I started reading an article recently (and then stopped halfway through because I got distracted) about the latest attention span statistics according to The Associated Press. In my quick scan of this article, I learned that attention spans have shrunk by 50% over the past decade, and on web pages with 111 words or less, only about half of the words are read. To put this in perspective, by the time this paragraph ends you will have read 98 words, and if you’re a statistic you would have stopped at around the number 111 in my last sentence.
That’s it. That’s all the web page reading the average person does. Hopefully I still have your attention, because I do have a point.
Seriously, keep reading. I have a good point.
Think about this if you’re an exhibition or conference organizer: your event website has mere seconds to make an impression. One simple glance at your event website should be enough to tell your audience – whether an attendee, speaker, sponsor or exhibitor – if they want to be a part of your event.
If you were going to do a survey of potential attendees, exhibitors, speakers, or sponsors to find out what your website tells them about your event, you would likely hear a sentiment like, “If I’m visiting your event website to learn about your event, I’m not going to give much more thought to attending/exhibiting/sponsoring/speaking if your event website…”
- Does not encourage me to read on about your event within the first few seconds of visiting your home page
- Lacks a strong call to action or sense of urgency
- Does not offer a meaningful description about the event value
- Is too hard to navigate
- Does not provide me with a compelling case that I can use to obtain management approval of my attendance/exhibition/sponsorship
- Is cluttered or completely negligent of any aesthetic considerations
- Isn’t considerate of the device I am using to view it (i.e. responsive design)
In a blog titled Websites Should Help Sell Space recently published by The Expo Group, there is a great collection of insights and tips to help show organizers really think through how to make their event website work better for them. I would encourage you to defy your innate attention span and read through these ideas. I mean it. Drop what you’re doing and read it.