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How to Create an Event Registration Form with WildApricot + Examples

Author: Sayana Izmailova
January 7, 2021
🕑 6 min read

What does your organization currently use to register new event attendees?

Does your system involve multiple steps, half a dozen tools that don’t integrate with each other and a whole lot of manual data entry?

If so, you’ll be happy to know that there exists an easier solution.

Imagine a system that lets your members fill out an online event registration form right on your website, while letting you as the administrator do the following:

  • Get instant access to the new registrant’s information and automatically store them as a contact in your member database
  • Easily customize what your event registration form asks (ex: dietary restrictions, preferences, etc.)
  • Promote the event listing on your website to get more registrants and showcase an event calendar
  • Accept and process payments for event tickets
  • Send automatic or manual emails to confirm event registration and share important updates about the event
  • Communicate with and register attendees through the member mobile app
  • Issue unique QR codes for hassle free check-in on event day
  • Track event attendance and personalize post-event communications
  • Send post-event surveys to gather feedback
  • Download and analyze event-related reports
  • And much more!

All this is possible with WildApricot, the #1 membership management software used by over 20,000 organizations, clubs and associations. WildApricot is much more than an event management software — it’s also a website builder and contact management system, so it’s the perfect tool to solve all your organization’s needs.

Read More: The Ultimate Event Planning Guide: How to Plan an Event

In this post, we’ll go over how you can use WildApricot to set up your own event registration form on your WildApricot website.

Before we begin, be sure to start a free 60-day trial of WildApricot so you can follow along. In just an afternoon you can have a full website and begin registering event attendees and processing online payments. (You can even continue using the free version of WildApricot if you don’t expect more than 50 registrants for your event.)

How to Create an Event Registration Form in WildApricot

Step 1: Add Common Fields

Before you can set up your event registration form, you need to decide what information you’ll be asking your registrants to fill in.

You can include two types of fields in your event registration form: common fields and custom fields.

Common fields contain basic information like name and email address and can apply to any contact in your database, such an event attendee, a donor, newsletter subscriber, etc.

These are typically set up as part of creating your contact database, but if you haven’t done that yet or want to add a new common field, here’s how to do it:

To add a new Common field, hover over the Contacts menu and click on Common fields. You can create a new common field by clicking the Add new field button.

Here you’ll be able to create a name for your field, decide what type of field it is (text, multiple choice, dropdown, attachment, etc), indicate whether it is required, indicate whether the field is visible to the public and set other options.

Event registration form - Create new common field

Custom fields contain information related to your event and can be anything you decide. For example, you can add a custom field for meal selection, and another to offer preferred seating. Depending on how you set up the field, an additional cost can be added at checkout.

Custom fields are created in the Events module, so let’s create our first event and we’ll come back to this step later.

Step 2: Create an Event

Hover over the Events menu and select the Events list option. Then, click on Create new Event.

Event registration form - Create new event

Here you’ll be able to choose between simple events, which don’t use a registration form and only require an RSVP, or advanced events. Since we’re building a registration form, we’ll select Advanced.

Event registration form - Choose advanced event

The first tab will ask you to fill in your event details, such as the title, date, time, location, description and other details. Don’t forget to hit Save once you’ve completed this tab.

Event registration form - Fill in event details

Read More: The Event Planning Checklist Used By Top Event Planners

Step 3: Create a Registration Form

The second tab is where you’ll be creating your registration form. You’ll see that the common fields you set up earlier are already listed here — all you have to do is select which ones you want to include in your form.

And remember the custom fields we mentioned in an earlier section? Here’s where you’ll set those up. Simply click Add new field.

Event registration form - Create new common field

In this example, the custom field we’re creating is called “Dinner choice” and it’s a multiple choice type field. For detailed descriptions of each field type you can use, check out this article. Once again, don’t forget to hit Save here.

Event registration form - Create new custom field

Step 4: Set Up Registration Types

Before you can enable registration for the event, you have to set up registration types.

Registration types are like ticket types for a particular event. Setting up registration types allows you to charge different prices for different event packages or for different kinds of attendees. For example, you might want to charge more for non-members, or for special seating.

To set these up, head over to the third tab in your event menu called Registration Types & Settings and click Add type.

Note: If the Add type button is grayed out, it’s because you are currently editing other event details. You cannot add registration types while in edit mode. If you haven’t clicked Save yet, do so at this point.

Event registration form - Add registration type

In the example below, we’ve added two registration types: one for members and one for non-members.

Next, you need to toggle the Allow registration slider at the top of the screen. Then click on Admin only and change it to Public. This will allow you to collect public registrations on your website.

Event registration form - Enable registration

The other three tabs in the Events menu allow you to set other details, such as waitlists, payments and emails, but since this blog post focuses on how to set up a registration form, we won’t get into those. For details on how to set them up, check out this article.

Step 5: Add the Registration Form to Your Website

The last step is the easiest, since the form will be automatically created on your website. All you have to do is place an event widget somewhere so people can click on it to start the registration process.

In this example, we’ll place the event right on the home page.

From your WildApricot dashboard, click on Website.

Select a site page and click Edit to start editing it or click Add page to add a new page.

Then click on the Gadgets icon, locate the Upcoming events gadget and drag it over to your page.

Event registration form - Add upcoming event widget

And that’s it! When site visitors click on this upcoming event, they’ll be taken to the registration form.

Let’s see what the one we created actually looks like:

Public event registration form walkthrough

Read More: How the Senior Dining Association Grew Their Contact Database 501% Throughout COVID-19

3 Examples of Event Registration Forms Built in WildApricot

The form we created in the above section is very basic, but let’s take a look at some real-world examples of registration forms built in WildApricot that are more practical and ask event registrants to fill out a variety of fields.

1. Elders in Motion E-Learning & Sharing by the NWT Recreation and Parks Association:

NWT Recreation and Parks Association - Elders in Motion E-Learning & Sharing

This association uses an event registration form to collect RSVPs to their monthly meetings. They use one form for all six meetings and ask their members to indicate which ones they’ll be attending. The form also lets users indicate whether they’ll be bringing any guests.

2. Winter Essentials Workshop by Backcountry Women

Winter Essentials Workshop

This organization has tiered event pricing for members and non-members. In addition to asking for basic contact information, their form asks event registrants to confirm that they’ve read and understood a number of policies and waivers.

3. EvolveON by Economic Developers Council of Ontario

EDCO - EDCO 2021 Virtual Conference & Showcase_ EvolveON

This is a registration form for a virtual conference. The form asks registrants to indicate which days of the conference they’d like to attend, as well as any additional days (at an extra cost). It also includes a section where event registrants can grant consent for their contact information to be shared.

Ready to Create Your Own Event Registration Form?

Start a free 60 day trial of WildApricot and get started with your own event registration form, registrant database and website.

And if you’d like more details on further customizing your registration form, as well as answers to common troubleshooting issues, visit the WildApricot Get Help site.

Good luck with your new event registration form!

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