You know it’s important to inform your customers about upcoming events, but figuring out how best to display them on your website isn’t easy. You want to generate excitement without overshadowing other elements on your page driving new leads to sign up or current customers to order.
With the onset of the pandemic, many companies moved to virtual events. Driving engagement for online and hybrid events presents some unique challenges. Still, even with the obstacles, around 80% of decision-makers say they could achieve the same or even greater success via virtual and hybrid events as in-person ones.
Whether your event is in-person, virtual or hybrid, there are some things you can do on your website to engage users and pull them into the excitement of the experience. Dig into these tips and examples to figure out the best way to bring site visitors on board.
There are many different ways to showcase events on your site. You may decide to share a monthly calendar, for example. You could also swap out events by week or day. Swapping daily may be the least desirable as you’ll not have as much time to register attendees.
With a calendar of events, you can place it in a sidebar, a particular section of your site and even make it expandable to fill the screen.
We love the way Southern Indiana presents their events page. Not only do they highlight upcoming things to do in the next week, but they place a monthly calendar view in the left sidebar so users can scroll through upcoming activities in the next few months. You can also change the filters to look at the events from different layouts and highlights.
There may be a few events you want to keep small and to only a select few. A special customer appreciation dinner might be something you send personal invites to rather than listing the event on your site. Or, you could keep details vague.
On the other hand, you may host some events you want to invite everyone to, such as a Facebook livestream highlighting new products for the holidays. Think about how many you wish to attend the best location on your site.
If you want everyone to see the event details, place something in your hero header. On the other hand, you can de-stress the importance of minor events by adding a note in a sidebar or on an events page.
If you want to emphasize the activity rather than the date, you can use a timeline to show what promotions are upcoming and then list the date in smaller text. The typographical hierarchy of your events section can draw attention to the event itself more than the date it occurs.
Emphasizing the activity works particularly well for entertainment and restaurant venues people attend frequently. They may jump on your site the day they arrive to see what’s going on.
Tachi Palace lays out their current events in a vertical timeline, placing the emphasis on each promotion. The date appears under the heading in regular text. As the person hovers over eac event, the circle to the left animates and grows larger on that point.
In addition, each option is clickable so the user can gather more information as needed. Their most popular promotion is in a box to the left with a big, bold image and special typography for the headline.
If your event requires registration, make sure your call to action (CTA) button pops. Use a bright color and make it clear what happens when the person clicks on the CTA, such as “Sign Up,” “Register” or “Get Free Gift.”
The goal of your events page should be to get your site visitors to engage with your brand. You want them to attend the event, sign up for updates or some other action that continues your dialogue with them.
If you host a lot of different events, you may want to add filters to your calendar so users can hop right to the sections of most interest to them. If you serve different age ranges, this is an ideal solution to make sure people only see applicable events.
The Indianapolis Children’s Museum does a great job allowing users to filter down to the events most interesting to them. You can sort by age group and topic. A few highlights are easy to spot within feature boxes, such as Santa’s arrival for the holiday season.
What visuals do you place around your events on your website? If you’ve hosted the event before, you may already have images from the previous year you can utilize to encourage signups for this year’s happening.
If this is the first time hosting the event, you may have to get a bit more creative with your visuals. How can you create an online experience modeling what will occur at your digital or in-person event? What pictures tell the story and will make users want to jump on board.
The perfect combination of elements for your events on your website may vary from that of other business owners. Try different tactics and survey your users to see how the calendar works for them. Make adjustments as you go.
Utilize A/B split testing to see if people respond better to events listed in a hero header or those placed in a sidebar. Should you add images or leave them out? Try different things and pay attention to your conversions. It may take some time to hit on the perfect event calendar combination for your target audience.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.