By Cheryl Stern
A wise man once said, “If you build it, he will come.” An even wiser man then added, “Go the distance.”
Ok, admittedly, those two wise men were the same person. And that person was technically a disembodied magical voice from Field of Dreams, talking about building a baseball diamond in an Iowa cornfield. Regardless, there are big life lessons to be learned from these words. Or at the very least, big lessons about creating a successful registration flow for your upcoming event. Same difference, am I right? In our case, “it” is our website and online registration form for MuckFest® MS and “he” represents all of our prospective participants. After building a great advertising plan that catches the eye of potential registrants, do they come? Sure! But the real question is: what do they do once they arrive? Is the process as quick and easy as possible, allowing them to soar through registration and seamlessly select add-ons as they go? Does your registration flow go the distance? As we launch registration for the 2018 MuckFest MS series, we can confidently answer these questions with a resounding, “Yes.”
Here are some of the features and add-ons that we’re excited about implementing in our 2018 reg flow:
1) Social Login
Year after year, we find one of the biggest obstacles in the registration process is the “Log in” step. It’s a necessary evil, because a participant must have a secure way to access their Participant Center for event information, fundraising and teambuilding—but the act of creating a unique username and password or actually remembering previous credentials from the year before can be a major speedbump, bringing some registrants to a complete halt. Enter “Log in with Facebook.” The most popular social media platform amongst our participants is Facebook, by a landslide. Our registrants are now able to use their Facebook credentials to quickly log in during the MuckFest MS registration process, providing a quick option for those who might otherwise get stuck on and frustrated with the log-in step. We’re excited to see how this option plays out for our socially-savvy constituents this season.
2) Choose Your Wave Time
For an event like MuckFest MS, mapping out the wave/start times for 2,000+ participants is a daunting process. While many runners are flexible and will happily run at any time of the day, some really want to lock in a specific time from the get-go and know with certainty that’s when they’ll run. It’s far too complicated to allow each and every runner to select his/her wave time, so this option makes for a great upsell. It’s a win-win for participants and the event: those who really desire a specific time can select one for a nominal $10 fee, while providing some additional income for the event.
3) Purchase Additional Registrations
Speaking of generating more income during the registration flow, what better way to do that than to allow multiple registrations to be purchased in one easy step? Our thoughts exactly. Brand new for the 2018 season, registrants can purchase additional registrations for family and friends and pay for them all in one fell swoop. Though this add-on has only been up and running for the past month, we’re already seeing very promising results and are optimistic that this positive trend will continue.
4) Limited Edition T-Shirts
Reminiscent of (but way cooler than) the impulse buy in the grocery store checkout lane is our t-shirt add-on during registration. Each season we design a limited-edition t-shirt that is personalized for the local market. This shirt is only available for purchase during the registration process and is priced at $20, including tax/shipping, making it an appealing collector’s item for both returning and new participants. With two clicks of the mouse, the registrant can opt-in for the shirt and select their size, then kick back and wait to receive it in the mail in a few short weeks. This is a fun way for them to get excited about the upcoming event as they sport their new shirt, and a great advertising tool for the event.
Streamlining the registration process and successfully implementing add-on options is not a quick or simple task. It will take teamwork and heavy-lifting from every department: from Marketing and IT to Creative Services and Participant Support. But the benefits to both your event and your participants can make the effort well worth it.
So take the leap and go the distance! Shoeless Joe Jackson would be proud.
When not playing the role of participant in everything from 5Ks to marathons, Cheryl works as the Brand Manager for MuckFest® MS, helping to deliver a meaningful event experience to others.