All of the best tools in the world have one common purpose, to be used to the best of their abilities and to solve whatever problem is put in front of it. With Conference Websites we’ve tried to give you the best possible starting point to ensure you can smoothly market your conference and give it the exposure it needs.
One area we’re unable to help with and unable to influence is your conference’s own branding. When a delgate-to-be (or not-to-be) visits your website they’re not looking at the framework in the back, the admin tools available or the site accessibility report. They’re staring straight at your branding.
From this initial point of impact there are thousands of different thoughts that can run through the user’s mind. The key thing is to ensure that it’s positive.
Below are two examples of a separate conference website. Each uses the same tools and options to create an event website. On the left ‘Climate Change London’ and on the right ‘The Glamping Show’. Whilst the subject of the event changes each of these should easily give enough to work with for any design or creative agency.
‘Climate Change London‘
This site uses the fear factor and darkness of the topic surrounding climate change. The red clearly spells danger to the visitor and set on the white content background it stands the event out as an answer. The red show name and the ‘add to diary’ are the two clear messages the visitor receives when first arriving whilst the black offers up more information but without distracting the user, the information is available when required.
This website starts with poor branding, we can feel when a website has been professionally designed and built. Whilst the frame of the site is the same as the climate change website the branding inside the frame is very weak. The washed out colours don’t combine well with the main header image.
As a marketer you don’t always have a professional designer handy to turn around poor branding. Working with what we’re given and working out the steps required to make it a success can be a fine art.
Trying to turn around the glamping show website to help it carry the branding I’d recommend the following steps…
1. Change the background
The background can be replaced for something stronger. Working with the header creative you should be able to use stock photography (via istock or similar). Find a large (2000 pixels by 1000 pixels) image which is on brand or with a running theme.
In this case I’ve swapped the washed out blue background for a vibrant image with plenty of great connotations (warm summer sun, late evenings off work) the potential delegate can relate to in the chosen field.
2. Add photos
Photos either from the last years event or using stock photography of related images help to break up long areas of text. This makes the page (and the event) more visualy stimulating encouraging the user to feel energised about the event.
3. Add a clear call to action
As soon as the visitor arrives on the site there needs to be one clear action to consider before leaving the website.
4. Limit the amount of text blocks
Text is very useful but large blocks of text will turn the user to skim read or even close the window. If you need to have a large page of text then ensure the text is broken up with images, quotes or small icons relevant to the section to keep it interesting.
In the example below I’ve continued with the branding I was supplied but using the site tools I’ve been able to tweak the content to try to make up for the poor header creative supplied
Even if you don’t have the budget for world dominating branding, the simple steps above should help you to ensure it doesn’t dictate the success of your conference website.