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How to create the ideal application form

Data suggests that more than 500.000 conferences are organised a year, in the US only! With 50 million visitors visiting each year, there is a huge amount of people that are visiting conferences for different reasons. Most of these conferences are organised to get a relevant network of people together, sharing knowledge, and creating new connections. However, knowing who your visitor is, is many times not captured, missing a huge opportunity.

Creating an application form

Visitors are the main reason you organise an event, without them, you are irrelevant. In order to do so you have a three step approach to your event. (1) Get the event online and get it noticed, (2) invite the right network, and engage with them and (3) get the visitors onboard and have them apply. As the 3rd step is the only reason you organise an event, here are some tips to capture who your visitor is, while maintaining a low threshold for them to apply:

  • Keep it simple, many people will make the decision to apply for an event in a split-second. So don’t ask too many questions. Our golden rule; stick to a maximum of 9 questions, in a logical sequence, divide them in blocks of three. Example: ask 3 demographic questions, 3 questions about their business and 3 questions about their learning goals.
  • Have pre-filled fields, making it easy for people to choose pre-filled answers increases their willingness to fill the fields, while in the meantime, your dataset stays clean and you can analyse it with more ease. For example: when you’d like to know more about the industry people are working in, don’t have them fill it out, you’ll get a range of 50 different industries in your dataset, whereas a drop-down helps them choose.
  • Make your form mobile-friendly, it seems to be straightforward, but more than 60% of the applications for events happen on a mobile phone. Keep that in mind when creating your form. Important: don’t make an upload required, this is for most people impossible from their phone.
  • Ask only relevant questions, ask yourself what you want to learn, instead of asking, age, gender a name and a city where your visitors come from, ask yourself what you will be learning from this. It might be, that only a first- and last-name is enough. It is tempting to ask as much as possible, but knowing the age of your visitors, does most of the time not reflect in any way what people can do, how experienced they are, or why they came to your event.
  • Don’t connect too many different applications, do you have a landing-page, linking to a form-builder, and finalizing the application through a ticketing app? Your conversion goes down by 40%. Many potential visitors will get lost in the process, due to the switching between apps. Try to gather as much of your event in one single place.


So, now you know the first steps into creating an application form. Have anything to add to this list? Shoot us a line at