5 Reasons Your Event Web Site Needs a Makeover
People evolve, technology is constantly changing and you’re now competing with the web to be noticed. Conferences and events are typically huge sources of revenue for associations, yet I see too many event web sites that look like something that was created 10 years ago when the web was nothing more than static online brochures. Is you event web site working for you? Is it working for your attendees? You tell me.
Here are 5 Reasons Your Conference Web Site Needs to be Revamped:
- Reason 1: Your event web site doesn’t reflect your organization. If your association is evolving in terms of meeting formats, the type of education or the type of organization you want to be, you have strong reason to revamp your site. Consider your event web site your perfect concierge to your event. It’s your informative, resourceful sales and marketing representative. Does he/she represent your organization the way you want? If not, it’s time to refresh.
- Reason 2: Your event web site isn’t generating attendees effectively. How well does your site turn visitors to attendees? If your site isn’t designed to lead visitors down a path to register or at least sign up to your event blog or join a community, if not, you’re missing opportunities. Think big-ass-buttons with a strong call to action that is located on every page above the fold (that’s design speak for, make sure your call to actions are visible so visitors don’t have to scroll). BTW, you might want to include Google Analytics to your site to track site statistics to know and understand where traffic coming to and what pages people visit and what pages they exit on.
- Reason 3: Your event web site is sooooo 1.0. Do you have social sharing widgets on your site? Can attendees “like” your site? Do you have an integrated event community? If not, wake up. 600,000,000 people are on Facebook which means people live the social web every day. Make it easy for visitors to see who else is attending. Allow you potential attendees the opportunity to interact with speakers or connect and create online conversations with other attendees before they set foot at your event. Get away from the static program and give your attendees the ability to create their own itinerary. And lastly, make it easy for them to share your news. Hint: That means you must provide something that is newsworthy.
- Reason 4: Your event site is confusing people. When I land on your web site do you speak to me? Do you give me compelling reasons to come to your event? Or is it fill will thousands of rambling words with a mix of bold and italics trying to emphasize everything and links going everywhere? If you are not telling a simple story and making it easy for me to navigate pages and understand what the key selling points are on each page, you’re confusing me. Time for a makeover!
- Reason 5: Your event site is boring. If your site is text heavy and lacks photos from the event, photos or videos from last year’s event or promotional audio/video clips from your speakers, you’re site is boring. Give your visitors something to enjoy. Something to return to. Something compelling to read. Include a event blog and post interviews from your presenters or highlight special keynote sessions. People like to read interesting stories about people. Marketing 101 tip: People like to look at people. If your site is all text and no excitement, it’s time for a makeover.
Bonus Reason: Your event web site isn’t findable. Does your web site address look like this: “www.conference.org/pageID=12443E2?srew.asp”? Does your HTML page titles (look in the very upper corner of your web browser) accurately describe the page in 4 words? Are you keying in on targeted words in your content titles, headings? If not, Google isn’t loving your event web site. Make your web site findable with search friendly URLs and good use of search engine optimization techniques.
Let me ask… does your event web site fall into any of these categories? If so, do your attendees, your organization and yourself a favor and make the investment. Remember, your event is most likely a key revenue source for your organization, don’t place small value on the gateway to your event.