Have you ever been researching an event, and felt the burning frustration of navigating a clunky website? The information you’re looking for is nowhere to be seen, and any excitement you felt about the upcoming event itself is quickly fizzling out in the face of bad design and missing contact details. A great event website gets people excited, inspires them to sign up and invite their friends, and has information they didn’t even know they needed.

We’ll walk you through the five most common mistakes to avoid when building your own event website, so that your event can soar to success.

1. Making Key Information Hard to Find

This is a design sin on any website, but it’s especially heinous on an events site. People often visit event websites looking for key information, so make sure you put important details on the homepage of your website.

Not only does this keep visitors happy, it will also help you gain more conversions. People browsing online have notoriously short attention spans, so you need to put the most important information above the fold on your homepage – this is the part of the page you can see without scrolling.

The more clicks a potential guest has to make to find a piece of information, the more likely they are to give up and leave your website. Here are some examples of key details you should include on your homepage:

  • The name of the event
  • The date and time of the event
  • The event location
  • Key event highlights – such as a keynote speaker
  • A call to action where visitors can RSVP, buy tickets or find out more information
  • A Contact Us button or clearly visible contact details

Pick out the essential details and ask yourself what visitors really need to know. But don’t panic and throw all the information at them – this brings us onto the next mistake…

Illustration of confused person using magnifying glass to look for important info on an event website.

2. Ignoring the Need for White Space

Nobody likes a cluttered website. It’s a web design fact that is still all too often ignored – especially by event websites.

It can be hard to decide which information is the most important, and in an effort to give visitors everything they want, you often see events websites crammed full of pictures, text, links, and more.

Sadly, this is a huge turn-off for visitors – cluttered websites are confusing and don’t sit well with our short attention spans. It only takes 50 milliseconds to form an impression of a website, so good design is essential.

To combat this, make use of white space. This is the space you see around elements like text, images, and buttons – and no, it doesn’t actually have to be a white background!

By sticking to web design best practices like this, you create a more attractive and more useful events website, rather than overwhelming visitors with an overload of information.

This is just one web design trend that is worth paying close attention to. Others include using headings and bright colors to guide visitors’ focus down the page, and making use of illustrations and graphics to convey personality.

3. Forgetting About Mobile

Sticking to cleaner and simpler web design isn’t just beneficial to your visitors. It can also make your site better suited to display on mobile devices, which is essential in this age of hand-held browsing.

According to Statista, over half of the world’s web traffic came from mobile devices in the last quarter of 2019, so chances are people are viewing your site from the palm of their hand.

If you have maps or schedules on your site, there’s also a good chance people are using your website to find their way around your event in real time, meaning it’s vital for your pages to display clearly and smoothly on mobile.

Make sure your website is mobile responsive – meaning that your page will automatically reformat to fit the screen it’s being viewed on – and prioritize key information so that it’s easy to read.

If you have a designer on hand, you can even build your events website with a mobile first approach to get ahead of the competition.

Mobile first design means that your content is optimized to fit a mobile screen from day one, and then tweaked and expanded to fit a desktop, rather than the other way around. This way, you guarantee a great mobile experience for your users!

The SIGGRAPH 2019 conference’s mobile site does a great job of presenting key information in a clear and digestible way:

Loading speeds are also critical factors when it comes to mobile-friendliness, so avoid heavy media such as long videos or large file downloads.

A responsive, mobile friendly online event registration form created using RSVPify's event software

4. Not Thinking Outside the Box

Once you’ve identified and prioritized all your key information, it’s time to go one step further. Or two. Or three. An event website that gives the basic details is okay, but your event deserves so much better – and so do your visitors!

Think about what you can give your visitors to make their experience of your website, and your event, even better. Think outside the box – here are some ideas to get you inspired:

  • Transport routes
  • Accommodation recommendations
  • “Other things to do” in the area
  • An “add-to-calendar” button
  • Venue information such as disability access
  • Social media links and activities
  • Photo galleries
  • Your refund policy
  • VIP or special packages
  • Testimonials – especially for recurring events
  • Sponsor logos
  • FAQ

Surprise, entertain, and inform your visitors with these extras. Dedicate separate pages to each section rather than trying to fit it all on your homepage, to avoid cluttering. Always make sure your homepage is easy to get back to, no matter which page you’re on.

5. Not Employing Persuasive Tactics

If you’ve avoided all the mistakes so far, you’ll have a pretty impressive event website.

You’ve got all the relevant information, it’s well-designed, and easy to navigate on mobile. But your conversion rate isn’t as high as you’d like. Why? Chances are, you haven’t employed any persuasive tactics.

Just giving people the dry facts isn’t enough. To really excite them and inspire them to take action, you need to get persuasive.

One of the most common mistakes you see on event websites is plain call to action buttons. “Register Here” is hardly inspiring, is it? Here are five tips for writing more motivating copy and calls to action for your website:

  • Create a sense of urgency – using words such as “limited” or “selling fast” motivate people to take action now, rather than later.
  • Provoke emotion – this could be fear of missing out, excitement, or curiosity.
  • Be clear and direct – leave the user in no doubt about what action they should take next.
  • Focus on value – highlight what the user will get out of this experience; why should they come to your event? Be personal – try to connect with your visitors by understanding who your event is targeting.

These are just a few of the persuasive tactics you can use to make your website more engaging, and to encourage more conversions. Add life and personality to your content, and your visitors will feel more connected to your event.

Wrap-Up

You’ve probably seen one, or all, of these common mistakes on event websites at some point. You may even have felt frustration yourself as the direct result of one of these everyday blunders.

But your event website will be different – by avoiding these five events faux-pas you’ll side-step the most common stumbling blocks, and allow your event website to soar!

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