Got a huge event coming up and thinking about making a website for it? Are you tired of your current event website and looking to redesign it? Before you start throwing money away like a Hip Hop star at Mansion popping bottles, I want to share with you some tips that will save you time, money and lots of shots of Vodka with Lil’ Jon.
A key component of event branding is a great website. Alex Miranda of The Creative Complex, the famed Miami-based event graphic design firm offers his advice to affiliates on what items he’s always required his clients to send him before any project gets started.
- Create a List of Pages – Most events need the same pages: about, artists, sponsors, contact, buy tickets, merchandise, videos and photos. Some more, some less. Decide with your team.
- Sites You Already Like – Visit other event websites from other cities. Choose 3 to 5 that you like and explain why you like each on. Do you like the structure, look, feel, pictures, social buttons, layout, etc. Maybe there are websites outside of your industry that you like; throw those in there too.
- Special Features – You want it connected to EventBrite.com? You need it connected to your email service provider like Mail Chimp? Does a newsletter signup sound good to you? While visiting other websites, also point out any cool features you want on yours. Do you want to be able to upload a bunch of pictures and automatically create photo galleries? Anything automated is typically going to cost more and you want to make these things clear to find the right company and get an accurate quote.
- Investigate the Competition –Keeping up with the Jones’s online is easy because you can always one-up them when you see their site. What do your competitors do well and do really badly? Learn from their mistakes, follow their successes. It is easiest to identify the good, bad and ugly before diving into your project so that you’ll be looking at things with a fresh eye.
- Budget – Be honest. Can you spend $5,000 on a customized over-the-top website? Make sure that is clear.
- Timeframe – Your event is in 5 weeks and you JUST thought about the website? Tisk, tisk. Even though we can knock out a site in 2 weeks, you still want a good 2-3 months of pre-promoting your landing page to get followers and email sign-ups. If you have MORE time, we suggest you give this process 6 months if you really want a great turnout. The bigger the event, the longer time you need.
- Existing Materials – Your designer needs your logo, business cards, brochures and company font. Also send them pictures of the artists, shots of the venue, event flyers, and anything else that’s going to speak to the “soul” of your business so the designer can capture that essence in the design.
- Content! – Oh boy, this is where things get tricky. At the beginning a graphic designer can put IPSUM LOREM gibberish text to show where text will be, but wouldn’t it be nice if you already gave him the written text of the website exactly how you want it? He would know so much more about your box, and it will translate into a better design.
- Web Site Goals – This is one of the last things on my list because it’s the last thing you’ll ever think about: Exactly what do you hope to accomplish with your site? How many tickets do you want to sell online? I always tell my clients “a Web site is like an employee” you wouldn’t hire someone without giving them specific tasks and knowing how they are going to directly impact the bottom line would you? At the very least tell yourself how many visitors you want per month.
- What are your calls to action? – Very important, but what do you want visitors to do when they get to your site? If tickets aren’t on sale yet, then you need a sign-up box to be informed when they do go on sale. If tickets are already on sale, then that’s always the call to action. If you have a yearly event, then right after the event the call to action should be for people to look at pictures and videos and share them online. You can’t just throw up a website without giving someone a reason to be there and leave their information. How are you going to calculate your return of investment? That’s like opening a movie theater and letting everyone in for free! You need something in return for your investment.
This is a list that should make most Web site service providers smile with glee.
Making an Event Website