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.
Yn anffodus, mae'r gŵyn honno'n un doozy. Cafodd y digwyddiad hwn brofiad cofrestru ofnadwy. Ymgartrefu yn eich sedd, bydd hon yn daith hir.
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.
Yr E-bost Cyhoeddiad
Un diwrnod, cefais y neges hon yn fy mewnflwch. Cymerwch gander ac ymunwch â mi ar ôl y ddelwedd:
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: Gofynnwch am eich tocynnau heddiw. 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!
Felly i ble aeth y cyswllt hwnnw? Aeth i…
Y Dudalen Glanio
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…
Y Tudalen Cyflwyno-Digwyddiad
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:
Ond wrth gwrs, nid oes dim o hyn yn berthnasol eto. Mae angen i mi “ofyn am docynnau” o hyd cyn i mi boeni am yr holl fanylion hyn. Yr union gyfarwyddiadau gyrru i'r lleoliad dim ots nes bod gen i docynnau.
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 ar ôl I get my tickets. After all, aren't a zillion other Peyton Manning fans trying to get tickets at the exact same time?
Iawn, cliciwch y botwm, sy'n fy arwain at ffurflen gyfarwydd o'r enw…
Y Dudalen Gofrestru Gwirioneddol
Yeah, that's me commenting. You may recall that I'm interested in the idea of cofrestriad digwyddiad un clic. Mae'n debyg fy mod wedi synnu ychydig na fyddai marchnata e-bost o'r radd flaenaf gan ExactTarget (love you guys!) A meddalwedd rheoli digwyddiadau o'r radd flaenaf gan Cvent (love you guys hefyd!) Wedi cyflwyno dolen unigryw sy'n cyn-boblogi fy data . O leiaf, rydych chi'n gwybod fy nghyfeiriad e-bost!
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 dros ddeng mlynedd yn ôl. Beth bynnag ...)
Y Dudalen Gofrestru Gwirioneddol, Parhad
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…
Y Tudalen Cadarnhau Eich bod Am Gofrestru
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 ystyried am docyn. ”
Nodyn: Yn ddiweddarach, siaradais â rhai pobl â Express Personnel, ac mae'r dull hwn yn gwneud synnwyr wrth edrych yn ôl. Roeddent am hyrwyddo'r digwyddiad i gynulleidfa eang, ond roeddent hefyd eisiau ceisio sicrhau bod y cwsmeriaid a'r rhagolygon a ffefrir yn gyntaf yn unol. Dywedais wrthynt nad oedd yr iaith yn yr e-bost a’r hyrwyddiad yn awgrymu unrhyw fath o ddetholiad, a fy mod yn teimlo fy mod newydd wastraffu pum munud o fy amser. Rwy'n credu eu bod fwy na thebyg wedi gwneud penderfyniad busnes craff o ran dewis mynychwyr a fyddai'n dda i'w busnes, ond nid wyf yn gefnogwr o'r geiriad a ddaeth â mi i'r pwynt hwn.
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…
Cadarnhad E-bost bod yn rhaid i mi ei arbed
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.
A siawns na all y system gofrestru hon cyfrif. Mae'r ymadrodd “argaeledd tocynnau” yn awgrymu nad yw'r system yn gallu cadw golwg ar nifer y seddi sydd eisoes wedi'u neilltuo!
E-bost y Syndod
Ar Ebrill 22, cefais e-bost arall. Roeddwn i'n cymryd y byddwn i'n dysgu pe bawn i'n mynd i dderbyn tocynnau. Ond yn lle hynny, cefais rywbeth a oedd yn llawer mwy dryslyd:
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.
Penderfynais adael llonydd yn ddigon da. Ac yna…
Yr E-bost Derbyn Gwirioneddol
Ar Fai 4, cefais y neges e-bost hon. Roedd yn edrych yn gyfarwydd ar y dechrau, ond yna sylweddolais fy mod i mewn!
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.
Felly yn gorffen fy rant.