What Event Websites Are Often Missing
There are both positives and negatives to thinking like a customer. When you can put yourself in their shoes you can better evaluate their needs and expectations. However, what you have to remember is: you’re still not the customer. And, that's the problem. Too many event websites are built without the customer's experience in mind. Here's how you can avoid these making these mistakes.
What may be common knowledge or practice to you could be something completely foreign to those looking to book your venue. The personal understanding that comes with running an events business can interfere with the perception of how much of the industry you think your potential customers understand.
The other side of the coin is the desire to fill all of your customers concerns or needs but underestimating the capabilities of your systems and processes to capture and then fulfill those needs. This tends to come full circle when developing a website. You take customer feedback and produce something tangible on the website. At first, it seems like you solved the issue and presented what was missing. Then you step back and realize that you still don't have any leads. Why?
Let’s take a look at what event websites should do well, and what kinds of backend processes should be supported to make these things effective.
True Social Media Integration
It’s no longer an option to be active on social media; it’s a requirement. However, just having them to have them is not enough. When your audience looks at an event website, they want to be able to find all of the information needed in a single source. The website is typically the host for all of this information but regularly updating that audience with current events, offerings, unique data, and more show that you truly care about the outward social reach that’s presented.
Having social media that is fundamentally tied into your website, and not just links to your accounts is key to engaging millennials. The event starts the second your potential attendee lands on your website. Fully-integrating their experience into your event is important. Social media is a big part of this that is often missed.
Controlled Registration for Events
Lots of event professionals have event registration nightmares. However, most veteran events have successfully managed to leverage some kind of registration process to avoid any major hiccups. Unfortunately, some events require registration that goes to an outside host. You have to keep in mind that this is going to take them away from the experience that you worked so hard to create on your website in the first place.
The best possible place for someone to register for your event is on your website where you can control the experience. Taking it a step further, having your website fully-integrated with your event management, badging, and check-in systems can remove unnecessary steps down the road from both your staff and attendees. This keeps with the theme above of the event starts on your website. Maintaining a simple and consistent experience for customers will help you build a better relationship with them down the road, and make them more likely to return in the future.
Actionable Calls To Action
When interested, a website visitor should click on some kind of call to action. This should take them through your sales/registration/etc. process and present them with the information that they are looking for in the first interaction whilst moving them down the sales/registration pipeline.
Evaluate if your current processes are strong enough to automate this process. Do you know all of the details? Can you create a true call to action for interested parties other than "request more info". In most cases you can, but often staff ends up wasting loads of time with information request e-mails. Not only that, but information request form fills are rarely used. It is a weak call to action. There are other ways to generate better and more consistent actions from your visitors if you have a more specific process.
Also, consider that the information collected by these calls to action can be used to in other ways as well. We discussed having an integrated event management system with your website, but what if you could personalize the entire experience of your sponsors or attendees based around their very first interaction with your event? Having a contact management database connected to your event systems can help you do this, and many event businesses are already doing this today.
It has to make business sense
It’s not enough to simply present the information that your customer is hoping to see. Event websites that don't create dynamic experience or calls to action will ultimately leave money on the table and risk losing out to competing events. Event websites have the power to begin attendee experiences right then and there; however many still fall short. If you'd like to learn more about integrated event experiences you should visit our friends at Ungerboeck Digital. They make this happen for customers every day.