Things to consider (not) including in your registration form
Registration is the equivalent of the name tag of an in-person meeting. It serves as a safety practice to know who is coming and who is in the “room” - it sets the tone for your policies and practices of making the environment safer. Registration can also reflect your practice of welcoming all your participants. It helps people to look for each other, meet and share. It helps in preparing plenaries and sessions to ensure the preparation team has the capacity to provide support when tech fails.
In terms of APC practice, the details provided by persons as part of the registration are used only for the purpose of the event and are deleted within 2 weeks after the event, as you can find here in our Participant registration form we used for our Member convening 2020.
Here are some things to consider when drafting registration forms:
- Think about the design and content of your registration form. Is it queer-friendly, diverse needs-friendly and welcoming to your constituency and participants with different lived experiences? We recommend going through How to Make Virtual Conferences Queer-Friendly: A Guide by Queer in AI and Ensuring Virtual Events Are Accessible for All by RespectAbility. Both of these resources also feature practical examples to include in your registration form.
- Rethink with your team which information you need and why. Do you really need your participants’ personal information such as first and last name, date of birth, address, occupation or titles? Make any fields you don’t really need optional. Enable registration for participants using alias, if possible.
- Asses with your organisation if gender is necessary or preferable (and optional) to include in the registration form. Include a short explanation on your choice in the registration form and consider including confidentiality note, anonymisation protocol, as well as who will have access to data and to what purpose.
- Offer optional and multiple choice for pronouns and always include an additional block for people’s own gender self-expression.
- Regardless if the event will be public or closed type, offer multiple options on visibility of pronouns in different spaces of your event.
- Anonymize all data regarding device type, name, address, pronouns, relationship status, gender and region once data is collected.
- Be mindful of readability (contrast, size of letters, explanations of links).
- Enable additional forms of registration via other means, such as by phone. This includes persons with vision difficulties, restricted access to internet and folks who are strategic about their use of online spaces.
- If safety and/or confidentiality is a major concern, inform and remind participants of the risk of sharing open links of the online event on social medias or on large server lists.