There is a lot of work that goes into creating a successful trade show. As an event manager, one of the most important challenges you face is generating attendance. Exhibitors have a limited budget for trade show appearances, so they want to ensure that each event will be worth their time. An effective website can help you create excitement for industry events, which will in turn boost attendance.
The first step in designing a good website is to know the audience. Large audiences are great for events, as they show you can attract significant crowds, but they also need to be filled with the right people. Understanding who will attend your event will let you design and market your website more effectively. This information will also let you get industry experts and potential customers talking before the event to make the show a bigger success.
Tip: Use online forums to get people talking
Incorporating social media and digital forums into your website can help get people talking about your event. Make the site a location for information on industry trends and other essential news that your audience may want to know. This keeps people coming back to the site and could spur some conversations. Keeping conversations going requires continual effort to engage the audience, and as an event manager, it is your job to propose questions and topic ideas to kickstart these discussions. Without a clear understanding of potential attendees, it becomes more difficult to offer insightful information.
As people move about your site, they need to be presented with a clear call to action. Information about when and where your trade show will be held, as well as how to sign up, should be immediately visible on every page. Make it simple for visitors to find the information they need regardless of the channel. This means that you need to spend some time thinking about the overall design of your site, as keeping its appearance neat and organized will help make it easier to navigate. CIO magazine recommended having a well-designed logo to enhance the page layout. This lets you put all relevant information in one spot and can serve as a link to a sign-up form.
Tip: Present a clear call to action on every page
It may be tempting to offer vendors advertising opportunities by presenting their logos on your website, but be careful to limit the amount of clutter on each page. CIO magazine stated that a crisp, clear image will help improve your brand. Think of the website as a business card - only present the information you want visitors to see.
In today's interconnected world, it is important to maintain a website optimized for mobile and other service channels. However, hiring web designers can become expensive. Event Manager Blog reported that it is possible to minimize this expense by purchasing templates that can keep designs simple and effective. Some web publishing tools make it easy to input your own content, upload pictures and even optimize pages for mobile. The source noted that it is always a good idea to spend some time improving your web design skills as a way to minimize costs associated with hiring a professional web manager.