A virtual event needs a dedicated event website – just as live events do. The dedicated website establishes the event as valid, worthwhile, and easy to access.
Ease of use is particularly important. Website visitors may abandon the site if it’s difficult to use, the pages are slow to load, or relevant information is hard to find. Make sure your website is user friendly, easy to navigate, and can be viewed on any device.
There are two main types of event websites:
- registration-only website – simply allows visitors to register for the event. This website works best for events that don’t require additional information to convince the potential attendee to attend – particularly amongst members of an organization or association; and,
- marketing and registration websites – used when your event requires information and promotion.
A well designed marketing and registration website should include:
- When and where – date and start time of the event – including time zone; and the online platform for the event;
- The agenda – what will attendees take away from the virtual event? Knowledge? Skills? Networking opportunities? Entertainment?;
- Branding – be sure that the company or organization hosting the virtual event is well positioned and identified. Your event website and registration should be an extension of your brand. Maintain alignment between the website, emails, and registration to establish your event as legitimate and professional;
- Event title -a simple title should clarify the event topic or goal;
- Call to action and registration – before the event, make it easy for prospective guests to become registered attendees – including ease of registration and payment; during the event, the call to action could be to post photos or tag the event on social media; and,
- Testimonials from previous events – gather positive feedback from post-event surveys and social media.
Depending on the technology you have available, you may choose to host your event website yourself, use a third-party host such as WordPress, or work with an event technology provider.