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« How to Use Words on Your Event Web Site . . . | Main | The Danger of Not Having Your Event »

Do I Need to Redesign My Event Web Site?

One comment I hear often is “we want to redesign our event web site.” Before you start of thinking of a redesign, ask yourself, “Do I really need to redesign my event web site?” There seems to be this common belief that if you redesign a web site your fortune will instantly improve. Unfortunately that simply isn’t the case. Companies have spent countless dollars on web site redesigns with little ROI. Let me share a few event web site redesign stories for your consideration . . .

Event_web_site_redesign

The Importance of Looking at Your Past
Recently a friend of mine insisted on redesigning their event web site. A driving factor was the desire to “re-brand” their online identity. As part of the initiative an in house hosting solution was setup and they built a custom content management system for the web site. Thousands of dollars were invested. Here’s the kicker . . . the previous four years of web statistics were for the site were never referenced during any part of the redesign. You should NEVER build a web site without carefully considering your existing web statistics.

“It Looks Like an Infomercial!” – Change it!
Here’s another story. Last year, a different event organizer insisted on redesigning their event web site. It had been a few years since anything was done with the design. Their reasoning was that the previous layout and copy “looked like an infomercial.” Looking good was the emphasis of the new design. The event organizer brought in a different web developer to redesign the site.  Almost every single sales (infomercial) element of the previous site was stripped away in the redesign. The end result . . . The “better looking” web site took a 69% drop in online ticket sales from year to year.

Great Web Site Fundamentals
A great event web site has little to do with design, layout, or graphics. People don’t visit your event web site because it’s “beautiful” or “looks cool.” (Sorry graphic designer people.) Visitors are coming to your event web site because the information you have for them is relevant to their needs. Take a look at Google, Craigslist, Wikipedia, etc. Their success is driven by text based content that’s useful to the user. Is a professional looking web site important? Yes, absolutely!  I’m not suggesting you should have an ugly looking web site.  I’d say that a highly informative web site is far more lucrative.

Here’s the bottom line . . . before you even think about redesigning your event web site, spend some time focusing on the simple things. Some of my most successful event promotion endeavors have been with web sites that were a few years old. Look at your web stats or consider improving your existing web site copy. The most cost effective upgrade you can do on ANY web site is providing your target audience with better information. Upgrading the information on your web site could be done for next to nothing, if anything at all.

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