Event Websites: 6 Tips to Motivate Visitors
Your website plays a crucial role in the life of your event. At any given time, the site may need to be a salesperson, an information booth, a brand ambassador, and more. Depending on who is visiting and when, your website must serve some or all of these functions.
Yet, ultimately, your event’s website is only a conduit; a stop on an attendee’s journey to the event itself. The site needs to be in service to your event, not the other way around. Meaning that no one is visiting your event website without a purpose. Whether it is to learn more about the event, buy a ticket, or something else, there is always intent behind a visit.
This is important to remember because it can be easy to become lost in the woods when designing the site and trying to throw every conceivable bell and whistle into the final product. That is rarely necessary, and, frequently, it is counterproductive.
Here are a few best practices to keep in mind when designing your next event website.
Make the Most Important Information Available Immediately
Your website is not a treasure hunt. It’s a mistake to believe that your visitors will spend time searching for information. If you do not make your site easy to navigate, people will quickly click away – and they may not come back.
That’s why you need to have the most critical information immediately available when visitors land at your site. You have to put yourself in the mind of a visitor and provide the information they are seeking – not the information you think they should have. What are they looking for? What information do they need?
The information you present to your visitors may vary based on your specific event; however, in general, the info you should consider for your landing page includes:
· Event name.
· Event description – who it is for and what they can expect.
· Location – at the bare minimum include country and region or state; ideally, include your venue’s address.
· Time – dates and hours (include the year, if it is not clear).
· Ticket price and/or a link to the purchase page.
This isn’t to say that you have to be 100 percent minimalistic. For example, you can link from the location information to a page full of directions, downloadable maps, parking information, public transportation schedules, walking tours, nearby entertainment, and whatever else you desire to share. You simply cannot crowd your landing page with all of that extraneous information. Make this extra info easy for your visitor to find if they want it, but it does not go on your landing page.
Remember, as with all aspects of your event, the goal is to make everything smooth for your visitors, not to frustrate them. Providing the most relevant information where it is easy to see will be appreciated.
Be Clear and Concise
Your event’s website is not the place for poetic flourishes. This is not to imply that your event site should be boring – far from it! However, the site cannot be confusing, which means that all event information needs to be stated as clearly and concisely as possible.
For example, which of these two options is more effective?
A. Tickets will go on sale July 10. Initially, there will be an early bird price of $75. That price will be available for two weeks, July 10-24. Once those two weeks are up, a single ticket will cost $110. However, don’t despair if you miss out on the early bird pricing because there will be a Labor Day sale and, periodically, we may offer a flash sale. Keep your eyes glued to our Twitter account for more information.
B. Tickets - $110
Option B is all you need. Maybe, if there is a current sale, you can cross out the $110, and say something like “early-bird pricing - $75.” Conversely, not only is option A too wordy, but it is also going to gather virtual cobwebs because no one will read it. Big chunks of text, especially on a landing page, tend to be intimidating.
· Less is more.
· Use bullet points when possible.
· Limit paragraphs and keep them short.
· When more explanation is valuable, include a link to another section of the site.
Be Consistent with Fonts
Now that people will want to read your text, make sure it is something they can read by selecting a legible font. That does not mean uninteresting – feel free to choose something that ties into the event’s personality, as long as it can be read easily.
You do not want your message getting lost because Ps look like Qs and Rs swirl off into incomprehensibility. So, pick a font that can be easily deciphered, and once you select one, stick with it. Do not change fonts from one page to the next throughout your site. The same rule applies to the font’s size. Select one for headline and titles and another for the copy. That’s it. Otherwise, your site looks messy and disorganized. When visitors get that impression from your site, they will assume it extends to your event, as well.
Be Thoughtful with Your Image Selection
The phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words” has become a cliché for a reason: it’s true – especially when it comes to web design. With the right photo on your landing page, visitors will begin to understand your event before they even read a word. However, just like the words you use, you do not want to overdo it with the pictures.
Select photos that tell the story of your event. The images need to be high quality and professional. Any unintentional grain, soft focus, or pixelation will make your site look unprofessional and sloppy.
When placing an image on the landing page, be sure that your text is legible and easily read. On other pages or as visitors scroll, use images that showcase your venue and its amenities, show attendees enjoying past events, and highlight past speakers and entertainment.
Optimize the Site for Mobile
The majority of visitors to your site are coming from mobile devices. If they have to pinch and zoom to see your text or frantically scroll for information, they will quickly head back to Twitter.
So, before your site goes live, be sure to test it on a mobile device in addition to a PC. Are the needs of your visitors being met whether they are staring at a phone or a large monitor? Is the navigation seamless on different screen sizes? Careful quality control will ensure that the experience is the same for all visitors regardless of device.
Make it Easy to Purchase Tickets
Think of every step in the buying process as a barrier because your visitors do. That’s why buying tickets for your event should be the most straightforward aspect of your website. The more stages to the buying process, the less likely visitors are to convert.
Your landing page should have a prominent CTA that links to the purchase page. Then, the next step should be to buy the tickets. If you want people to register, fill out additional information, or answer a few questions, have that process occur once the tickets are purchased. Visitors may ignore it, but at least it’s being ignored after the tickets have been acquired.
All of these suggestions are geared toward achieving one result: providing your visitor with the best experience possible. When your event’s website delivers an exceptional experience, it serves as a guarantee of the extraordinary event experience that’s to come.