Event websites that allow for online registration are often considered a part of event marketing. They certainly can be, but it isn’t an automatic function of these sites, which are offered by Cvent, RegOnline, ConstantContact, SignUp4, 123 SignUp and many, many more. Here are the top considerations that will transform your event website from a good tool that simplifies event management to a marketing powerhouse.
- Year-round visibility: Linking to your website is more than sending your attendees a link. Many attendees are looking for the site when the link is not available or between events, because they want to see an agenda, remind themselves of when to block their calendars, confirm the cost of the event, and discover many other pieces of information that your site provides more readily than most other media. Hosting a year-round event page with these basic pieces of information on your organization’s website, with a link on the home page, or where you list your events, will help boost your attendance, even while you are still in the formative planning stages for next year’s event. Since this placeholder page is purely informational, it won’t require you to pay for year-round registration site hosting, either.
- Testimonials: If you can get attendees to give you brief accolades for your event, or endorse statements you write for them, you will build your event’s credibility. Posting these prominently on the event website’s home page is one of the quickest, easiest ways to grow attendance through the site. Attendees often need to be very selective about which events they attend. Recommendations from their peers are some of the best selling tools available.
- Give attendees a set of “Reasons to Attend”: This is especially true of optional attendance events, and even more so if attendees need to convince their superiors to use precious departmental dollars to send them there. However, even for mandatory events, an enthusiastic attendee who believes they will get real benefit through their attendance will go a long way to identify and communicate the event’s real ROI.
- Show and tell: A picture really is worth a thousand words, especially on your website. Images of previous events build anticipation and help attendees mentally prepare for the experience. If you have never invested in quality event photos, make it a priority to do so.
- Brag: If you have a name speaker, a hot topic attendees will be eager to hear about, an event that you know will be a draw, or a location of extreme interest, then feature short headlines and brief descriptors (one sentence) on your event site home page. Link these to more details within the site if you like.
While there are many other great ways to use your event website as an incredible marketing tool, these are the primary items I recommend you consider. But I’m interested in hearing from you, too. Please use the comment box below to weigh in a and share what approaches you have implemented with your event website.