Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

August 24 2014

5 Tips To Enhance Your Annual Meeting Website

By Carolyn Clark

As you brainstorm ways to reinvent what happens on-site at your annual meeting, is it also time to reinvent your meeting website? If your URL looks and feels outdated, you’re running the risk of letting your attendees click out of the window and never bother returning to register. They already spend countless hours browsing online destinations, making purchases and bookmarking favorite pages. They don’t want a clunky, hard-to-navigate website that fails to deliver the information they need. Your meeting website should reflect what you hope to deliver with your on-site experience. It should be easy, exciting, innovative and intuitive. Consider these five tips to make sure it’s up-to-date with the demands of today’s digital attendees.

 1)    Videos will speak louder than text.

Your audience is bombarded with text all day long. From emails to presentations to internal office memos, their eyes are constantly scanning lines of copywriting. Sure, it’s important to include text-based messaging to help readers recognize the benefits of registering for your meeting, but a compelling highlight video can dramatically elevate your value proposition. Whether it’s a slideshow of images from last year’s meeting, a short Q&A with one of your keynote speakers or a two-minute collection of testimonials from past attendees, a well-produced video is an easy-to-digest, shareable piece of content that can captivate your prospective attendees.

WATCH: PCMA’s 2015 Convening Leaders Video Teaser

2)    Peer recommendations speak louder than just about anything.

According to a Forrester survey of more than 58,000 consumers, people need to hear from their peers. Seventy percent of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends, and 46 percent trust consumer reviews. Only 10 percent feel they can count on traditional advertising. While your annual meeting most likely isn’t collecting loads of Yelp reviews, your website can still offer a place to see what others are saying. Rather than just including language from your marketing team, consider adding a section that includes testimonials from past attendees.

3)    Get social.

You don’t have to send your audience directly to Twitter or Facebook to see what the rest of your community is saying about the upcoming meeting. Instead, ask your web design team to integrate your social feeds directly on to a sidebar on your website. This offers a great way for prospective attendees to recognize why their colleagues already have the meeting on their calendars.

SEE ALSO: Why Your Attendees Aren’t Connecting With You On Social Media

4)    Make it interactive.

Online users are growing accustomed to the ability to participate in what’s on their screens. Rather than a look-click-move-on to the next site type of experience, think of opportunities to help encourage readers to actually do something with your content. One of my favorite recent examples is the website for the Platform Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Instead of simply listing their speakers with brief bios, the section of the website lets everyone tweet directly to each of them. In addition to providing a better user experience, all those tweets help build online buzz for the meeting, too.

5)    Go mobile.

If you’re still trying to convince your boss on the importance of investing in responsive design for your website, here’s a statistic to take to your next meeting: almost half of all brand emails are opened on mobile devices. As your prospective attendees are walking to work or sitting at lunch, they are glued to their devices. When they receive a promotional email touting all the benefits of your meeting, the click-thru needs to take them to a web page that doesn’t require loads of finger pinching and scrolling to read.

SEE ALSO: The Future Of Mobile Monetization At Your Meeting

Looking for more tips to transform your meeting website? Click here to read “12 Ways To Make Your Website More Credible” from the editors of Convene.

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