In marketing circles and pretty much everywhere else, it’s nearly impossible to not talk about virtual and hybrid events. How do you produce them? How do you engage virtual participants and in-person attendees at the same time? We love these conversations. In fact, in case you missed them, we talk about them all the time like Virtual Events – Everything You Need to Know [2022 Updated], Top Virtual Events Production Companies & Checklist, How Colleges Can Use Virtual Events To Stand Out, Crafting a winning hybrid events strategy, and that’s only a partial list from August.
The point is that the nuts and bolts of virtual and hybrid events management and production are super fun to talk about. But the virtual event is far down the path our participants take to engage with our brand. As the best marketers practice, we must take care to provide a smooth journey from the top to the bottom of our customer engagement. One of the first touch points our participants make with our virtual event is through the event website. Let’s talk about what an event website is and how you can use it to grab attention.
- What is an Event Website?
- Main Steps to Follow for Creating an Event Website
- Best Examples of the Top X Inspiring Event Websites
- How to Select a Platform for an Event Website
- Top Tips for Making an Attention-Grabbing Event Website
- Learn how Kaltura can help your next virtual event
- Final Thoughts
What is an Event Website?
An event website is a website dedicated to your event. Rather than limited to a single page buried within a resources section of your company website, an event website puts your event front and center. The effect is like a landing page. You can craft specific messaging and a unique look & feel that serves your event and speaks the language of your target audience.
As one of the first interactions participants have with your event, an event website is a critical step in pushing potential participants through your funnel. It is on your event website where participants will learn about the story of your event, the panelists and speakers presenting, and understand from the experience they have on the website what they can expect in terms of quality and impact.
Main Steps to Follow for Creating an Event Website
Before you start creating your event website, you’ll want to home in on the key elements of your event:
- Draft the story of the event and iterate on a catchy event title
- Define the target audience of the event
- Work with creative to define the branding language and imagery for the event website design
Once you know what the event is, who it’s for, and what it should look like, you’re able to start building out the event website. Typically, you’ll want to get an event website platform or virtual event platform as the base of your event. Below we unpack some tips on how to select the platform that’s right for you.
You’ll then want to speak to all the key stakeholders in the event. The idea is to find unique elements such as trending topics, interesting speakers, or amazing content that you can highlight on the event website. Not only do we want to share the basic information, but we also want to prove to people that our event is not to be missed. Identify those key elements and work them into the event website.
Once you have a draft of your event website, test it out. Share it with speakers and peers to get feedback. Maybe even create two versions to see which one performs best. Once you know, then you can unite them and lead with the winner.
Best Examples of the Top 3 Inspiring Event Websites
Now that we have an idea of what an event website is, let’s look at some event website examples that work really well.
One of the best things about the AWS re:Invent event website is that you know all the basics in just a few well-placed words on the hero banner: Name of event, date and location of event, price for full access, and a big CTA that prompts event website visitors to register for the event. That’s the most important information. However, the website event goes further to excite potential attendees. It looks great and as you scroll through the event website there is a ton of information with links to the full agenda as well as a fun page on how to justify your trip with management. That’s thinking of your audience!
The NVIDIA GTC event website has a lot going on, but it all looks good. The hero video draws attention and provides a great preview of what types of sessions participants can expect. Also on the hero is a very interesting use of dynamic text. GTC is the “Conference for the Era of AI and the Metaverse” and above that statement is dynamic text that caters to specific audiences making the hero text, “The Developer Conference for the Era of AI and the Metaverse” or “The Healthcare Conference for the Era of AI and the Metaverse”. This helps event website visitors understand who this event is for.
Like all great event websites, the Monday Elevate event website looks great and makes it easy to know the basic details. Also, highlighting that the event will be in English and include subtitles on the day of the event in four other languages is a great nod to ensuring participants of different backgrounds are included. Another unique element of the site that resonates is that it highlights the event experience from last year. There are plenty of videos to go through until the event goes live and the FAQ at the bottom is a great way for floating up key information.
Take another look at those event website examples, again. Though the event website design of each is quite different, you can certainly identify several commonalities.
How to Select a Platform for an Event Website
The main driver of selecting a platform for building an event website is going to be the level of effort you can put into creating your event website as well as the resources available. Higher profile events tend to be fully custom jobs that include web development teams building out a custom website and integrating with key marketing automation systems and CRMs. It’s important to consider the following points:
- Level of customization vs ease of creation
- Registration forms and flow
- Analytics and data from registration
- For virtual events, does it include the space for hosting the event such as– streaming, interactive rooms, VOD, etc?
We recently published What’s the best events platform for your campus events? to help our education customers find the best virtual events platform. The best virtual events platforms provide easy ways to build out an event website. After all, what is a virtual event (or any event for that matter) without an event website?
Top Tips for Making an Attention-Grabbing Event Website
The first thing to remember is that your event website is a website. So, you need to follow the basic tenants of good web design. Event website design is as important as any other website design. You might not know how to create an amazing website, but as a consumer, you inherently know what a good website is as opposed to a bad one. Canva has a great post about web-design principles, 20 web design principles to follow, that is worth checking out for baseline information.
Instead, let’s focus on a few steps that are unique or at least most important to an event website.
- Don’t hide the basics – Make it clear that this is an event website for an event, what the event is, who the event is for, how they can attend, and why they should attend. Provide an always accessible CTA to promote registration (don’t hide it) and let folks know when the event is taking place.
- Quick and easy registration – The priority of your event website is to encourage folks to register for your event. Now, most of us know that the longer the form the more likely people will abandon the form. However, that is not always the case. Generally, it’s a good idea to remove barriers to entry. It’s ok and important to require registration fields – sometimes fields communicate effectively the types of participants the event is for – but be sure to only add those that will contribute to the experience. Unnecessary fields in your registration form will result in unnecessary form abandonment.
- Deliver value right away – Events are scheduled well in advance to work with everyone’s schedules. Rather than have folks register and then only return weeks later, use your event website to deliver value in line with the event itself. Your event site can be a wonderful source of information about new speakers or even VOD content available only to those that register. Your registrants can use the event website to start networking with their peers as well as learn from shared content available on demand.
Learn how Kaltura can help your next virtual event
Kaltura Events Platform lets you create, manage, and measure your events from easily building an online event website and measuring the registration flow to hosting a dynamic virtual event that engages participants before, during, and after the event. Events Platform makes it easy to deliver a rich experience for any event type and size. A key benefit is that you can provide engaging experiences for registrants well before the live event by sharing VOD content and providing a space for early networking. Additionally, after the event, the event website becomes home to evergreen content that brings customers back for more.
Virtual events and events overall have and continue to evolve quickly. That is true. The pace of change may seem overwhelming, but as marketers, you already have the knowledge you need to take your events to the next level. Apply the same rigor and approach to your event website as you would to your company’s website or landing pages and let the ROI roll in.