more information that they want.

Those pre-class instructions that we spoke about earlier, they care about those now.

They probably also care about a bunch of other stuff:

  • Pre-class instructions.

What do they need to know about the event to have the best experience? What should they expect? Do they need to bring anything?

  • Reminders

Your attendee is very busy. They signed up to your event and then went to watch a Youtube video about mowing their grass (just me?) straight after. Reminding them about your upcoming event is so important.

Don't feel bad about reminding them. Remember they signed up, they probably don't want to miss the event, so remind them.

  • Post event messages

This is a great time to schedule a 'thanks for coming' message for after the event. These are great for gathering feedback so you can improve your event for the future.

But how do we actually give them this information?

Event Calendar App Workflows

Event Calendar App allows you to create 'Workflows'. These are a set of messages scheduled to send around the lifecycle of the event.

What do I mean by lifecycle?

Let's take a look at an empty 'Workflow' in Event Calendar App:

You've got three 'triggers' as part of the event lifecycle:

  1. The customer purchases a ticket or registers.
  2. The event begins.
  3. The event ends.

Event Calendar App allows you to send scheduled emails before or after any of these points in time.

You can simply click the 'plus' icons at the point in time you want to send the message.

When we add the messages mentioned above it might look something like this:

You built the Ferrari of event registration forms

You smashed it.

A quick recap of what you've just achieved:

  • You built a clean, easy to use event registration form.
  • It's embedded on your website, and looks trustworthy.
  • You've automated messages to be sent after the attendee registers, to give them more information at the time they need it.
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