Important Components of Conference and Events Manchester Websites

10 Nov 2017

The 9 Most Important Components Of Your Event Website

  • Digital Tablet Photography Design Studio Editing Concept - Conferences and Events in Manchester City Centre

Inspired by the success of the Gama Innovation conference and award ceremony, which took place at The Bridgewater Hall in October, we were compelled to look into how event planning has developed in a technological and market-influenced perspective. In a series of articles, we shall be outlining methods which have truly changed the event management industry for the better; notably in the dynamic engagement with audiences online and in-person as delegates at our conference and events here in Manchester. This first article looks at the early stages of event marketing, specifically how a tailored website is not only useful as a digital-poster, but serves as a means of direct communication with audiences. We hope you enjoy it, and stay tuned for the subsequent articles in the series.

Conference and Events Website Development

A dedicated conference or event website is indispensable for attracting as many visitors as possible to your event, especially for more significant scales. It serves as a central contact point for participants and acts as a digital-sign for your event. Therefore, it must be structured and designed differently than a simple company homepage. In this article, The Bridgewater Hall Conference and Events team shall be presenting our top tips on what to look out for when creating an event website, and which elements should not be missing.

1. An Engaging Landing Page

The first impression counts: as an event planner you only have a few seconds to convince potential visitors of your event on your website. In this short period, an audience will decide whether they want to step out their front door and become participants; so it is critical that on the landing page you provide an overview of the most important facts and unique selling points. Think about what would make you curious about the event and explain briefly what your event is all about. You should include the following:

•        Set up your event logo, the event title and the essential information (location and date) in the upper sections of the page - think of this as the traditional "banner" of your event poster.

•        Specify reasons why participants should visit your event and what makes it unique.

•        Select a striking image that portrays the message or event in-action.

•        Refer to the social media channels on which you are active.

•        Place a well-visible login or ticket button in a prominent place. (See also point 5 for more information.)

It is also recommended, and standard these days on event webpages, to provide a picture gallery with images and video material of the past years; thus, giving your new visitors an impression of what the event will be like. In addition to this, present testimonies and quotes from participants to further identify the positive experiences of delegates.

2. Structured Program

Help your event participants' plan their program by including a downloadable timetable of all scheduled lectures, seminars and workshops.

Briefly present each event with an easily identifiable title and description, as well as a link to the respective lecturer or speakers bio. In addition to this, provide background information on the program and include sufficient breaks for networking and drinks -  a key decision criterion for some participants.

3. Presentation of Speakers

Speakers play an essential role at any business event. Well-known speakers can act as a visitor magnet and significantly expand the reach of your event promotion by the channels/audience they are engaged with.

Present all lecturers by name and describe what topic they are dealing with and why they are experts in their field. Additionally, link the individual lectures in the program overview to the websites of the respective speakers and include videos of them in action.

4. Involvement Of Partners and Sponsors

For partners and sponsors of your event, use the same tactics as for the speakers: if you include them in your online marketing, they will also promote your event. Therefore, you should present your partners and sponsors with a logo under a separate navigation point.

Explain precisely why these companies support your event and link to the respective company home page. In the case of media partnerships, you can again benefit from the extensive reach of known leading media channels.

5. Prominent Ticket Button

In addition to the information, the registration or ticket purchase is the ultimate goal of your event website. Therefore, on the homepage make sure to include a large, bright button with a purchase request (e.g. "Register now", "Tickets").

Also, it is recommended to re-enter the event details in a separate navigation point: Where and when does the event take place? How much are the tickets? What services are included in the price? Are there limited tickets for early bookers? You can also achieve a buying-stimulating effect with a built-in countdown, which increases the pressure on potential visitors, especially shortly before the start, to register quickly.

6. Professional Ticket E-Shop

Make it easier for your delegates to buy a ticket by incorporating a professional ticket shop into your website. For example, use event management software to guarantee your visitors a fast and smooth purchase which can be easily integrated into your site.

7. Contact Page

Offer visitors to your website the ability to contact event representatives if they have any questions via a contact form, email address or phone line.

8. Informative FAQs

To deal with the most frequent questions, it is advisable to answer these questions in advance with a separate navigation point. Think about which information is relevant to your participants and make it compact and precise.

Common questions can be: When and how can I pre-order tickets? How is the journey by public transport? Are there sufficient parking spaces on site? Where are the closest hotels? And how does a cancellation work?

9. Blog

A clever tool to enhance the interest in your event and to publish news is an integrated blog. Here you can provide additional information, for example, interviews with participating speakers or with the responsible persons of your partner companies, as well as contributions to the topic of your event and engaging video material; this not only enhances the anticipation of your attendees but also ensures that interested people regularly visit your website.

After the event is before the event

If you have designed a well structured and meaningful event website with all the important nine building blocks, the foundation is laid for your online marketing. However, you should not rest on it because, ideally, you adapt your website to match a marketing timeline; ending with a summary including the most beautiful pictures, an outlook on the future year or a simple thank you to everyone involved - then moving onto the marketing for the next event when one is over.

This is certainly an exciting time for event professionals. Social media allows conferences and events planners with small budgets to reach big crowds and it brings big-budget events to the masses with live shares from the event.

The Bridgewater Hall offers a modern and inspiring environment for 5 to 1800 delegates. We have a dedicated Events Team that will support you throughout the planning and performance of conferences and events in Manchester. In addition to this our state of the art sound and visual technology, present throughout the building, is operated by a team of expert engineers. The building also boasts the best acoustics in the whole of the UK in the beautiful Auditorium. There is no better place to hold an interactive / experiential conference or event than The Bridgewater Hall.