Remember that old cliché "don't judge a book by its cover"?
The same sentiment applies to your event website. And ironically enough, to some of the most successful sites on the Internet. Putting all politics aside, I'd encourage you to look at drudgereport.com. (Again, please ignore the political leanings of the website).
Show drudgereport.com to any graphix designer and they're likely to become apoplectic and say, "that looks ghastly! It's absolutely horrible." Design-wise they'd be correct.
In short, the drudge report website is straight out of the 1990s. It's a bunch of text links and photos. Occasionally they'll include a silly animated gif of a flashing light. It's cheesy with an extra side of cheese.
Given all of the above, most people would discount drudgereport.com, solely based on looks. But if you consider their estimated 100+ million annual web site visitors and millions of dollars (some estimates as high as 30M USD a year), and one might think differently.
In 2011, an event client was vilified by their peers for their one-page website. Just like Drudge, the event website was horrible and a bunch of text on a single page. All designed by the guy typing here.
There wasn't a week that went by where either the client or a marketing friend said to me, "Eugene you really have to change that website, it looks B-A-D!"
Within 24 hours of tickets going on sale, the client had sold USD 50,000 of event tickets. All with a one-page ugly duckling website. The client went on to record ticket sales for their event.
If you only had one choice which would you choose:
1. Win a bunch of design awards for your website.
2. Be the proud owner of butt ugly event website that produces record advance ticket sales and sells out your event.
You only get to choose one!
Always remember, it's not about how your website looks. It's all about your website's ability to produce results. Just like that book cover … before judging any website, put your personal bias aside and ask "how well is that website performing?"
Here's more counter-intuitive design advice for event websites: