How to create show-stopping events websites
For businesses in the entertainment industry, events websites are a vital part of event management. Getting it right can be as challenging as the event itself. But with the right approach, websites for events can be the heart of your business processes.
It’s not enough to have a few social pages or a basic website of static content. To take your marketing efforts further (and see results), you need a website that offers a great customer experience.
With that in mind, you can create stand out websites that will help you reach your business goals. And not just increasing ticket sales, but creating lifelong customers who’ll come back year after year.
Here are 7 ways to make memorable events websites:
1. Create a UX focused approach to reach business goals
To make good user experiences (UX) possible, events websites need to help users get exactly what they came for. With as little hassle as possible.
Some key points for offering good UX:
- Purpose and Function– Know what your customers want, need and what drives them to your site. This’ll reinforce every decision you make. And when they arrive, make sure they can actually carry out these actions.
- Easy to understand – Have logical, UX focused layouts and navigation. Know where your users want to go and make it easy for them to get there.
- Easy to use – Is your site mobile adaptive or responsive? Is it quick to load? Have you made purchasing tickets simple? If it’s frustrating, users will give up and go somewhere else.
- Enjoyable – Offer interesting, interactive content. Brochureware is dead. Content should be sharable, link to other relevant pages and include clear calls to action.
2. Define your brand and keep it consistent
Make the customer’s experience with your brand a positive one by keeping it consistent. Your brand values should be visible across every business process. Marketing, sales, HR, admin and everything in between should all be connected and working towards the same goals.
For example, Shambala Festival, offers great brand consistency across channels. The summer music and entertainment event is easily recognisable from its bright colours and exotic patterns. As you can see from their website homepage and twitter account, all their messages are consistent.
This kind of brand consistency helps to build trust with your customers. For events websites this is pretty important. Your customers are looking for reassurance that your event will offer what the brand promises. Consistency will make your customers comfortable with your brand, making them more likely to come back next year.
3. Build it for security and stability from the start
Websites for events will face real problems if security and stability isn’t considered from the start. You need to be sure your site can handle heavy traffic at ticket release dates, line up or event detail announcements. Otherwise you risk slow page loads or even site crashes, which drive customers away.
Leaving essential security measures until the last minute could also have a bad impact on events websites. Things like best practice coding standards, data protection and load balanced servers should be in place from the start. If they flare up later on, you might have some angry customers on your hands.
4. Personalisation based on location
One of the key reasons customers may re-visit your site is to find out where your event takes place. Knowing your user’s location can be a real benefit to improving the customer experience. Help them find their way with personalised, interactive maps. Or give location-specific directions.
For non-local customers (or users from other countries) show personalised accommodation offers. Link to any hotel partners or, even better, integrate a room booking system. An effortless, personalised buying process is more likely to increase conversion.
This also benefits your commercial partners by letting them target users with location-specific marketing.
5. Embrace content marketing to engage with audiences
Good content marketing brings tons of benefits. It can improve brand perception, attract customers, generate leads, increase engagement and drive conversion rates.
How? Regularly updated content like blogs, news and videos help events websites appear “switched on”. Make sure it’s SEO-friendly to drive traffic to your site and increase conversion.
It’s also important that you’re amplifying your content across the right channels for your audience. And make sure to include links to your website. All of this feeds into SEO and improves your site rankings.
6. Use clear calls to action to influence user journeys
Marketers of events websites need to make the most of calls to action to increase sales and leads. You should have a good idea what the user wants from your website. Most likely, they want to go to your event. You’re also likely to have pretty clear business goals; increase ticket sales. Your website should make that easy.
London’s Future Fest offers its latest news, dates and map on the homepage. They also use a “Buy Tickets” call to action at the top of the page and again half way down the page.
Ask yourself; is there a natural flow from one page to the next? Events websites need clear navigation, led by relevant calls to action. Whether it’s “Buy Tickets” or “Find out how to get there”, the user should feel confident about getting what they came for.
Also consider newsletter “sign up” and “follow us” buttons that lead to your Facebook or Twitter feeds. This helps keep your customers engaged in the run up to your event. It’s also a great way to keep them informed of any TBC event details.
7. Improve user experiences by integrating with other systems
If you use multiple channels and systems within your business, integration can make things easier. Not just for turning users into customers. But also to streamline internal processes. Integrating your Customer Relations Management system (CRM) will help you deliver personalised content based on location, purchase history or interaction with your site.
You may want to integrate social media sign in options, sharing and feeds. This lets users register an account quicker and easier and helps you gain more customer data.
Websites for events should have integrated ticketing systems. So users don’t have to go hunting around the web for a place to buy event tickets. This means more sales and a better customer experience.
Again, using Shambala Festival as an example, the website’s ticketing system shows plenty of digital maturity. With an integrated payment gateway, customers can easily buy event tickets from Shambala’s website. And the integrated train ticketing panel encourages customers to reduce their carbon footprint. This is a great way of reaffirming their brand values for sustainable energy with good UX in mind.
How Sitecore helps improve events websites
At Kagool, we’re big fans of Sitecore. It’s been recognised as a ‘leader’ in WCMs by Gartner. Unlike some other enterprise website content management systems, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Sitecore powered events websites can be completely individual and adaptable to fit your business needs.
- Security and stability – The scalability of the Sitecore architecture helps events websites manage an impressive amount of data. With a horizontal scaling method, this amount can grow without affecting site performance. Plus, Sitecore security is a priority in our approach to builds.
- Personalisation – Sitecore offers plenty of digital marketing features out of box. Events website can particularly benefit from marketing personalisation features like Sitecore device detection, IP Geolocation and the Experience Profile Database.
- Codeless content management – Sitecore content management system and its object-based page layouts make it easy for marketers to create new pages, add and edit content. So you can add lead generation forms, CTA panels and blog posts without developers.
- Connected systems – The Sitecore architecture is built for easy integration with other systems. So you can bring all your business processes together in one place. And with Sitecore modules, you can create a completely unique solution.
Want to know more?
At Kagool, we’ve worked with a number of enterprise level businesses in the events and entertainment industry. We’ve worked with brands like Manchester City FC and Lions Festivals to help them get the best from Sitecore. Let us show you what Sitecore can do for you.
If you’re a Sitecore newbie, get in touch with us for a free Sitecore demo. Or if you’re already on Sitecore, ask us about a Sitecore audit to make sure you’re getting the most from your investment.