How to create the ideal application form

Visitors are the main reason you organize an event, without them, you are irrelevant. Getting them in is not easy, when you want to gather some basic information about your visitors. Here are some tips to create the best application form, while maintaining a low threshold for them to apply:

1. 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 in your application form. You can always ask some additional questions later on, but you’ll first need them to apply. Our golden rule; stick to a maximum of nine questions, in a logical sequence, divided in blocks of three.

Example: Power of three
Ask 3 demographic questions, 3 questions about their business and 3 event related questions about their (learning) goals. 

2. Have predefined fields

Making it easy for people to choose predefined answers increases their willingness to fill the fields, while in the meantime, your dataset stays clean and you can analyse it with more ease.

Example: Countries
Asking about the country people are from, don’t have them fill it out in an open text field. Rather let them choose from a predefined dropdown. This way you prevent different input in your database for the same thing like US, U.S.A., United States, America, … etc.

3. Be specific

Ask yourself what you really want to learn about your visitors. It is tempting to ask a broad question. But this can easily be misinterpreted by your visitors and will lead to answers with no value for you.

Example: Team
Asking about the team experience can be interpreted in many ways and will lead into a variety of long winding answers. Rather ask about the specific team size and the years of experience by the founding team.

 

4. Only ask the necessary

It might be, that you are asking questions that are not going to be learning you anything related to your network. When you want to do demographic research on your visitors, think what is relevant for your events. Does it matter more to ask for age, or for years of professional experience?

Example: Age
Unless you are running a school or elderly house, most of the times it is not necessary to ask your visitors about their age, as variables such as age do not have any valuable information for your event.

5. Use your field types wisely

In your application form you can choose different field types. There are different types of fields, each allowing specific input values and thereby preventing other input. If you are asking questions that require a numerical input: then use a numerical field. This will prevent your visitors to input any text into this field.

Why?
With numbers you can calculate the sum, max, min, count etc. With input that is ‘poluted’ with text you cannot calculate anymore, or you have to clean up your dataset.

So, now you know the key ingredients of what makes a good application form. A form that is user friendly and provides you with enough data to work with. This blog was brought to you by gribbio. gribbio is an event management platform, enabling event organizers to capture value by storing data about their visitors, while helping them with matching applications, event pages and much more, all in one place. Want to know more? Visit gribbio.com


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