Back in the spring, there was an amazing, fantastic, wonderful event sponsored a terrific organization called Express Employment Professionals. The program itself was a dynamic lineup of speakers, including Indy's own Peyton Manning. The staff executed the event flawlessly and I think the crowd was tremendously impressed. In fact, I only have one complaint—and it has nothing to do with the day of that event.
Spitigernôch is dy klacht in doozy. Dit barren hie in ferskriklike registraasje-ûnderfining. Stel jo yn jo stoel, dit wurdt in lange rit.
I knew it was going to be bad right from the start, so I took a few screen captures. Here's how it started out.
De e-post foar oankundiging
Op in dei krige ik dit berjocht yn myn postfak. Nim in gander en doch mei my nei de ôfbylding:
I've got to admit, this isn't a bad email. The call to action might be a little far down the page, but it's right there in bold, underlined letters: Freegje jo kaarten hjoed noch oan. They even include the URL for the registration page right there in the body of the email. That's smart, because if I'm reading this on a mobile device or someone has printed out the email, I can still “click” the link by retyping it!
Dus wêr gie dy link? It gie nei ...
Well, first I had to go through an interstitial landing page. Okay, another click is a little annoying, but this isn't that bad. I didn't really read this page, I just pressed the big button…which led me to…
At this point I've been redirected again to another webpage, which contains oodles of information. Here's the schedule, here's the location address, a map, driving directions, social links to Express. Take a look for yourself:
Mar fansels, neat fan dit is eins noch relevant. Ik moat noch "tickets oanfreegje" foardat ik my soarget oer al dizze details. De krekte oanwizings nei de lokaasje makket net út oant ik kaarten ha.
I'm not going to go to your LinkedIn page or follow you on Twitter right now. I've got a goal in mind: register for your event! We can talk about social media engagement efter I get my tickets. After all, aren't a zillion other Peyton Manning fans trying to get tickets at the exact same time?
Okee, knop oanklikt, wat my liedt ta in fertroude foarm neamd ...
De feitlike registraasjepagina
Yeah, that's me commenting. You may recall that I'm interested in the idea of ien-klik barrensregistraasje, Ik tink dat ik in bytsje ferrast wie dat e-postmarketing fan wrâldklasse fan ExactTarget (hâld fan dy jonges!) En software foar evenemintenbehear fan wrâldklasse fan Cvent (hâld ek fan jim!) Gjin unike link soene leverje dy't myn gegevens foarút befolke , Jo kenne myn e-postadres op syn minst!
Well, at least I'm done now. (Oops, almost hit “cancel” since it was so close. Say, I wish Jakob Nielsen had identified these as a terrible idea mear as tsien jier lyn, Hoe dan ek ...)
De feitlike registraasjepagina, ferfolch
But apparently, one registration page isn't enough. We need a second page for some reason.
Maybe in case people abandon the form once they get to this one? It's not as if the form does any actual validation. Yes, I tried entering a zip code that had all letters and a made up phone number. And I clicked “Save and Next” (I was going to “Save” my work, but it wasn't that much work.) This lead me to…
De befestiging dat jo pagina wolle registrearje
Yes, in fact I typed things correctly! That's what this page says and requires I click yet again.
Now we should be done. Finally! So now it's time for the
The Registration Confirmation Which Isn't a Confirmation
In big letters on the tab heading it says “Confirmation.” But if you read the text, which I've blown up for you in the screen cap below, you can see that in fact this is not really a confirmation. In fact, now it seems like the chance to “request a ticket” is really an opportunity to “request the chance to be beskôge foar in kaartsje. ”
Opmerking: Ik spruts letter mei guon minsken mei Express Personnel, en dizze oanpak makket efterôf sin. Se woene it barren promoatsje foar in breed publyk, mar se woenen ek besykje en derfoar te soargjen dat foarkar fan klanten en perspektiven earst yn 'e rige wiene. Ik fertelde har dat neffens my de taal yn 'e e-post en de promoasje gjin soarte seleksje betsjutte, en dat ik fielde dat ik krekt fiif minuten fan myn tiid hie fergriemd. Ik tink dat se wierskynlik in tûk bedriuwsbeslút hawwe makke yn termen fan it kiezen fan dielnimmers dat goed wêze soe foar har bedriuw, mar ik bin gjin fan fan 'e formulearring dy't my nei dit punt brocht.
Now, I am still pretty unimpressed by this registration system. Not only has it made me click through a half dozen screens while allowing me to give mostly fake information, it apparently doesn't have the ability to determine the current date. If it did, I would not be required to look at my own calendar to figure out if it's currently before or after April 15. The system ought to be able to display the right message!
Anyway, I'm done. Guess I'll wait until May 2 to hear if I get a ticket. But wait, there's the…
E-postbefestiging dat ik moat bewarje
Surely this registration system knows who I am. Yet I have to save an email for a free ticket? Obviously I'm the only one with this email address.
En wis kin dit registraasjesysteem telle, De útdrukking "beskikberens fan kaarten" betsjuttet dat it systeem it oantal sitten dat al tawiisd is net byhâlde kin!
Op 22 april krige ik noch in e-post. Ik naam oan dat ik soe leare as ik kaartsjes soe ûntfange. Mar ynstee krige ik wat dat folle mear betiizjend wie:
At this point, I wasn't sure what was going on. Had I been “selected” to attend with regular tickets, and then also had the chance to enter this contest? The appearance of the “Request Tickets” button at the bottom was also disconcerting. This led back to the very same form I had already completed. So perhaps my original registration had been ignored? Clearly they sent this to the same email address, as indicated in the footer.
Ik besleat goed genôch allinich te litten. En doe…
De E-post foar werklike akseptaasje
Op 4 maaie krige ik dit e-postberjocht. It seach der earst fertroud út, mar doe besefte ik dat ik yn wie!
I didn't understand why they wanted to come by my office to give me tickets. I could have just printed the email. And somebody did drop them off under the door, but no one was here at the time so I think it might have been a waste of a trip.
I can't tell you how great the actual event was on May 18. Perfect in every way. Fantastic speeches. Great execution. Beautifully decorated venue. Good food and very energizing. But the lead up was pretty awful, especially considering the world-class reputations of the two companies involved in event registration. What happened?
I think that ExactTarget and Cvent are just platforms, and you can misuse them like you can misuse any other technology. I think there was probably an organizational problem with setting up the event registration system and the team that did this did not leverage available expertise to design the registration experience. The message should be clear, however: great events should have smooth, easy-to-use event registration. That's part of your marketing! More people will be more engaged throughout the experience if it's easy to sign up, easy to go, and easy to understand what you provide.
Sa einiget myn rant.