Welcome, ladies and gentlemen! We have arrived at the digital era. To your left you can see a company that has made it. It exists online. To your right, an institution that hasn’t made the transition. All that remains are the dark outlines of where the building once stood. The same goes for events and really anything. If you don’t exist online, you just don’t exist. Luckily, most event profs have come to realize that they need an event web page in order to create successful events.
Still the event industry has been adapting slowly to the new digital age. Dear event profs, let's live up to contemporary demands.
Not only will you be at the forefront of the industry, but you will actually get a great deal out of sprucing up our digital presence.
What are an event page's benefits?
Digital breaks down the barriers of time and space. Sounds just as supernatural as Stranger Things? Well, your event can even be as successful as the new TV series. Just have a look at all the advantages an event page holds for you:
- boost your reputation
- raise awareness
- inspire trust
- give your event the voice and look it deserves
- attract visitors
- stay on top of mind
- multiply your audience
- multiply your attendees
- share your event's information
- facilitate the registration process
- personalize communication with all the stakeholders
- promote your event
I could go on and on with this list, but I think you get the idea: No matter the size, the type and the occasion of your event, a web page is a must. And because it is that important to have an effective and efficient event web page, I will dedicate another blog series to the topic. So keep visiting and don’t miss the next part of the Event Page Series.
It is not only your accounts on social media that make your digital identity count. Your event page plays a big part too. In order to leave a lasting impression, to attract new and returning visitors and to get your visitors to take a required action on your page, you have to meet certain conditions. Not any web page will do.
12 Must-Have Elements of a Great Event Web Page
That's the reason why I want to guide you through all the elements your web page needs in order to make you enjoy all of the possible benefits.
The right technology solution:
There are a lot of valuable solutions out there for you to build your web page.
- The cheapest and fastest solution are ready-to-use templates. Just look for a page template that offers all the features you want and that keeps up with your expectations in terms of structure. Be sure that it's compatible with the CMS that you are going to use. Once you bought it, you can go ahead and start personalizing it right away. The results vary from pretty ugly to jaw-dropping! So it really is up to you and your competences in terms of design. A little front end developing can make a big difference too.
- You can also build your web page from scratch. If you don’t know a lot about web design and development, I recommend you definitely get some professionals on board. This solution is more time and cost consuming, but the result should be worth it: a unique design and UX that is in line with your brand identity. Also it gives you the possibility to feature exactly what you want.
- If you are one of the lucky persons who have an event tech provider they can rely on (link to 1st art) during the entire event lifecycle, they probably offer a tool that enables you to build your web page with all the components you wish for. This is a great solution, since the web page builder should be integrated with the entire event tech system so that everything works perfectly together.
The right design:
The design plays a big role when it comes to the UX your web page offers. If the design is fascinating and manages to tell your event's story, your visitor is more likely to stay on your page and to come back. So making an extra effort in terms of your design, is actually worth it.
Make sure that it is in line with your organization’s branding and website. The more it looks like an actual part of your organization's website, the better.
If you want to add some zest, try animations or short videos. A few seconds are enough to set some highlights. Visual material does not only work great on social media , it will also rock your event page.
If you are one of our number one fans, you might have already put into practice my advice on creating a recap video for your event promotion. Your event page is another sweet home for your video. It will create expectation among your visitors and convince undecided people to attend.
Be careful not to overdo it though. Your web page's design has to be easy on the eye and facilitate the reading flow of its visitors.
The right tone:
It's not only the design, but also the copy that creates the overall online personality of your event. Consequently, you have to be sure you choose the right voice that helps to create the atmosphere you are going for. Know your audience, their needs and preferences and most importantly: be authentic.
The right information:
The right copy goes hand in hand with the right information provided on your event web page. Don't clutter your page with tons of information, but limit it to the essential event details:
What? Where? When? Who? Why?
What: Your potential attendees have to know what they can expect. Share agendas, speaker schedules, profiles etc. Depending on the type of event you're organizing, different types of information will be relevant. (Note: Having a web page with easy administration is a big advantage, since you'll be able to update any information as quickly as possible).
Where: Include a map that's linked to Google maps so that your attendees can find your event venue easily.
Who: Add your logo, your brand colors and fonts to the web page. Make sure the look and feel of your event page corresponds to the one of your organization's website.
When: You can also include a widget that is integrated with Google Calendar in order to make them save the date.
Why: Benefits are essential to get your potential attendees interested in your event. If they feel like they won't get anything out of it, you might find an empty venue. If you manage to present the benefits your event offers through storytelling and make your potential attendee the hero of your story, it will be bursting at the seams.
Try to make it precise:
- Will they gain helpful knowledge (speakers, workshops etc.)?
- Will they be able to make valuable contacts (networking)?
- Will they find products, services and providers and/or clients they are looking for (trade shows)?
- Will they create unforgettable memories (concert, cultural experience etc.)?
The right device:
If this era had a slogan, it could actually be: Go mobile or go home. Optimize your web page for all the devices, screens and browsers. It has to be fully responsive.
If you are working with the event page builder that your event tech provider offers, just ask them, whether it is responsive or not. If it isn't, you might want to think about a side leap to another state-of-the-art tech provider.
As stated by the Event Manager Blog :
Don't deal with players that can't keep up with this game.
The right ranking:
You want to drive traffic to your event page? Achieve a good ranking in search engines? All you have to do is get your web page optimized for search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) includes a lot of techniques that are applied right on but also off your page on other channels. But for now I'd say, let's keep it simple:
For your web page to be ranked high, analyze the keywords that work best for your event. Use Google's Keyword Planner for that. It's free and has everything you need.
Make sure you choose your main keyword and around ten other effective keywords. Structure the texts on your web page with <h1>, <h2>, <h3> etc. titles. Include your main keyword in the <h1> title and distribute the other keywords throughout your page.
You should also optimize your snippets. If you're using WordPress, simply install the Yoast SEO plugin and it will assist you in your optimization process.
Search engines also take into account your web page visitor's behavior. If they stay some time on your page, come back, register and/or share your page, search engines take that as a vote for the quality of your page. Google wants to offer quality to its users, that’s why it grants great positions to great pages.
The right SMO:
Speaking of sharing your event web page: You should not only optimize it for search engines, but also for social media. The concept of Social Media Optimization (SMO) includes features that enable visitors to share your web page's content easily on their social networks.
Include both social network icons that lead to your event's social media pages and a sidebar that displays different social networks, where visitors can share your event page.
That way you lead traffic to your social networks and gain more followers and you multiply the audience of your event page. If visitor's share your page with their social communities, you'll get a lot more traffic to your page and increase the number of attendees as well.
The right features:
What's the main objective of having an event page? Yep, you want to see your ticket sales go through the roof. Including a feature that enables visitors to convert into registered attendees is essential.
Again, if you're using your event tech provider's solution, a registration platform should be included. If you're using a template or creating the event page from scratch, make sure you include a register widget, plugin or form.
The form is pretty handy as it also generates valuable data for you to personalize your marketing and the event. Which fields you include is up to you and your needs, just make sure you don't include too much. The one field you should always include though is the email address, so you can follow up with your leads.
Make the registration process simple and fast, otherwise your potential attendees won't take the time and nerves to complete it.
The right widgets:
If you are executing a social media marketing strategy, be sure to show off its results on your event page. You can install widgets that display real-time streams and the engagement of your audience.
Watch your page visitor's engagement rise as well, since this kind of social proof will make them want to join in.
Depending on what your event is about and what objectives you have set for your web page, there are tons of widgets and plugins that will make your life easier and your event page more interesting.
The right CTA :
You should include one main call-to-action (CTA) in your web page. It should correspond to the main objective of your landing page.
If your main goal is to get them to register, the CTA has to make them land on your registration platform. The whole event page design, structure and copy should lead up to this one action. Make sure you guide them the right way.
There are really helpful tips about which CTA converts best. Since this is so important, I'd like to dedicate great part of the second part of the event web page series to it. (Stay tuned for the second part of this series, 'cause I’ll really live it up.)
The right contact:
Your event page needs to display your contact information. Make your visitors, who have questions, doubts, inquiries or comments, feel that they are in best hands, because good isn’t good enough. Highlight the information in some way, so that they can’t miss it.
Once they contact you, get back to them as quickly as possible.
Remarketing the right way:
Remarketing is a topic that involves both your event page but also your digital marketing. Do you have a high number of visitors on your event page, but the number of registrations for your event is really not that satisfying?
No reason to freak out. It is normal that users land on a page a couple of times before they actually convert into clients or registered attendees. So set up remarketing via Google AdWords and drive the traffic that escaped the registration process back to your web page.
Work, however, doesn't stop here. While you are at it, you should also analyze where most people leave your page or the registration process. In order to do that, you have to set up Google Analytics for your web page. Go through your page's data and you'll find the reason for them to jump off your page. Get rid of the hitch, make them stay and welcome them at your event.
Digital is not only a small part you have to integrate into your event organization. It is part of the entire event lifecycle. You need digital before, during and after the event. It might take some time to get used to it, but once you handle it, you’ll love it - hands down. Take the first step towards your event’s digital presence by creating your kick-ass event web page.