Your web site is arguably the single most important part of your event promotion. Here are 22 ideas to make your site as effective as possible in securing delegate registrations, engaging your audience and making your event more profitable.

 Online Agenda Development

  • Involve delegates in the agenda development process by encouraging them to submit questions in advance of the event via email or via a submission form on your web site.
  • Publicise a ‘call for papers’ announcement on the home page of your web site. Include a link to a submission form for people to forward their ideas.
  • Create an online survey form that allows attendees and prospects to vote on preferred topics or seminar sessions. Also consider loading your event evaluation questions as an online form. Remember, the more profile data you collect electronically about your attendees and prospects the better you will be able to target your market.

e-Networking 

  • Display a scrollable list of organisations that have already registered. Visitors can then see who they could network with or meet once they register. This will also serve to incentivise attendance to the event.
  • Enhance delegate networking by providing an online meetings scheduler so that registered attendees can request meetings with one another. An online feature like this can also be used to provide a service to exhibitors where registered attendees can book one-to-one meetings at exhibitor stands. 
  • Create a post-event discussion forum or blog so that delegates can continue to exchange ideas and network after the event. By creating an online community, you will extend the shelf life of your event.
  • By placing an online review of this year’s event (photos, testimonials, audio/video streams) after the event, you will create a community feel for attendees and also help promote next year’s event.  

Improving Online Sales 

  • Offer secure online registration – most delegates will expect to be able to register and pay to attend your event via your web site. Make sure credit card information is encrypted so that you have a secure system to process payment information.
  • Facilitate the selling of exhibition space by creating a range of exhibitor sales tools on your site such as an interactive floor plan, testimonials from previous exhibitors and visitor stats from previous shows.
  • Upload details of available sponsorship sales packages to your web site. These could be behind password protected areas and can be used as on online sales aid by your sales teams.
  • Link your web site to partners and affinity groups which operate in the same area as your event. This will be perceived as a value-add by your attendees. Examples include trade publications, associations and reference web sites.
  • Sell ad space on your site. Create extended information areas or banner adverts about exhibitor products and services. These could be accessed by attendees and non-attendees throughout the year and will further extend the shelf-life of your event.
  • Create a shopping cart page to sell related products such as books, CDs, and subscriptions relating to the event topics or its speakers.
  • Include a link on your web site directly to the conference hotel(s) and allow attendees to make hotel reservations when they register for the conference. This facility can be extended to airlines and car rental sites. Ask providers to give you a specific link so that your registrants go to a bespoke page.

Better Site Management 

  • Create a unique domain name for your event rather than using a sub-domain extension of your corporate site. This will help to enhance and reinforce your event brand when used in your publicity material. It will also be easier for your delegates to remember.
  • Register your home page address with appropriate search engines and portals relevant to your industry sector. Remember to create metatags for your home page so that your site will be picked up in searches. Exchange links with media partners and trade associations who can support your event.
  • Include your event logo or name at the top of every page, together with date and venue information. Make sure that logos and photos are down-sized for the web so that pages load quickly.
  • Back-end database – Ideally registrants’ data should go straight into a database which sits behind your registration form. This will minimise duplication and mean that you can see in real time who has registered, send immediate automated confirmations via email and easily export the data to mail merged letters, badges, invoices and other documentation. 
  • Your web host should be able to provide you with access to a stats server from which you can gather traffic reports and analysis. Use this information to see which of your promotions have generated activity, which pages are the most popular, and where your referrals are coming from.
  • Help delegates quickly find the information they need by providing key word and category search options. E.g. to locate exhibitors with specific product profiles or speakers with a specific area of expertise.
  • Make your event web site printer-friendly. Visitors often want to print session content, speaker biogs, maps, travel and venue information pages. Consider designing your web site centered on the screen or providing a printable pdf option for key documents.
  • Finally, try to keep your site fresh and interesting by posting news, pictures and other event updates. If your site has content management tools with easy upload functions, you should find this easy to do.

Need some help implementing these ideas? DEC Marketing has extensive experience in online marketing for conferences, seminars and exhibitions. We’ll help you make the most of the web and improve your event promotion. Contact Andrew Dec on 01763 263420 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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