The event dates have been set. The venue is booked. Speakers have been lined up and the agenda and content are close to being finalized. You finally have all the details to setup the killer website that is going to engage and excite your users, prospects and partners, and inspire them to sign up for your upcoming event.
The event website is going to be THE launching pad for your attendees’ personalized event experience. It’s the number one tool at your fingertips to promote and generate excitement about the event you’ve been planning for the last 6 months. It’s your time to talk up the city, the venue, the hotel, and most importantly, all of the amazing value that attendees will get now that they’ve signed up to spend a few valuable days outside of the office soaking up new ideas, networking, learning and having fun.
Where to begin…
Setting up your event website starts with determining your event type and goals; the right event platform will easily enable these steps. Certain Platform allows you to create an unlimited number of websites per event that are incredibly flexible, scalable and smart enough to display content based on pre-defined rules and criteria such as attendee type, company size, job title and pretty much any other attribute of an event registration or profile.
No need to hire an agency to build out a site — if you can format a Word doc, you can quickly put together your site in Certain. The look and feel of your event (color palette, imagery, layout, font styles and overall styling) is defined at an event level and is automatically applied to all registration forms and websites created within the event. And there’s no need to reapply these settings once you’ve configured the event display shell; select the position of your website navigation, background color, font and you’re off and running.
Will your event website need to be publicly available for anyone to review or only viewable to invitees who must login with a username and password? Maybe somewhere in between with a simple shared passcode? Perhaps you want a public site for prospective attendees, and a private site available for paid registrants to view and download pre-read materials prior to the event. Either way, Certain supports all of the above.
Our native, bi-directional integrations to marketing automation & CRM platforms like Marketo, Eloqua and Salesforce allow you to import leads and contacts into your Certain event. Once these records exist, simply enable the option to require a login to access your site and set your login fields. Voila! You’ve got a secure site only accessible to your invitees and registrants.
Content & Data Colletion
Next, configure your content blocks and display rules that determine the criteria of the audience for that content based on standard profile fields (Organization, Job Title, etc…) or custom data data fields (company size, # of employees, budget, etc…) Mix and match content that is always displayed with content that is conditionally display based on attributes of the site visitor. Our users love this feature (we’ve been told it’s the cat’s meow).
Content can be easily formatted using the built in HTML editor with no coding skills required. Insert tables, images and bulleted or numbered lists with a few simple clicks. WYSIWYG editors not your jam? Prefer to write the code yourself? No problem. Just drop into the source view and edit the code directly.
For a stand alone event, manual entry of your event meta data such as event name, start and end time and dates, location, etc. will suffice. However, for events such as road shows or an annual user conference, we suggest you leverage dynamic data fields (aka DDF’s… think MS Word merge fields) to automatically populate these values in future events when the event is copied as part of an event template. Same with any URL’s to registration forms within the event. Don’t hard code your links (which will have to be manually updated in a copied event); use a DDF and they’ll be auto-magically updated in any future events that are created from this one.
Now that your event website is built, you are going to want and track your visitors so you can see where they came from, where they dropped off, and the last page they visited before registering. Embed a Google Analytics tracking code into the site and add unique page titles allowing you to differentiate between future copies of this site.
Now there’s nothing left to do but smile… and distribute the website link via all your marketing channels… then kick back and watch the registrations pour in.
Want to learn more about building killer websites for your events? Schedule a demo of Certain Platform, our end-to-end event automation solution.
By Bob Osborne, Director of Product Management at Certain