event organiser & copy information:
We don't want to teach you how to 'suck eggs' but we do want to help you make your event as visible and as clear as possible to the public. You will find listed here some simple things to ensure your website event is clear and appetising to the public - they pay the entrance fees after all and they expect the best information and service possible for their money. So when building your website, banner or printed advert think about the following.
You need to consider your marketing strategy. If its a one-off event you are unlikely to want to spend weeks or lots of money investing too much in Web search engine optimisation techniques. If its a regular event you do need to consider a website and such techniques. If you want to attract international visitors you need to consider translation services across all advertising mediums. Dont dismiss tradition advertising such as flyers, magazine adverts, direct mail etc. they can all compliment your strategy in getting your event well attended at optimal cost.
a picture paints a thousand words
Other than the image in the page header, you were probably drawn initially to the image above followed by the advert images down the right hand side of the page. Good images will help to promote you event, poor or missing images will, without doubt, put people off attending. They will think 'if they can't be bothered to show a good picture of their event, then its not worth attending' this is especially true of new customers who have never attended before. Make sure you use relevant, optimised and attractive images to help promote the event.
advert text or copy - your propaganda
Writing copy advertising for your event on the web is totally different from writing for print. Print publications have a limited amount of space, but on the web you have unlimited space and the web visitor has limited attention. You need to keep the text short, relevant and attractive. Short paragraphs, headings, bullet points, uncomplicated words & strong titles should be used collectively to help advertise your event.
Make sure you mention all relevant event features, for example we have come across adverts with no mention of 'historic military vehicles', yet there is a download form for such owners to attend.
target audience - sniper rifle not shotgun
One of the most frequent mistakes we see when promoting a military event is confusing the audience with mixed messages. Advertising the event from both a customer and a participant perspective in the same message is wrong, and takes the 'shotgun' approach.
If you want to focus your website visitor, take the sniper rifle approach. Give all the details relating to the customer details on one page (or section) and the details for participants or vendors on a separate page (or section). Do not confuse - make it easy for customers and participants to differentiate. A customer could not care less how much a table pitch costs or what the rules are regarding vehicle movements.
rear echelon administration
After sorting out the images and writing some really attractive promotional text for both customers & participants then make sure you also include the following. Many returning customers just want to find out what time the gates open - so tell them. We find this is probably the second largest mistake organisers make - they do not list open and close times. Include the following information:
☼ Start and finish dates
☼ Start and finish times and any early visitor times & prices.
☼ Prices including children, OAP's, veterans, families and early visitors.
☼ Address, Locations and Map - including GPS, postcodes, Google maps etc.
☼ Parking locations and costs & public transport drop off/pick up points
☼ Catering, Bars, local Accommodation
☼ Picnic & BBQ rules
☼ Are dogs and other pets allowed, if so what are the rules.
☼ Toilet, First Aid, Medical & disabled Facilities
☼ Camping rules, including pitches, facilities, dos and dont's etc.
☼ A list of secondary attractions not already covered e.g. Fun Fairs rides.
☼ Contact Telephone No's and Emails address both for visitors & participants.
Its the same for any re-enactor or military vehicle pages. Make sure you tell them everything they need to know about the event and the administration surrounding the event.
Document your event marketing strategy, consider your images, write accurate and short attractive copy text, differentiate customer and participant information clearly and supply all relevant details that a customer or participant is likely to need. This way you will come across as organised & professional and reduce unnecessary contacts and help to increase visitors & their satisfaction. Then you just have to worry about organising the event!