Event Planner Blog: Tips for Building Event Websites
David Sonntag
29 Sep 2014

Yes, but also this: More Best Practices for Building an Event Website

The good folks over at Planningpod.com recently posted a nifty infographic detailing 10 best practices for building event websites. We couldn’t agree more with their assessment (no, seriously: put the name and date of the event on every page, people), and we felt inspired to add a couple of additional event website must-dos from our own experience.

Post a Schedule

Attendees should never be left wondering what a day at your event will look like, and for day-long events in particular, it’s not only polite to post a schedule, it’s vital. And you can’t just toss any schedule up there in any format, either.

You know when you go to a restaurant website, and the only thing you want to see is a menu, a location, opening hours and maybe a picture of the place, but instead you get a downloadable PDF menu that won’t open in your browser? And you wonder why the owners of the restaurant hate you so much? Approach event schedules on your website the same way you wish those restaurant owners approached their online menus. Schedules should always be fully listed on the site without having to download a document, with a PDF version offered as an optional downloadable backup. PDFs open very unreliably, and if you toss this meatless bone out there, you’re asking for trouble and a shorter guest list.

Event Planning Blog: Best Practices for Event Web Design

Who else is going?

Part of the allure of doing anything socially-constructed is the chance to hang out with people you like and the opportunity to rub elbows with people you admire. Potential attendees want to know two things: are any of their friends going? And: are any celebrities or industry luminaries going?

In terms of tackling the first one, we suggest leveraging social media. There are a few ways to skin this cat:

1) Add a hashtag-based feed to your event site allowing Twitter users to trumpet their attendance plans.

2) Pull in a list of “I’m going” responses from Facebook, which will allow fence-sitters to get a sense of the guest list and see if any of their pals are going.

3) Add a tweet / post function as the last step of your registration process, prompting people to tell their friends and followers about their plans.

In terms of hot shot attendees, the solution is even easier: humble-brag about it on your site.

Check color contrast and Accessibility

When you’re planning an event, you’re typically catering to a wide array of people, and provisions need to be made for everyone. It’s old news that the venue itself should be accessible to older attendees and the differently-abled, but what about your website? Check that the color contrast between the website background color and the text color meets at least WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) AA compatibility standards (AAA being the highest). That way, people with poor eyesight will have an easier time navigating your online event informatoin.

If your firm doesn’t have a tech on hand, you can check WCAG contrast yourself with this handy add-on for Firefox.

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