We’re excited to bring you a guest post from the event website experts at Swoogo! Authored by Carsten Pleiser, who runs content strategy and growth marketing at Swoogo, this post will give you simple things to keep in mind when creating an effective event marketing website that drives registrations.
Your website is the epicenter of your event communication. It reflects your brand and your story, and it’s home to some of your most valuable content. And if you're looking to increase registrations to your event, improving your website is the natural place to start.
At Swoogo, we're all about helping event profs create effective websites that drive registrations. Along the way, we've learned the secrets of effective event websites.
Follow our best practices and your website will be an efficient tool for turning interested visitors into engaged attendees!
Make It Responsive
Did you know: over 60% of your event website visitors will be viewing your site on a mobile device?
If you want to drive registrations, you'd better make sure your website works on those phones as well as any other computer. That's where responsive design comes on.
What does responsive design mean? It's creating your website so it will have the same user experience no matter what device, phone, tablet, or computer you view it on.
Use modern event software to create a website that looks and functions just as well on mobile devices as it does on laptops, tablets or anything else. No matter what device uses to access your event’s website, it will function just as you designed it to. More consistent user experience and more registrations.
Keep It Clean, Attractive and On Brand
Does this sound familiar: an organization puts a ton of effort into crafting their branding and identity, but their event website exclusively uses out-of-the-box stock photography ("Hey! I've seen that person on a dozen other websites!"), uninspired or clashing fonts ("Wow! Times New Roman. How....original. And it looks so….interesting next to that Comic Sans."), and a generic website template ("Which site is this? I've seen three others today that look identical to this.").
You want to double-down on your visual identity on your event website, not run away from it.
First, when creating your event website, consult your organization's branding guidelines. Use the same colors and fonts as your regular website.
Seek out beautiful photograph which is authentic, realistic, and gives potential attendees a sneak-peak of your event. If you do have to rely on stock images, opt for high quality images that don't have a generic feel. Consider having a designer tweak the images to give them a unique spin that ties in with your branding.
Keep It Simple and Easy to Read
How long is your attention span online? 5 seconds? 2 sec...hey! Where did you go?
Most people's attention span rivals that of a goldfish. This means making your event website simple and easy to read is essential.
Keep things easy to scan and make sure potential attendees can find the information they're likely to need quickly and efficiently. Have a simple navigation that's consistent and easy to find on every page.
Avoid automatically playing videos (they anger more than they convert).
Favicons (pronounced fave-icons) — those small icon images next to your site name in a website tab — will help your audience orientate themselves when they have multiple tabs open at the same time. Keep favicons at 16x16, 32x32 or 64x64 pixels and use a free tool to create them online.
Make Registering Easy
Don’t lose sight of the whole point of your event website, which is to promote your event and collect registrations. Making sure it does that well is essential, so follow these best practices:
- Make registration easy to find on the site
- Keep your registration form short and concise
- Give your registrants control, but use the right field types (check boxes, drop down menus or radio buttons)
- Pre-populate your registration form if you have the data available in your database or on your email list.
Leverage Your Event Content
95% of attendees say that your event content is very or extremely important in deciding which event to attend. So, don't neglect this important tool on your event website!
Throughout your marketing, build up anticipation around your speakers. Specifically, on your website, make sure your event content—sessions and speaker info—is prominently displayed, easy-to-navigate, and current. Connecting your event content management platform to your event website will keep things up-to-date with minimal work on your end.
You also want to get your content live as early as possible, so it can have more time to influence attendees. Again, this is where the time-savings delivered by an event content management platform can be a huge help.
Continually Improve Your Website
Have you heard of the term ‘growth-driven’ design? It's an approach for continuously experimenting, learning and optimizing your website based on analytics and data.
The goal is to make a website more useful, create a better experience, increase stickiness and/or improve conversion rates.
While you don't need to become an expert in growth driven design, the framework can be a helpful starting point for improving your website.
There are also a few relatively easy to use tools that can give you valuable insights into your site visitors' behavior, including:
Google Analytics: This free tool is your #1 source for monitoring your event website’s performance. From behavioral data to device loading speeds and setting up goals, it’s all there and easy to find.
Hotjar: Use Hotjar to look at heatmaps of your website, watch user recordings, see where people click, and even setup one-question surveys on your site.
Your event website is your best platform for increasing registrations. Your foremost concern is to keep your audience on top of mind. What do they need to find? Who are they? What could drive anticipation? What makes them tick? Use modern, best-in-craft event software and continually optimize your event and you can maximize the impact of your event website.
About the Author:
Growth Marketing at Swoogo
"Hi, I'm Carsten. I run content strategy & growth marketing here at Swoogo. I love writing about event technology, start-up marketing and entrepreneurship. Having been involved in the events industry for the past 10+ years, I feel I'm part of the family. In my spare time, you can find me surfing, golfing or lifting barbells. Please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org"