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The "Bucket" Approach to Event Website Strategy

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Oct 02, 2015
event website strategy

As a general rule, the UD team is not really the “fly by the seat of our pants” type. We’re a tribe that kind of prefers strategy as a main course (with a side of strategy and maybe a few bites of it for dessert too). And not to get all meta on you here, but as the guy in charge of strategy around these parts, I like to think putting strategy first is a really good strategy. Consider: When’s the best time to consult a roadmap? When you’ve been driving in circles for 45 minutes or before you pull out of the driveway?

For sure, strategy as course correction has its place but given the choice, we’re going to start at square one every time. If you’re lucky enough to be at the starting line of a new website project for your organization, here’s a great little field guide for you based on our successful event website strategy approach. It’s an idea built around “buckets” of information that ensures every new design element and function you’re considering for your site serves a purpose, with a direct link back to your ultimate objectives.

Step 1: Identify Your Buckets

Every department in your organization with a stake in the website gets a bucket. For events and venues, this list often ends up looking something like operations, customer service, marketing and sales.

Step 2: Fill Your Buckets

Step two is to identify exactly what each group needs from the website, filling each bucket with this information as you go. Let’s use the example list of buckets I just mentioned to take a look at the kind of information we’re talking about here:

Operations

  • Reduce the number of man hours needed to run an event
  • Decrease errors in data entry
  • Streamline the transfer of information from customers to the operations team (or contractors, venue, etc.)
  • Process payments

Customer Service

  • Simplify the online customer experience
  • Provide access to tools and information in the shortest amount of time
  • Deliver on-demand access to information on all offerings
  • Reward returning clients/customers

Marketing

  • Create online advertising opportunities for sponsors/exhibitors
  • Reinforce consistent brand identity and message

Sales

  • Facilitate lead capture opportunities
  • Expedite lead follow-up
  • Deliver relevant analytics on users
  • Automate the purchase process

 

Step 3: Don’t Forget About Your Buckets!

Now here’s the most important part! As the project progresses, check-in with your buckets at regular intervals. Are the decisions you’ve made or are about to make in line with the needs and objectives you’ve outlined here? If so, carry on with confidence! If not, take a step back and consider what you can do to get back on track. If you can do this successfully, the likelihood of ending up with a brilliant and beautiful website that exceeds all expectations (internal and otherwise) is exponentially higher.

Want more info on the “bucket” strategy or some additional thoughts on the elements of a great event website? Check out our new white paper! And, of course, I’m always happy to trade tips and best practices, so feel free to drop me a line as well!

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