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How to Build an Event Website That Drives Registrations

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How to Build an Event Website That Drives Registrations


Crafting a one-page event website that generates countless registrations takes imagination, creativity, and some good old-fashioned common sense. You don’t just want potential attendees to be interested — you want them to be inspired to learn more, click through, and to sign up and attend your brand’s event.

In this post, we’ll explain why you need an event website and how to build one for your business. We’ll also throw in some examples of successful event websites as well as a few templates that you can use to get started.

Why should you create an event website?

An event website is a great way to get people interested in your event. While it’s a good idea to advertise for your event on your primary website, there’s typically not enough space to cover all the details without cluttering your site and making it difficult to navigate.

By creating a one-page event website, you’re able to point people in the right direction to get all of the information they need. This might take the form of links or banner advertisements, marketing emails with event details, or social media posts directly advertising your event.

 By driving all traffic to the same site, you can both track visitors to your page and see how many make the move from interest to action to registration.

5 Tips to Improve Your Event Website

While creating an event website is the first step in generating interest, simply having a site isn’t enough on it’s own. To convince users they should learn more about your event and choose to register, you need to capture, hold, and cultivate their interest. 

Here are five tips to do just that.

1. Understand your audience.

Chances are if someone is on your event website it’s not by accident — they’ve clicked through from your webpage or via social or email links. But even though they’re part of your target audience this doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a registration, especially if they can’t quickly find what they’re looking for.

Best bet? Put yourself in their shoes. What kind of information would you want to know about an event the moment you landed on the page? Details such as date, time, and location stand out along with an easy way to sign up. By understanding your audience, you improve your impact.

2. Promote your brand.

Regardless of your brand’s role in the event — maybe you’re the one hosting or you may simply be a sponsor — make sure that your logo, imagery, and other branding materials are front-and-center. Even if visitors choose not to sign up, great branding can help them remember your company.

3. Keep your event website simple.

Simple, simple, simple. When it comes to event websites, this can’t be overstated.

The goal here is to make critical information obvious and available without cluttering it with additional details. For example, you might have a full speaker agenda for your two-day event. Rather than listing every speaker on the main event page, highlight the keynote and then offer links back to your main site or other resources for visitors to learn more.

4. Make your site fast.

When you’re designing a one-page event website, speed is key. This isn’t meant as a replacement for your primary landing page so don’t clutter it with digital resources that take a long time to load. 

Instead, opt for speed — users should be able to quickly access and scroll through your site to get the information they need on-demand.

5. Make it easy to navigate.

The ultimate goal of your event website? Convincing users to register. 

As a result, you need to make it as easy as possible for visitors to complete this task. Include prominent call-to-action buttons that take users directly to sign-up pages and space them throughout your page. A common approach is to place one at the top for those who already want to sign up, one in the middle as a reminder, and one at the bottom for visitors who want to read all the information first.

14 Ingredients That an Event Website Must Have

1. The Event’s Name

Tell people right off the bat whether or not it’s a conference for them. If the name doesn’t spell it out, include a short description near the top where they can see it.

2. Date and Location

Be sure to include dates (include the year!), the full location, and any relevant off-site info.

3. Events Calendar

There’s no easier way to keep attendees in the know than with a calendar that clearly showcases upcoming events and all the pertinent details. Use a plugin like The Events Calendar to make quick work of adding a calendar to your website.

4. Reasons to Attend

Give visitors defendable reasons that are meaningful to them, and their boss (who’s probably paying for it).

5. Speakers and Activities

Showcase the superstars and heroes you’re featuring, and any extra-curricular breakfasts, receptions, happy hours, etc. that attendees can go to.

6. Agenda or Schedule

Whet their appetites with a list of speakers. And, as soon as you’ve nailed that agenda – get it up there. Don’t wait for every session to be finalized, rather update as you go. 

Keep the information current. Post notices and send out alerts letting your prospects and past attendees know who else is coming (The room assignments can come later).

7. Register Now Buttons

Put lots of them everywhere — don’t just leave a link in the navigation or a button on the home page. Leave no doubt as to where and how people can sign-up.

8. Alerts, Notifications, or Email Newsletter Signup

If a visitor isn’t ready to register, don’t let them go without signing up for alerts or a newsletter so they can keep learning more. Offer to send them a special free download of one of the talks if they give you their email.

9. Social Media Sharing Buttons

Don’t wait until the day-of to spread the word about your conference. Create a #hashtag and promote it heavily before, during, and even after the event.

10. Mobile Interface

Pinch and zoom is gone. Today you need your site to be easy to read and navigate on a mobile device with one finger.

Streamline your forms — registration and payment forms, newsletter / alert sign up forms, etc. — so they require a minimum of keystrokes. Consider social sign-on as a way to make the registration process easier.

11. Video Content

If you’ve held a conference before, posting videos on your site with snippets of past sessions can go a long way toward showing off the quality of the event. Encourage social sharing for these videos so attendees can show their friends.

12. Floor Map(s)

So many sites leave this out and yet it’s one of the first things people search for once an event starts. It’s also the first thing a potential exhibitor looks for when deciding whether or not to buy a booth at a show.

Don’t forget to make these accessible and easily readable. If it’s too big a file, turn it into a PDF and let them download it.

13. Site Analytics

Be sure you’ve set up analytics to track your site’s and your marketing campaigns’ performance. Check them often so you can tweak your pre-promotional campaigns to dial up your efforts in the right places.

14. Advertiser/Exhibitor/Sponsor Information

Few publishers forget to do this, but don’t bury it down at the bottom. There’s no reason why it should be hidden. Consider putting a link in your main navigation – they’re your customers too!

Examples of Great Event Apps

The most innovative event managers are creating apps for their events so attendees can choose sessions, see their schedule, chat, and network with other attendees. They also want to learn about after-hours conference events, nearby restaurants, and places of interest, so they’ll have places to share photos and videos that they take at the conference. Those apps integrate with the users’ social media accounts so it’s quick and easy to share on social without ever leaving the conference app.

Putting together a great website takes a tremendous amount of thought and effort. It also doesn’t happen overnight. We took a look at a number of publishers that put on events and picked out some of our favorites to share with you. We hope they provide some inspiration for your next event website.

1. Advantage Media: Continuity Insights East

Advantage media event site

What We Like Best: Clean layout, bold register button, upfront reasons to attend, and keynote presentations are front and center. There are good social sharing icons, and use of testimonials. The sponsor info is located in the main navigation, there are hashtag suggestions, and a newsletter subscription CTA.

2. UBM Canon: HBA Global

UBM Canon event site

What We Like Best: This site has a smart and attractive, “above the fold” one-page design. It’s mobile responsive, highlights benefits for attending, has a cool countdown clock, nice CTAs for registration, and a separate in-depth navigation section for sponsors/exhibitors.

3. Advantage Media: 2015 R&D 100 Awards

Advantage media 2015 RD event site

What We Like Best: This site has a striking design, good use of social media, a clear description of what they’re about, and clear CTAs (both in-text and graphic) for entering a product into the competition. There’s also a section for keynote speaker highlights and an email update subscription form.

4. AdAge: Small Agency Conference Awards

Adage event website

What We Like Best: This site has a minimalist design and nice graphic CTAs for award submissions and registration for the event. It has an embedded map and mobile-responsive interface with simplified forms and clear descriptions of purpose and benefits.

5. Incisive Media: Energy Risk Summit USA

Incisive media event site

What We Like Best: This site has an appealing design for a buttoned-up audience, clear benefits statements, and speakers are front and center on the page. There’s good social media integration, video access to past sessions, animated CTA for registration, use of testimonials, mobile responsivity that’s beautifully done, ease of use, and simple to register.

6. HMP Communications: SAWC Fall

HMP communications event site

What We Like Best: This site has a gorgeous design, fabulous use of color and images, and a simple layout that’s easy to navigate. This mobile responsive site includes upfront exhibitor info, strong CTAs for registration, and a nice integration with social media streams for sharing. Not to mention, the site translates perfectly on mobile thanks to its responsive design.

Event Website Templates

Colorlib

Colorlib offers a host of event website templates to help your site stand out. From business conference themes to concerts and festivals, Colorlib has you covered. A single template download costs $19, a yearly membership is $129, or you can get lifetime access for $349.

Wix

Cloud-based development platform, Wix, makes it easy to find an event template that suits your needs. Choose from a variety of compelling pages that can be easily customized and integrated with your social media feeds for maximum impact. Unlimited template access starts at $14 per month, while VIP plans with premium support start at $39.

Themefisher

Themefisher doesn’t have the same volume of event templates as some of the other options on this list, but it does have a mix of free and for-pay options depending on your needs. For example, the HTML5 “Vixcon” template costs $39, while the Eventre site is free.

Themeforest

Themeforest offers a template marketplace with event themes from multiple designers. The result is a site with something for just about everyone — templates range from clean and simple to bright and bold, and prices range from $7 to $50 depending on the features offered.

Need help putting it all together? ACMS lets you design, create and manage your brand’s web presence from a single dashboard to help you get the most from your online efforts.

Making the Most of Your Event Website

Good event websites drive interest — great event websites compel action. By designing your site for simplicity and speed, leveraging great templates, and making it easy for users to register for your upcoming event, you can capitalize on curiosity and turn it into conversion.

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Worsening economy has more shoppers getting online info before making in-store purchases

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Worsening economy has more shoppers getting online info before making in-store purchases


Summer’s here and the shoppers are wary. Consumer spending increased in May, but only by 0.2%, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This explains why 76% of U.S. shoppers are searching online for reviews and better prices before buying in store, according to a new Adobe Commerce study of sentiment among over 1,000 U.S. consumers. Also, when they’re in a store 60% are using their phone to look for better prices elsewhere.

Another sign of the slowing economy: 24% say they won’t be able to take advantage of big summer holiday sales because they have less discretionary money to spend due to inflation and the higher cost of goods. 

Read next: Adobe: Online prices were up only 2% in May

On the good news side: 76% of those planning to participate in summer sales say they’ll spend more or the same amount as last year. And the motivation varies — more than half (56%) of consumers say they save money by shopping on Prime Day and other sales events, while others want to get ahead of their seasonal holiday (32%) and back-to-school shopping (23%).

However, most of those who intend to buy don’t believe big retailers’ promises of deeper discounts because of overstocking. Almost 65% expect discounts to be smaller than last year. 

Other findings:

  • 61% said receiving personalized promotions or recommendations will make them more likely to make a purchase.
  • 43% said they are more likely to purchase from a retailer that offers buy now, pay later.
  • 72% want the online purchases delivered the same day or via two-day shipping.
  • 50% are now more likely to make retail purchases on their phones, 26% prefer in-store shopping and 24% prefer shopping via their computer
  • 57% search for and buy products online if they can’t find them in stores.
Categories for which consumers report using buy now, purchase later.

Why we care. Inflation and higher interest rates are, as expected, taking an increased toll on consumer spending. That makes marketing more important than ever, via activities like personalization and customer experience. That should also include offering payment options like buy now, pay later. People are used to putting everything on a credit card, but interest rates are making that less attractive to them.


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About The Author

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.



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Getting Started with the Agile Marketing Navigator: Building a Marketing Backlog

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Freeing agile marketing from its software development roots


We recently introduced you to Agile Marketing Navigator, a flexible framework for navigating agile marketing for marketers, by marketers in the article A new way to navigate agile marketing. The navigator has four major components: Collaborative Planning Workshop, Launch Cycle, Key Practices and Roles. Within these categories, there are several sub-pieces for implementation. In recent articles, we covered the pieces in the first stop of the navigator, the Collaborative Planning Workshop.

Now we’re going to dive into the next stop on your agile marketing journey — the Launch Cycle. The Launch Cycle is a repeatable cadence for delivering valuable marketing experiences early and often. Within the Launch Cycle there are five key components — Marketing Backlog, Cycle Planning, Daily Huddle, Team Showcase and Team Improvement. If you’re familiar with the Scrum framework, there are a lot of similarities here — with a few different nuances to make it more applicable to marketers.

Building and managing an effective Marketing Backlog

Now, let’s dive into the Marketing Backlog and some tips and tricks for marketers to be most effective. 

The Marketing Backlog is an ordered list of prioritized work that the agile team will pull from to work on in their Launch Cycle. The backlog is emergent, not static, and changes as new information is learned. 

This part of the framework is incredibly important and can have a major impact on how marketers work. First of all, there’s one shared place where all work lives. This avoids work happening “behind the scenes” that no one knows about.

In fact, one client that I worked with took all of the work that was already assigned to stakeholders, put it in a single backlog and realized that it would take five years to deliver! It’s with this level of transparency that teams and leaders can begin to visualize everything the team is doing and start to really understand what’s important and what may just be someone’s pet project.

There are many tools for managing your marketing backlog and they all have their pros and cons. The main thing to watch out for is ensuring that everyone on the team, as well as stakeholders have access. We want to build a transparent system.

If you’ve started with the Collaborative Planning Workshop, you’ve already begun to build out the Marketing Backlog. The items in your Minimally Viable Launch will go near the top, and other items will fall below. Work is never guaranteed until the team starts working on it, and even then sound business reasons could cause them to pivot, although that shouldn’t be the norm.

Prioritizing the backlog is one of the key responsibilities of the Marketing Owner. While they don’t do this in a vacuum and conversations with stakeholders are imperative, this role has the ultimate authority to decide what order the team will work on and which items won’t be considered (there are always way more good ideas than time).

The role of the Marketing Owner

The Marketing Owner needs to really understand the business value that each idea brings. Each marketing backlog should be thought of in terms of:

  • Level of effort it will take the team to complete (let’s face it — all things aren’t created equal. Building a Tesla may take longer than a base model Honda, so think through marketing ideas as well).
  • What value does it bring to customers? Joy? Satisfaction? Solves a problem? Addresses a cause?
  • What will the business gain from this idea, and how does it tie to business goals, KPIs and revenue?

Stakeholders, customers and team members should all be thinking about new ideas all of the time and everyone is invited to submit ideas to the backlog. However, it’s at the Marketing Owner’s discretion to decide which ideas will be worked on by the team and when.


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Work should never be directly assigned to a team member in agile marketing. It should be submitted to the backlog or discussed with the marketing owner as it needs to be visible and prioritized among everything else.

In agile marketing, backlog items should be used to test and learn and are thought of as micro-experiments, rather than large campaign blasts. 

While a backlog item may be for a post on Facebook, the team should be thinking in terms of testing elements, such as content. If the content is successful, similar content pieces would be on the backlog. However, if the content doesn’t perform well, the team would want to think of new backlog items with different content.


agile marketing workflow

Catch up on the Agile Marketing Navigator series!


The backlog may contain some business as usual items to keep the lights on, but the majority of items should be small, testable experiments that can quickly get to customers for real-time feedback.

If you haven’t started a marketing backlog yet, what are you waiting for?


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Stacey knows what it’s like to be a marketer, after all, she’s one of the few agile coaches and trainers that got her start there. After graduating from journalism school, she worked as a content writer, strategist, director and adjunct marketing professor. She became passionate about agile as a better way to work in 2012 when she experimented with it for an ad agency client. Since then she has been a scrum master, agile coach and has helped with numerous agile transformations with teams across the globe. Stacey speaks at several agile conferences, has more certs to her name than she can remember and loves to practice agile at home with her family. As a lifelong Minnesotan, she recently relocated to North Carolina where she’s busy learning how to cook grits and say “y’all.”



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When Your SEO Competitors Don’t Match What You Know

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When Your SEO Competitors Don't Match What You Know


You know your competitors, and you’re not going to let some damned SEO tool tell you different!

Hey, I’ll give you the first part, but there are a lot of reasons that the results from a tool like True Competitor might not match your expectations, and that could be a good thing.

I’m going to dig into five of those reasons:

  1. You’re living in the past

  2. You’ve hit a brick wall

  3. You can’t see the trees

  4. You’re stuck in one tree

  5. We’re just plain wrong

First, the toughest one to hear — the world is changing, and you’re not changing with it.

1. You’re living in the past

Look, I know Big Wally at Big Wally’s Widget World said your Grandma’s meatloaf was “just okay, I guess” at the church potluck in ‘87, but you need to move on. Even if you’re not quite-so-literally stuck in the past, you may be operating on an outdated sense of who your competitors are. Especially online, the competitive landscape can change quickly, and it’s worth re-evaluating from time to time.

2. You’ve hit a brick wall

Quite literally — you’ve run headlong into your own brick-and-mortar wall. As a business with physical locations, your competitors with physical locations are absolutely important, but from a search perspective, they may not represent who you’re actually competing with online.

Take, for example, McDonald’s — you might expect the competition to include Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, and other fast food chains with physical restaurants. Meanwhile, here are the second through fourth results from True Competitor:

While DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats don’t have traditional, physical locations, these are the places where McDonald’s online customers go to order, and they represent a significant amount of organic SERP real estate. From an SEO standpoint, this is reality.

3. You can’t see the trees

You can see the whole forest from where you’re standing, and that’s great, but are you missing the diversity and distinctiveness of the trees?

This is easier to show than tell. Let’s take a look at big box retailer, Target. True Competitor returns the following top three:

No big surprises here, and no one should be shocked that this list includes not only brick-and-mortar competitors, but online retail juggernauts like Amazon. Let’s take a deeper look, though (the following are competitors #8, #7, and #22 in our current data):

Target isn’t just up against the whole-forest, big box retailers — they also have to contend with niche competition. Their competitors in the video game space include not only brick-and-mortar retailers like GameStop, but competitor-partners like Sony and Nintendo (which both sell hardware and software directly online).

Not every grove of trees is going to have the same needs and growing conditions. Your competitive landscape could have dozens of ecosystems, and each of them requires unique research and likely a unique strategy.

4. You’re stuck in one tree

On the other hand, you could be stuck in just one tree. Let’s take Ford Motor Company as an example. Savvy marketers at Ford know they’re not just up against legacy automakers like Chevrolet and Toyota, but up-and-coming competitors like Tesla and Rivian.

That niche is incredibly important, but let’s take a look at what the SERPs are telling us:

These are Ford’s #1, #2, and #5 competitors, and they aren’t automakers — they’re automotive content producers. Does this mean that Chevy and Tesla aren’t Ford’s competitors? Of course not. It means that those automakers are infrequently appearing in SERPs alongside Ford. Ford is competing with mentions of their own products (makes and models) in leading online publications.

5. We’re just plain wrong

Hey, it happens — I’m not here to claim that we’re perfect. SERP-based competitive analysis has a couple of limitations. First, as discussed, SERP analysis doesn’t always reflect the brick-and-mortar world. From an SEO perspective, that’s fine (if they’re not ranking, we’re not competing with them for search share), but there are other essential pieces to the puzzle.

Second, our SERP-based analysis is based on national results and does not reflect regional or hyperlocal competition. Some regional businesses do have national competitors, and that’s worth knowing, but localized perspectives are important as well.

Maybe it’s a good thing…

What if a tool like True Competitor only returned information that you already knew? I guess you could pat yourself on the back and move on with life, but what did you learn? To me, the entire point of SERP-based competitive analysis is to challenge your expectations and your point of view. If the results don’t match what you expect, that mismatch represents opportunity.

More likely than not, it doesn’t mean you’re wrong (unless you’ve let vanity and personal history get the best of you) — it means that you’re missing a perspective or a niche that could be important. If you can see that missing perspective as money left on the table, then you’ve got a good chance to pick it up and walk away with a bit more in your pocket.


The Competitive Analysis Suite is now available to all Moz Pro customers, and we’d love to hear your feedback via the ‘Make a Suggestion’ button in the app.

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