Best practice is to keep your registration forms as simple as possible: only collect the information that you know will be needed.
Fields to Display
Many events only collect First and Last Name and email address (especially when the majority of the supporters are already known to the organization).
Email addresses should be collected whenever possible as they allow you to:
- Email receipts
- Send email invitations to buy tickets, Advance Check-in, Self Check-out, and Online/Mobile Bidding.
Other factors to consider:
- Does your credit card gateway require billing address and/or zip code in order to process transactions?
- Do you need to collect mailing addresses in order to mail thank you letters to everyone who attended your event?
- If your event includes a sit down dinner, do you need guests to select a menu choice or request a vegetarian/vegan meal?
- If your event has assigned tables and/or seating, do you want to allow guests to indicate a seating preference?
- Does your organization have fundraising/participation obligations? If so, what info is needed to attribute purchases to the correct entity?
Fields to Require
Designating a field as required will block users from proceeding if the field remains empty (with two exceptions, see below).
Best practice is to designate fields as required only when the missing info is certain to cause problems or create extra work in the future. Typically, only emails and fields required for credit card processing are labeled as required.
Exceptions to field requirements:
1. Tickets may be sold/purchased before it is known who will use each of the (usually table) tickets. If a guest form is left blank, the transaction can continue without the required fields. The ticket will display as "Unassigned" and can be assigned later as an Order edit or during Check-in.
2. The software allows Users with Chair/Admin/Volunteer/Staff accounts to skip required fields (no data is better than fake data).