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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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What It Is & How to Build an Effective One

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What It Is & How to Build an Effective One


In the business world, professionals are obsessed with tactics because they can help them meet their short-term goals. But if all you do is focus on the short-term, you won’t spend enough time or energy figuring out how you can succeed in the long-term.

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the second key persona for modern marketing operations leaders

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the second key persona for modern marketing operations leaders


This 4-part series presents a framework that helps rationalize the roles and responsibilities modern marketing operations leaders are taking on. This installment summarizes the framework briefly, and dives into how MOps leaders are now “orchestrators.” 

In case you missed it, part 1 is here.

Inspiration for this framework

Two years ago, marketing technology pioneer and chiefmartec.com editor Scott Brinker outlined the four key responsibilities of marketing technologists, summarized here.  

That work espoused the view that you could be both a marketer AND a technology leader. They are not mutually exclusive! It was my inspiration for this framework, explaining how today’s MOps leaders are instrumental for marketing and business success.

X-Axis:  A range of skills from a focus on technology to creativity and arts

Y-Axis: A range of decision-making skills, ranging from emotional to rational approaches

The resulting grid captures four MOps archetypes or “personas.” MOps leaders exhibit characteristics across all parts of this framework and will operate in multiple quadrants, similar to Brinker’s frameworks.

Modernizers – Are most likely to be the “original” technologists, constantly modernizing their martech stack.

Orchestrators – Are the closest to Brinker’s Maestros and the focus of this article. He described this archetype in 2020 as the “Operations Orchestrator — MAESTROS who design and manage the workflows, rules, reports, and tech stacks that run the marketing department.

Psychologists – Are now increasingly responsible for “reading customers’ minds,” i.e. interpreting customers’ interest through intent data and digital engagement.

Scientists – Are constantly testing and evaluating. Experimentation is their specialty.

Orchestrators: Leaders of the band

Now that you’re familiar with the framework, let’s dig deeper into the Orchestrators!

I’ll start with a personal story. My exposure to orchestration started with 8-straight years of practice in violin and trumpet during my formative years. Each week was literally a blur of private lessons, group lessons, orchestra and/or band practice. I probably spent as much time with music directors as I did with my family.  

It was painfully obvious to those conductors when we hadn’t prepared or practiced. Moreso, we would get – literally – an “earful” from the conductor when we were not listening to the other instrument sections. If we were not coordinating our efforts and timing, the outcome was awful for anyone listening.

Source: Unsplash

This orchestration metaphor is powerful because there are multiple levels for MOps leaders:

  • As a project management team within marketing, and often as a conductor across external agency partners.
  • As a cross-function business partner and primary contact for IT, compliance, and legal, in addition to the traditional MOps role of achieving marketing/sales alignment

Notably, all marketers have to be project managers for their own tasks/deadlines. They must be aligned with overall campaign and program timelines. 

However, as organizations scale they are more likely to have dedicated project management teams to handle coordination across the specialist teams within marketing. The orchestration responsibility may include timeline, scope, and capacity trade-offs even after campaign briefs have received approval. 


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The orchestration responsibility multiplies when agency execution teams are delivering on individual tactics and media buys. Last year, Optimizely described these evolving orchestration duties as a “transformative shift and approach towards how marketing synchronizes their teams, content, channels, workflows, and data!”

I believe the shift is even more impactful, with orchestration benefits being felt beyond marketing. The highest value “program orchestration” responsibilities occur when MOps leaders are representing marketing’s interests in enterprise-wide programs with other functions within the organization, including product, compliance, and IT. Examples of orchestration duties with these other key functions can include:

  • Product teams – Coordinating campaigns with major product feature/functionality launches, and managing brand standards.
  • Legal/Compliance – Overseeing compliance with Can-Spam, GDPR, and CCPA, and customer preference and data privacy initiatives that may be initiated by a marketing touch-point. 
  • IT/Procurement – Technology stack management, vendor evaluations and negotiations, platform integrations and data management.

All of this departmental and cross-departmental coordination requires skill sets that can be analogized as the difference between a chamber orchestra (marketing) and a full symphony. It’s the highest level of conducting across the enterprise. 

MOps leaders are holding individuals and teams to target timelines while managing the scope of a particular campaign and business initiative. They do this while also overseeing targeting of customer and prospect segments.

In order to accomplish this complex segmentation and coordination, MOps leaders are now responsible for cross-functional data – embodied by the modern martech stack imperative: integration. Integration across systems has been the #1 issue for marketers since the modern marketing tech stack started exploding in the early 2010’s, but software and solutions providers finally listened. A tipping point was reached in 2020. Marketers reported that we were finally working within an integrated, multi-system environment, according to a CDP Institute member survey analyzed here.  

Continuing with the orchestration analogy, the conductor is the integration “synchronizer,” deciding if/when the data flows across the stack. The sheet music is the data model standard showing how to map common attributes. 

However, just because we now have this more integrated environment does not mean our work is done. The instruments do not play themselves (yet!) and they require configuration and deliberate training to play effectively — both individually and in groups. 

Training was one of the top responsibilities for marketing ops leadership, ranking it in the top 5 of MOPS tasks by percentage of work, according to the 2022 MarTech Salary and Career Survey, published jointly by MarTech and chiefmartec.com (free, ungated download here). conducted by chiefmartec.

In the 2020 version of that same study, training was highlighted as one of the top two responsibilities for many of the primary marketing technologists personas, and 91% of operations orchestrators reported that training and supporting technologies were among their top priorities.

MOps leaders are never done

Finally, under the category of “MOps leaders are never done”, the last several years have also forced a whole new category of orchestration duties – a combination of conducting, training, and martech growth: marketing work management.

The largest growth (67%) over the last several years was in the category of “work management”, according to the 2022 edition of the Martech Landscape. Established entrants such as Adobe expanded with the acquisition of Workfront, while newer players like Trello and Monday gained traction.  

Although this was already a prevailing trend BEFORE the pandemic, the hybrid/remote work environment brought on by the last 2+ years forced these project management and agile-planning tools to the forefront.  The marketing work management category grew to over 1000+ tools, according to the State of Martech 2022

Source: State of MarTech 2022 – chiefmartec.com and Martech Tribe

MOps leaders are Maestros

In summary, modern MOps leaders are indeed Maestros. They are skilled orchestrators, conducting a symphony across multiple levels. They lead:

  • Omni-channel campaigns within marketing and across business functions
  • Integration across an ever-growing, integrated martech stack
  • Training and deployment as one of their primary responsibilities 

Editor’s note: In Part 3 of this 4-part series, Milt will expand on MOps leaders’ growing role as Psychologists. For background on this framework, see Part 1 of this series here


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


About The Author

Milt is currently Director of Customer Experience at MSI Data, an industry-leading cloud software company that focuses on the value and productivity that customers can drive from adopting MSI’s service management solutions.

With nearly 30 years of leadership experience, Milt has focused on aligning service, marketing, sales, and IT processes around the customer journey. Milt started his career with GE, and led cross-functional initiatives in field service, software deployment, marketing, and digital transformation.
Following his time at GE, Milt led marketing operations at Connecture and HSA Bank, and he has always enjoyed being labeled one of the early digital marketing technologists. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from UW Madison, and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management.

In addition to his corporate leadership roles, Milt has been focused on contributing back to the marketing and regional community where he lives. He serves on multiple boards and is also an adjunct instructor for UW-Madison’s Digital Marketing Bootcamp. He also supports strategic clients through his advisory group, Mission MarTech LLC.



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How to Calculate Your Web Traffic to Increase Website Revenue

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How to Calculate Your Web Traffic to Increase Website Revenue


You want to know how to calculate website traffic. That’s smart since your website’s value is both the traffic AND the revenue it can bring in.

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