How to Use Waivers to Engage Your Event Participants

If you often plan events or host community activities for your organization, you are likely familiar with the importance and necessity of a release of liability waiver. For example, let’s say you run a small rental shop called Paddle Center Kayak & Canoe. Before you can let anyone out on the water for a group of eager outdoor enthusiasts, you’ll need the participants to first sign a liability waiver. This document is the key to maintaining effective safety practices and protecting your business from a potential lawsuit.

These liability waivers were important even before the rise of COVID-19, but now they’re more important than ever before.

Waiver document confirmed with checkmark

Additionally, a well-crafted liability waiver can simplify event management by creating a seamless transition from guest arrival all the way through to the event’s conclusion. As well as efficient and reliable access to that signed waiver in the future. As an added bonus, you just captured a list of prospective customers.

Since the initiation of the E-Sign Act in 2000, the adoption of digital liability waivers has continued to grow. This is largely due to the increased convenience and reliability offered by electronic waivers, as opposed to their physical, paper and inefficient counterparts. 

You’ve probably signed an online waiver before, likely without thinking too much of it. Due to the simple nature and streamlined process, signing an e-waiver can take mere seconds. Check out this example of an event registration and digital waiver here.

So what can digital waivers do for your business? An electronic waiver can increase participant engagement by allowing you to:

  1. Encourage prep ahead of time.
  2. Keep all of your tools in one place.
  3. Maintain effective branding.
  4. Better understand your target.

Are you ready to find out how? Let’s jump in.

1. Encourage prep ahead of time. 

Implementing digital waivers can boost participant engagement levels by providing a simple  registration experience and negating the risk of participants losing interest before an event begins.

Eager participants can get started prepping for a day at the lake by getting paperwork out of the way before even arriving! With the usage of an online waiver that may be signed beforehand, you have an efficient way to improve the event experience for both participants and your staff.

By offering digital waivers to your participants, you provide the following benefits:

  • Hands-free signing: Digital waivers can help you keep the spread of germs to an absolute minimum by negating the need for communal clipboards, pens, and paper. Instead, guests can sign from their own mobile devices, which saves time and encourages healthy living.
  • Boosted convenience: Allow participants to sign waivers at their own convenience, whether that’s several weeks in advance, the day before, or that same day. You can even send out reminders to those who have yet to sign as you approach their scheduled event!
  • Ability to sign on-the-go: With mobile-optimized digital waivers, participants can sign on-the-go from wherever works for them. This can include in bed, on the bus, or while waiting for dinner. 
  • Decreased wait times: Nobody wants to get to a big event they’ve been waiting for, only to be stuck in a never-ending line to fill out required paperwork and sign the right forms. When that’s all taken care of ahead of time, participants can get to the events much more quickly.

Whether you’re planning an event at a museum, hosting a community-wide fun run, or running a small boat rental business, making sure you have the right tools to seamlessly manage your event is the key to success. If participants become increasingly frustrated with the way you handle key processes, they’ll be less likely to return or recommend your event to others.

2. Keep all of your tools in one place. 

Hosting a successful event can take a lot of organization to keep all of the moving parts in order. One way to simplify this process is by making sure all of your tools are in a convenient, accessible location.

Instead of requiring separate tools for check-in, waiver signing, and event instructions, you can opt for a single online platform that covers all of the above features and more. An optimized digital waiver platform can include functionality for:

  • Check-in: Participants must check in upon arrival so you can easily tell who is there and who is not. Traditionally, a check-in process involves informing a desk clerk of one’s arrival. But new digital tools can help you remove the middleman. Participants should be able to check-in from their own mobile devices upon arrival at the event location without having to wait in unnecessary lines. Plus, this allows for increased social distancing!
  • Event training: Do you require participants to take part in a specialized training through video or written instruction? You can attach your training materials to your digital waiver, which ensures that users actually watch/read the instructions before they are able to sign. By including your training videos and lessons on your digital waiver, you also provide a more interactive and engaging experience. When participants pay greater attention to your training resources, they go into the event as well-prepared as possible!
  • Waiver signing: Of course, you’ll include your digital waiver. A digital waiver can include key benefits that paper waivers cannot, including automatic storage and retrieval, boosted security measures, and integrated workflows. When you have participants signing electronic waivers for your events and activities, you greatly minimize the risk to your business! 

Offering a simple, reliable, and trustworthy engagement process is crucial to a successful event and a happy customer. And streamlining mundane tasks and providing efficient communication between users and tools is the best way to do so!

3. Maintain effective branding. 

Your brand defines who you are as a business, and includes your logo, color scheme, personality, language, and positioning. It’s what makes you Paddle Center Kayak & Canoe, as opposed to just another rental shop. Effective branding demonstrated via a personalized, digital experience is a crucial element of a successful marketing strategy.

Woman holding iPhone with branded event liability waiver terms.

By customizing your online liability waiver to match the rest of your branding, you are adding one simple step that fits right into the event as a whole. You can choose to include your logo, color scheme, font styles, etc. for a highly optimized user experience. 

An effective digital waiver is:

  • Embeddable: Some users may not trust a third-party website with their personal information. By embedding your waiver into your own webpages, participants never have to leave your site, so they don’t have to worry about it!
  • Visually relevant: Use your own color scheme and logo to create an appealing waiver that matches the rest of your branding efforts. An effective brand is recognizable across many outlets and customer touchpoints, so you want your waiver to be acknowledged as part of that unified brand as well.
  • Eye-catching: Design a waiver that pops. Using bright colors and imagery is a great way to set your waiver apart from the same old black-and-white text waivers that participants are used to.

The better your branding, the more likely you’ll be to engage participants and draw in repeat customers. A successful branding strategy is key to establishing authority and trustworthiness. Which is especially important when it comes to liability waivers.

4. Better understand your target.

Having a complete understanding of your target audience is the key to better engaging your event participants. After all, how can you cater to a group you know nothing about? 

Colorful data charts and graphs

It’s important to gather data such as demographics, purchasing behavior and contact information to better target your marketing efforts and improve the customer experience. Are your participants mostly tourists or local inhabitants? Do you have a lot of repeat customers, or do participants tend to come once and never return? Are your customers interested in signing up for your newsletter and hearing about special offers? By understanding this information, you have the opportunity to build a better experience for your customers.

How can you gather such insights? Use your digital waivers to assist in getting to know your target audience further by:
  • Recording consumer data: Using digital waivers is a great way to collect and store participant information that can be used to make informed business decisions and even boost your consumer communications. Information that is entered into your waivers can then be transferred to a comprehensive database for improved targeting efforts.
  • Analyzing consumer data: After you have collected a solid foundation of consumer data, you can begin to analyze the information to produce key insights into your customer base. This can be crucial when making decisions concerning a specific target you’re seeking.
  • Identifying a target audience: Through the recording and analysis of consumer data, you can choose a certain group to target your marketing and event planning efforts toward. This can be a division by age, gender, location, or other key characteristic defining user behavior.
  • Segmenting your target: Within your target audience, you can continue to break the sum down into smaller groups of similar consumers, and target each with a particular strategy. For example, you may approach your Millennial consumers one way, and your Generation X consumers in another. 

As you collect and analyze these key data points from your event participants, you can begin to note common tendencies and predict future trends to better manage forthcoming events. Not only will you have a greater understanding of your current customer base, but you’ll be able to make more accurate predictions about prospective consumers that may be interested in what your business has to offer.

As you come to understand the benefits of using an effective digital waiver to streamline necessary processes, you’ll start to notice a boost in participant engagement. Your customers will appreciate the simplicity and accessibility of online waivers— and your staff will too.


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