Having a Separate Web Site for Your Event
Your Event Web Site as a Customer Service Portal

Teasing Users with Event Details on Your Web Site

A recent check of user statistics from various event web sites reminded me of an important point as it pertains to event web sites. It is important to remember that a portion of web site visitors to your event web site are return visitors. As an example an air show web site I'm currently in the process of updating receives 30% of it's visitors as return visitors. Overall the percentage of visitors, compared with total expected web site visitors, is fairly low. The air show date is still over seven months away. But the bottom line is users love new information. By providing new and return users with the newest information you help to establish trust and credibility well in advance of your event. Trust and credibility is crucial especially if you are looking to sell advance sale tickets.

Event Web Sites Provide News and therefore like News Web Sites

It helps to think of your event web site being analogous with a news web site. Going back to Jakob Nielsen's HOME RUN acronym it is critical to keep web sites "Often updated." Ask yourself, "How often would I return to a news web site that never gets updated?" In today's world news agencies play the game of "who can update first." Unfortunately the race to be first comes at the expense of getting accurate information to the public. Make sure that you are releasing the most up to date and accurate information possible. Don't forget to include the disclaimer of "Information Subject to Change without Notice" on relevant piece of information.

Release the Obvious First
If your event web site is the official web site for the event make sure it is positioned that way. In today's world of blogs and forums someone else might report the news first.  It is important not to let other  event sites become an information authority for your event. You need to think ahead on what information you release upfront and what can be released over time. You'll obviously want to release event dates and major acts early enough to build anticipation. If there is information on your event that others in the public can get quick access to, like press releases, you might want to preempt the release of information from other outlets or channels on the event web site.

Give Them a Reason to Return
If you have a few weeks or months of lead time before the actual event takes place use the opportunity to tease users. You might be able to combine each announcement with a feature on your event web site's home page. Think of what information might be most valuable to your event patron.  If you're unsure about what information is most important conduct an online survey or send out inquiry emails. Some of the responses you get are sure to surprise you.

Think of ways to use the release of information to your advantage.  The release of information can go beyond just posting to your web site.  Consider using a digital news letter to pass along insider information about your event. What's common knowledge to an event organizer might be big news for an event patron or web site user.

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