If you are either looking to build your event website for the first time or feeling like your current website needs an upgrade, it’s very exciting and easy to get caught up in the fun of designing graphics, creating slideshows and creating videos.
You want your design to be fun and exciting but you also want it to be full of all the information your potential participants, sponsors and volunteers need to know.
Most large events go all out and have the expertise (and money) to build a very detailed website that includes rotating content, news feeds, social media links, etc. But you’ll notice that it’s still extremely easy to find all the same information you would for a smaller event using just a basic event listing (date, time, registration, maps, directions, past results)
So before you are ready to launch your website to the public, here’s a quick list of items you’ll want to make sure you’ve got covered:
- Event Name, Date, Location
Simple. These basics should be big, bold and at the top of every page on your event website. While potential participants are cruising your website, they may become more interested and wonder “What date is the race again?” You don’t want them to have to leave what they are reading to go back to the homepage and back again.
- Full Address of Event Location
Even if the name of the host city is IN the name of the event (like The Great Milwaukee Race), you should never assume all the potential participants that find your website will be local enough to know that city and also know where the starting location of “AJ Bombers” restaurant is located. Notice how the Great Milwaukee Race lists the name of the location and the street address on their mainpage. We highly suggest putting the full name and address of your event location on the main webpage, or creating a separate tab on your website specifically for written directions that also has a link to your address on a service like Google Maps.
- Registration Information
Registration information should be consolidated into one place. When listing the options participants have to register for (like olympic or sprint distance), you should also clearly state the price for each option along with any “early bird” or “member” discounts. Don’t make them have to actually start the registration process to have to find out how much it costs.
As an athlete, I want to know what I’m going to get in exchange for my registration payment. I want to know that registering for your event is a good value for me. Be sure to have list the prizes you will be giving out to your winners along with what every participant gets preferably on the same page as the registration information. $30 to run a 10k seems like a great deal when you also get a free pancake breakfast and an event visor!
- Past Results
Many high-end athletes will want to see past results so they can “size up” what their competition might be if they compete in your event. Also, newer athletes may want to “size up” their competition so they know if your event is more for serious competitors or more age-group participation. The easiest way for them to do this is view past results and see where they would fit in.
- Event Contact Info
It’s nearly impossible to anticipate every question participants may have about your event. So make it easy for them to find a way to contact you if they can’t find the answer on your website. Consider listing more than one phone number and email address along with the contact person’s name.
- “Register Now!”
Once someone has checked out your website and decided they want to register, make sure the link to your online event registration page is easy to find on every page of your event website. And make sure your online registration software let’s you link straight to your registration page. Don’t make your potential participant have to go to your online registration providers website and dig through their pages to search for your event by name or date.
If you are a participant or an event director, what other elements have you found to be essential for an event website?