How to use the web to increase your event attendance

Cristina Peralta

Jan. 22, 2018

Written by Ronnie Higgins and originally published on the Eventbrite Blog

88% of consumers gather information online before purchasing a product or service. When someone discovers your event online, what will they learn?

If your event’s online presence doesn’t convince them to attend your event, your attendance will suffer.

Your event brand and the experience you’ve worked so hard to create are the core of your success. If you don’t communicate it accurately online, interested event-goers won’t know your event is worth attending.

Follow these steps to build trust and credibility for your brand and increase your event attendance.

1. Make a good first impression

Research shows that it takes people 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about a website and decide whether to stay or leave. And if they leave, you’ve lost a sale.

 So how do they make the decision? They look for visual look for visual clues that help them figure out if your event is for them.

These clues include:

  • Logos and branding: Brand recognition is a critical part of your attendee’s decision-making process. When they arrive to your website, landing page, or microsite, your logo and branding will indicate that they’re in the right place. Make sure it’s prominently placed at the top and on every page of your site.
  • Images: The top two places people bounce to after visiting your site or page are YouTube and Google Images. Why? The reason is simple: They want assurance that your event is for them and a picture (or video) is worth a thousand words. The wrong image can negatively affect an attendee’s perception of your event, so make sure it faithfully connects them to the event experience.
  • Event details and description: Once your images have connected them to the experience, a few words can make sure nothing is lost in translation. If you’re hosting a conference, these details will be your event agenda. For festivals, it’s your line up. Spell out exactly why someone should attend your event. Who’s performing or speaking? What will they experience or learn?

Once you’ve included all these elements, make sure our page isn’t too wordy — your goal is to show relevance to your audience and promise them value.

2. Rationalize attendees’ interest

Once you have their attention, attendees will want to rationalize their interest — is your event worth the time and cost? They need to know quickly if they afford your event and will it fit into their schedule.

Here’s what they’ll be looking for:

  • Location, date, and time: It may seem obvious, but a surprising number of events overlook this vital information. Don’t forget it. And whatever you do, don’t bury it or they’ll give up instead of making a purchase. Make sure it’s prominently displayed on the page so it’s easily identified.
  • Ticket and registration price:After confirming that your event fits into their busy schedule, attendees will want to know if they can afford it. Make sure there aren’t any hidden fees, too. Unexpected costs at the end of your purchase process might be causing disgruntled customers to change their mind. You can learn more about this and other “conversion killers” in this eBook.

3. Give instruction and direction

After an interested event-goer has bought into the idea of attending and rationalized their choice, they’ll take the next step in the process: to purchase a ticket or register for your event.

Here’s how to show them the way:

  • Call to action: Attendees shouldn’t have to figure out where to go to buy a ticket or register. Make sure your call to action — the button that says “Buy Tickets” or “Register Now” — is easily identifiable. If it’s not, you risk losing their interest at a critical time.
  • Ticket purchase or registration form: Once someone has decided to buy, don’t let a frustrating purchase process make them second guess. Studies have shown that each step in the checkout or registration process will lead to a 10% reduction in transactions. Make your purchase process easy by reducing the number of steps to checkout. You can learn more about common barriers in your purchase process in this guide.

4. Use the web to increase your event attendance

Now that you understand the concepts, check out How to Bring Your Event Brand to Life on the Web. It’s packed with more tips for helping attendees through their decision-making process, and features real case studies to show how best-in-class event creators use the web to their advantage.

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