How to Design an Event Registration Website That Converts

Corey Moen
Corey Moen

Event registration website on a desktop computer screen

Global internet use has more than tripled since 2005, and there are 133 times more websites today than there was back then.

Couple that statistic with the overwhelming number of meetings and events—1.8 million in 2009 alone—and the $907 billion in profits generated by the events industry, and you’re left with one major takeaway:

In a world where there’s a huge number of events generating a massive amount of money and an overwhelming amount of places to spend your time online, your conference or event website matters more than ever.

If you’re looking to create an event website that converts people from passers-by to participants and builds excitement well before the doors ever open, follow these eight effective event website design best practices.

Stunning Imagery

When people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information in the same time period.

Imagery is a have-to when it comes to your event website. The text and information you provide are crucial, but the image and branding of your event make it real, and they help the audience picture themselves listening to incredible speakers, mingling with industry bigwigs, checking out a new gadget first-hand at a product launch—or whatever the end goal of your event is.

Clarity

If you’ve ever visited a restaurant’s website, chances are you want just a handful of things: the menu, the hours or the location. But sometimes, those things are buried under confusing navigation, dense, yawn-inducing copy, gimmicky Flash animations or PDFs.

Don’t let your event website fall into the same trap. Give your people the information they’re looking for in a clear, easy-to-understand way and make sure basic event information (event name, date and location) is obvious and straightforward on every page.

Mobile-First Design

Example of a responsive design conference or event registration website on a mobile device

In 2016, the world passed the mobile tipping point—more people now access the internet on mobile devices than on desktop or laptop machines. That’s a huge deal with implications for your event.

Many websites are built for desktop first, where the mobile experience is an afterthought. While your site might be built the other way around, consider how your site is seen by mobile devices first.

If your site doesn’t look good, or if your visitors can’t access the same information on their mobile device, they’ll click out before giving you a second chance.

One Call to Action

Every event registration website should funnel all visitors to do one thing and one thing only. Everything else is just icing on the cake that builds interest.

For example, Marketing United, a marketing conference in Nashville, Tennessee, has a ticket-purchasing form on every page of its site, giving visitors the option of purchasing tickets right when they see the specific thing that piques their interest.

Hierarchy

Visual hierarchy is the difference between a site that influences user flow and decisions and a site that just “looks nice.”

By strategically using size, color, layout, spacing and style, you entice your visitors to stay on the site, keep reading and build toward an eventual goal: registering for your event. It also helps your readers distinguish the really important information from the nice-to-know material.

Name-Drop Your Target Audience

In his breakthrough book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” Dale Carnegie wrote that “a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

While technology isn’t quite at the point of immediately knowing your name when you visit a site (yet!), knowing your specific situation or job title might be the next best thing.

Consider mentioning specifically who would benefit most from attending your event: marketing managers, repair technicians, human resources professionals or countless other niches.

Social Proof

Eating at an empty restaurant or being the only person in attendance at a movie is a weird feeling. At your event, you don’t want your people to feel alone in their decision.

If it makes sense for your event, make sure you brag about the in-demand speakers you’ve booked and get testimonials from past events to build FOMO for this year.

Urgency

“Time is running out!” “Register now!” “Early bird pricing ends tomorrow!”

You’ve probably seen things like that on other websites. That sense of urgency, whether it’s artificial or not, is a useful, emotional way of getting people to make their decision sooner rather than later.

Work urgent verbiage into your event website. For added urgency, include a countdown timer that ticks down toward a particular date—the day of the event, for instance—to give a visual indicator of the pressing need to register.

The website for your conference or event is an integral part of overall event success. As a critical part of every successful marketer’s plan, every element must be strategically addressed to hit the right notes and impact your organization’s bottom line.

Learn more about driving real results with event strategy in our ebook, “7 Ways to Make Your Event More Strategic.”

 

7 Ways to Make Your Event More Strategic Ebook from ITA Group

 

Corey Moen

Corey Moen

Corey Moen is a designer at ITA Group that is passionate about all things creative, but specifically focuses on digital design, strategy and all things user-centric.