4 Tips to Building Your First Sign Up

If you’re ready to create your first sign up, you’re in the right place! It’s time to ditch your paper sign ups, email chains, and phone tag for a much simpler, faster way of organizing your events and groups. SignUpGenius makes it easy to build a sign up in just a few steps. Our tool is easy to use but packed with features to help you plan successful events.  

There are a few things to consider when creating your sign up, and a little advanced planning can go a long way. We’ve included some of our favorite tips to help plan your event. Focus on these important elements and add your personal touches to engage your group with a sign up. 

1. Decide on what type of sign up you need 

Every event and group is unique – and you need the right kind of sign up format to get all the right information. That’s why SignUpGenius offers four different sign up formats for you to choose from. These include Sort by Date, Sort by Slots, Slots Only, and RSVP formats. Keep reading to learn about each of these formats and the best situations to use them in.  

Sort by Date Format

This is our most-used sign up layout, and it’s a great place to start if you aren’t sure which format to choose. Participants especially love the Sort by Date format because it’s a simple and clear layout for most sign ups. 

Use the Sort by Date format for events where you want to have one or more dates and times on your sign up. For example, in the sign up below, volunteers can register to bring a restaurant gift card one day and deliver meals for the next three days to the King family. 

Other great ways to use the Sort by Date format are creating sign ups for parent-teacher conferences, sports team snacks, carpool schedules, ongoing volunteer opportunities, meeting space reservations, and many more. 

Sort by Slot 

This is one of our most flexible sign up formats. Use the Sort by Slots format when: 

  • Participants will search for slots before choosing an available date or time. 
  • Your sign up has multiple slots on one day. 
For example, in the sign up below, participants can find the class topic before registering for a date and time. While the sign up creator could’ve used the Sort by Date format, they chose the Sort by Slots format instead. This is because they knew participants would be looking first for the class topic and the class’s date and time was less important.  

The next example shows a sign up with multiple slots on the same day. Notice that this layout doesn’t include the Dates column like the example above. Because all the slots have the same date and time, the Date column is automatically removed, and the date and time will show in the sign up description. This simplifies the sign up, making it easy for participants to choose their slots. 

Slots Only 

Sometimes you don’t need or want a date on your sign up. Perhaps your sign up is for donation items that don’t have a deadline. Whatever your scenario may be, this sign up only has slots – meaning no dates or times appear on the sign up.  

Genius Tip: This sign up format can’t send automatic reminder emails because there are no dates or times assigned to slots. You can still send a general reminder email from the Messages tab of your account. 

Single Date RSVP 

Come one, come all! If that’s the motto for your event, then the RSVP format is the best choice. The RSVP format doesn’t allow you to set a limit on the number of participants who can sign up for a slot. So if you just want to know who’s attending – without limiting the number – choose this layout. This format is an excellent choice for events such as a baby shower, neighborhood potluck, birthday party or company picnic.  

In this format, your participants will be asked to RSVP. They’ll be required to select yes, no, or maybe and enter the number of guests that will be attending. You can also choose to ask for the number of children attending, as shown in the example below.  

If you’d like participants to bring items or handle responsibilities during the event, you can add slots to the RSVP. Participants won’t be required to sign up for a slot.  

It’s important to note that this format is built to be a simple way to gather RSVPs. Because of that, it doesn’t have as many features as the other three formats. If you need to ask custom questions, gather payments, or add multiple dates and times, it’s best to choose the Sort by Date format instead. 

2. Be sure to correctly assign times to slots 

SignUpGenius is built to be flexible – it works for a variety of uses and can manage sign ups with a long list of dates and times. It has the power to automate large, complex sign ups so that they’re easy to create and easy to use. Genius Tip: If you have a long list of dates, use our hide dates feature to keep your list of dates current. 

If you only have a few dates and times, it’s simple to build your sign up manually. We also offer a few helpful automated features that make building larger sign ups a breeze. Choose the Add Time Slots feature to automatically populate time slots of any length. Or choose the Add Recurring Dates feature to duplicate dates and times throughout the week, month, or year.  

3. Know the information you'll need from your audience 

Sometimes a name and email address are all the information you need on a sign up. Then again, sometimes more information is needed. For example, if you’re creating a meal sign up for someone who just had surgery, it would be helpful for everyone to know the types of meals being delivered. This helps prevent multiple people delivering the same dish.  

On our Settings tab, you can select and customize the information that you need to collect on your sign up. Keep in mind that only the name and comment of those who sign up are visible to everyone else. Any other information you collect, such as email addresses, remains private and only the sign up creator can access this information. We also provide the ability to hide names and comments on a sign up as an extra layer of privacy.  

Need to add form fields to your sign up and collect some custom information?  Our custom questions feature gives you the ability to design and format additional form fields. 


On our Settings tab, you can select and customize the information that you need to collect on your sign up. Keep in mind that only the name and comment of those who sign up are visible to everyone else. Any other information you collect, such as email addresses, remains private and only the sign up creator can access this information. We also provide the ability to hide names and comments on a sign up as an extra layer of privacy.


4. Decide if you need premium features

Our basic level may be the right fit if you only organize a few smaller events per year. But we don't want you to be frustrated because you don't have access to the features that some sign ups need. Keep in mind our premium features are affordable and available for annual or monthly subscriptions. Ultimately, you just need to decide if there are features that you need to power your sign up. Try a Free Trial to test out some of these features. 

For example, your sign up looks a lot better without ads. Ads allow us to offer a free version of our site. However, we're happy to make ad removal an option for premium subscribers. So, if you don't want your audience to see ads, consider one of our premium plans. We offer a number of other helpful features, such as sign up locking and tabbing. Choose the plan that best meets your needs so that you can maximize your sign up experience.

With these tips, you'll be able to create a sign up that meets your needs and communicates effectively with your audience. The possibilites for planning genius events are endless!

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