Almost all event coordinators will create a website for their event- be it a business conference, art festival, convention, concert, charity fundraiser, sporting event, etc. But what should be included on the website? Experienced web designer Patrick McNeil* explains,
g When you’re promoting an event, the right website can prove invaluable in spreading the word… Getting the design right is crucial, as there’s only a brief window of opportunity to get your message out there. h
Think about how many posters, billboards, online ads, emails, flyers, etc. you see on a weekly basis advertising all of the events going on in your area. If you live in a major city it’s even more overwhelming. A good event website will help your event to stand out amongst the white noise of other events in your geographic area as well as other events taking place in your particular industry. Putting on a stellar event doesn’t mean much if there’s no one there. So getting your event noticed should be priority number one!
Get people excited about the event and word will start spreading- this excitement will be crucial to get people to spend their time and money on attending your event. Sometimes providing additional information that is not necessarily event-related can help achieve this. Particularly in the case of business events providing information about local attractions and dining can help get people excited about the experience of the event. Remember, you need to sell not only the event itself but the experience so that potential attendees can envision themselves getting the most out of their time there.
Not all attendees will be paying their own way (especially in the case of professional events). Provide justifications for attending that these potential attendees can pass along to their managers and bosses.
Make sure that the specifics of the event are clearly stated- the location, dates and times, who will be there, etc.
By branding the event you make it easy to remember as potential attendees talk to friends, family, colleagues, etc. Items like a consistent logo, color scheme, catchy phrase, etc. can go a long way in creating “event brand recognition.” (It can also help you sell merchandise at the event bearing these same images.
As McNeil explains, “Your fundamental objective should be to create an emotional response from the visitor; to convince them that they absolutely have to be there.” This sense of atmosphere will not only draw more attendees but also provide the tone of the event.
While, obviously you would love for the most people possible to hear about your event and attend, taking a general approach is not always the best idea. McNeil reminds us that “One thing websites in general often lose track of is that mass appeal isn’t always necessary for success; it’s all about targeting the audience, however niche. With an event site this is more immediately obvious.”