Creating an engaging event website is one of the most important tools for attracting attendees to your event. Most people who view your website will decide whether they like the site or not within seconds. This means that event planners have one shot to sell and successfully promote their event. Here are six tips for making a socially engaging website.
1. Show who you are, not just what you are.
More often than not event websites end up showing what they are rather than who they are. But how do you get people to care? Event organizers can improve by giving opinions on issues addressed to the given industry, posting relevant media and sharing compelling stories.
2. First impressions last, get people excited!
The first bit of content that prospects see should really grab their attention and inspire them to read further. That is why event organizers should write a teaser that highlights some key points or a theme that the event will cover. Get your audience excited! You can also do this by making a short video clip that introduces your event and describes what it represent.
3. Turn visitors into leads.
Standard event websites usually have one call-to-action: i.e. Buy a ticket! But generally people are not ready to make this decision on the first visit. They’ll leave and the majority will never come back (sad but true!). You need a simple way of capturing their contact information, either through email capture or social media subscription. Turn them into followers (leads), then you’ll have a bigger window to engage them and eventually close the sale.
4. Events are social. Make your website social!
Most event website are missing the most obvious ingredient: People! More often than not there’s only a few speakers, but no way for prospects to meet each other and play a part. When you create an event website with a social aspect, it is possible to have attendees and users create content for you. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of solutions for this, but see below for more information on how Conferize can help you. Attendees love to engage with each other through social networking, content sharing, and by having discussions related to the event theme.
5. Capture social media engagement with #hashtags:
This should be a given by now, but the majority of events are not using hashtags consistently and effectively. They either a) forget to use a hashtag, b) use multiple hashtags, c) use a hashtag but forget to tell everyone about it, d) use a hashtag that’s too generic, not original or e) don’t really know what to do with a hashtag once they have it. So, make sure to use a unique hashtag (numbers and letter please, test it on Twitter), use it everywhere and always, and set up a way to track the content and leads using the hashtag. This is a goldmine of shared media and leads, it’s your community! By embedding or integrating that into your website, it shows that you are transparent and proactive about your community.
6. Get the basics right!
People often don’t get the basics right. Show the date, venue, and speakers front and center, as this is the info that will help prospects decide if they should buy from you. Without this information, potential attendees cannot make a quick decision on whether they will go or not. Furthermore, the all encompassing purpose behind the event should be described on the About page. This is where the potential audience reads to find out exactly what your event will be covering. Time and time again the About page lacks information about how your event differentiates from other similar events and it only has information about which industry the event revolves around. Make sure to add key information on how to get the venue and which hotels to book at the bottom.
How did you do? Have you covered all 6 of the advice above?
Conferize can help you achieve all of the aforementioned topics. We are a highly customizable turnkey solution that reflects the actual event in a dynamic and social way. Our system is set up so that relevant content – photos, video, papers, presentations, conversations and live stream – are shared automatically in real time and are compatible with mobile devices. These features can help organisers grow their event and capture leads.
Get inspired by Mike Butcher’s The Europas and a few other events that matter
- The Europas Award, by Mike Butcher of TechCrunch fame, is next week and you can follow it right here. The past 3 years, the Europas have been building their community with Conferize, and now it consists of close to 3,000 people.
Follow The Europas Awards & Unconference to keep up with the European technorati
- Creative Business Cup is slowly gathering their worldwide community from 50 global business schools and their events, all of which are on Conferize. Here’s the main event: connect.creativebusinesscup.com
- The Fresh Conference is the world’s premier event for forward thinking event makers. They’re using Conferize to power their main website on www.thefreshconference.com.
- 21st Biennial World Conference for Gifted Children is the world’s leading event for talented children. Join them at http://community.worldgifted2015.com/
- Hundreds of TEDx organizers can’t be wrong. Since we struck a worldwide partnership with TED, we’ve seen hundreds of TEDx events build their websites and communities powered by Conferize. Here’s the latest to join the family: http://conferize.tedxvicenza.com/
- Hackbeat disrupts music. Check out our very own Jesper Vestergaard’s meetup series, Hackbeat that used Conferize to reinvent music with technology: http://cph.hackbeat.org/