Event website design is an art form—a new creative discipline laser-focused on rousing action and setting expectations. As a planner, an event’s de facto creative director, the ability to work with a professional designer isn’t just part of the job description, it IS the job.
Splash has made it easy with an event platform for brands to control the online experience—before, during, and after the event. With a cadre of prominent designers, Splash has produced event website templates that are powerful, innovative, and cleverly crafted to maximize invitee response. And, best of all, most of them are free to use.
Armed with these templates, event planners and designers can now more easily oversee the production of well-designed websites, which are demonstrating staggering results.
The results are staggering not just in terms of reported time spent on page, conversion rates, and attendance, but also in the quantity and quality of the social media posts—which, many would argue, are now just as important as the actual event. Especially if the event is for a client.
Here are Splash’s best practices for thinking like an event designer.
- Start with a focal point. Begin with an image or a logo, maybe even a unique button. The right imagery and iconography sets a distinctive visual tone and helps reinforce the theme.
- Mood boards and venue visits. Make sure the designer knows the event’s agenda inside and out. A performer, venue, or style of cuisine can inspire the creative direction, or change it.
- Content is king. A page is only as good as the quality of its images and descriptive copy. A photo from past events cements the mental picture of what’s to come.
- Coordinate fonts and colors. Less is more. Work from a palette of three colors, and try not to exceed two total fonts. Fewer fonts and colors are almost always better.
- The rule of 3. Three simple images placed in horizontal succession tell an event’s story in ways even the most compelling copy comes short. Identify the gathering’s most salient aspects, and use simple iconography to create a three-phase timeline. The effect will be dramatic.
- Design for mobile-first. Around 76% of attendees check invitations from their phones. Thinking mobile-first encourages the designer to streamline storytelling and focus on actions. Visual dividers after each section ensure the content is digestible.
- Event pages must be actionable. The event’s call-to-action button should be omnipresent, or at least accessible from the page’s top and bottom. Its presence ensures higher conversions. (Don’t forget to make the hashtag clickable too.)
- “Below the fold.” Lower sections of the page are the best opportunities to surprise and delight. Make the images and copy fun.
- Consider all touch points. From the save the date and the confirmations to the social share buttons and the thank-you emails, think of the event’s lifecycle holistically, and design each with intention of maximizing the experience.
- Resources. Here are Splash’s favorite design websites (and also good places to look for freelance designers):
• Stock images: Stocksy.com
• Iconography: Thenounproject.com
• Cool illustrations: Dribbble.com
• Beautiful designer profiles: Behance.com
• Inspiration: Designspiration.net
• The full package: Splashthat.com