Written by Jake Fabbri, VP of Marketing at Fonteva
Want to boost attendance at your next conference or event and get guests excited about all your association has to offer? Follow this event website guide!
When your members are looking for information on your association—from the latest news to calendar updates—your website is one of the first places they’ll look. Draw your association members’ attention to your next event with an event website that shares information and builds excitement.
From encouraging your members to register to informing attendees about the sessions in which they’ll be participating, your event website is a convenient resource for them to find everything they need. Your association can create an effective event website using your association management system (AMS).
Ready to get started creating or updating your event website and engaging in some event management strategies that work? Today, we’ll answer a few of your most important questions, including:
- How can I keep track of event registration data?
- How can I offer membership discounts and other options?
- How can I build excitement around my event?
- How can I facilitate events for regional chapters?
- How can I keep event attendees updated?
Once your event website is up and running, your members will be eager to use it to register. With the help of your AMS, your association can gather their registration data to use in better serving your members.
1. How can I keep track of event registration data?
The more your association knows about your members, the more you can tailor those events to their professional interests and needs. Gather registrant information through your event website to learn more about your members’ event attendance habits and preferences.
If you use your association management software to create your event website, you’ll be able to:
- Gather and store your members’ attendance and participation information. When members register for your event through your site, the information they input will automatically transfer to the member database in your AMS. If your AMS is native to a major CRM such as Salesforce, the information will be stored automatically in the CRM.
- Track the popularity of past events and event components. Want to know which events, presentations, or sessions your attendees are most interested in? Use reporting features to track their preferences so that your future events can better address their needs.
- Make registration easier for your members. Because much of your members’ data is already stored in your AMS, they won’t have to reenter basic information or learn to use a new platform when they register for your event on your site.
An event website created in connection with your AMS is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to open registration for your event and keep track of the valuable information your members provide. To further encourage them to register, offer discounts and other perks to members.
2. How can I offer membership discounts and other options?
Whenever your members choose to register for one of your events, they’re demonstrating that they value the opportunities your association provides. Thank members for their dedication by offering them discounts on event registration.
Your members will be excited to receive these benefits in recognition of their continued involvement with your organization. Your association can offer them without an additional administrative burden by using your event website to:
- Automatically apply membership discounts. Reward your most loyal event participants or higher-level members with discounted registration. When your event website is created using your AMS, discounts will be applied automatically to eligible members when they go to register.
- Offer additional benefits. In addition to discounts, your association can give select members the opportunity to register in advance for sessions that you expect to be popular or offer them preferred seating.
- Combine membership and event registration. Non-members or lower-level members interested in attending your event who would like to receive a discount or benefit can combine their registration with a new or upgraded membership.
When your event website is equipped automatically with member information from your AMS, your association can be sure that you’re offering discounts and benefits to the right members. You can check out Fonteva’s guide to association management systems to learn more about using your AMS to offer discounts to event registrants.
The best events are those that your members are most eager to attend. Use your event website to build excitement surrounding events before your guests arrive.
3. How can I build excitement around my event?
To encourage registration and enthusiastic participation in your event, you should get your guests excited before the big day arrives. Use your event website to promote the various components of your event and build brand recognition for your association.
Want registrants and attendees to keep your association at the front of their minds before, during, and after the event? Use your event website to:
- Share the agenda for the event. Increase registration and encourage more active participation by sharing the agenda on your site ahead of time so that attendees register for their preferred sessions and come prepared.
- Sell merchandise related to the event. Branded merchandise is a great way to help members remember their experiences at your event and spread the word about your association whenever they use or wear the items. Want some help creating the right merchandise to sell? You can use a t-shirt design website like Bonfire to create products for your members without requiring extensive graphic design experience.
- Keep members updated on social media. Link to your association’s social media accounts on your website so that members can stay updated on your progress as the event comes together. Regular social updates encourage registration by keeping the event on their mind.
While an association-wide event is a great way to bring members together to share ideas, for larger associations or those spread out across the country, such an event may not be feasible. You can use your AMS and event website to facilitate events for subsets of your association such as regional chapters.
4. How can I facilitate events for regional chapters?
Members of larger associations shouldn’t have to miss out on the opportunities that events offer just because they live too far away from your association’s central hub. Regional chapters and other subsets of your organization can use your familiar AMS and website to facilitate registration and management for their own events.
Just like your association as a whole, a regional chapter can use your AMS to create an event website that can facilitate:
- Event registration. Members who choose to register for a regional event can do so using the same familiar platform that they would use to register for an association-wide event.
- Share the event agenda. Regional chapter leaders or the creators of the event can share the agenda with the specific group of members planning to attend the event.
- Spread the word about your event. Your larger association can also include notices about upcoming regional events so that eligible members are directed easily to the registration site.
Providing accessible regional options boosts attendance at your association’s events and keeps members engaged with your association. Whether you’re hosting an association-wide or a regional event, use your website to keep members updated so they’ll know exactly how they can get involved.
5. How can I keep event attendees updated?
Members who register to attend your event are looking for a fun experience during which they’ll learn a lot and have the opportunity to connect with other members. Keep registrants updated on the details of your upcoming event by refreshing your website with relevant information.
Before you start spreading the word among your members about your next event, make sure that you’ve created an event website that answers all of their questions as efficiently as possible. To do this, you’ll want to make sure that:
- Your site’s layout engages visitors. Just like your association’s main website, your event website should feature a clean, modern layout that directs members exactly where they want to go. You can check out a few key website design tips here.
- The highlights of your event are front and center. Use your website to boost registration by featuring your keynote speaker or the sessions that you anticipate will be most popular. When you market conference content effectively, more members will register and be excited about the event.
- Members know about changes to the planned event as soon as they happen. Sessions fill, plans change, and any number of things can happen between the time your association plans an event and the moment your attendees arrive. Members will appreciate you using the event website to keep them updated on any changes or developments.
As the hub of your association’s event registration and planning efforts, your event website is your members’ main source of news regarding your event. Keep them updated and motivate them to join you with a site that’s engaging, easy to use, and that saves your team time in the process.
Creating an effective event website becomes much easier when you use your AMS. With access to more member information and time-saving features, your association can develop an event website that encourages registration and continued engagement with your association.
Jake Fabbri is the Vice President of Marketing at Fonteva with over 18 years of experience working in marketing management. He has experience with lead generation, content marketing, marketing automation, and events.