October 16, 2014

The 10 most common oversights on event websites

Having taken a look at a number of events websites (over 125 per day), it’s become apparent to Jack Nicholson (our Sales Support and, yes, that is his real name) that simple oversights cause events to fall short of their full potential.

Mistakes happen. Nobody’s perfect. Whether they arise from lack of micro-management or simple forgetfulness, promotional mishaps such as non-visible ‘Buy Tickets’ buttons, social media neglect and unspecified event locations are a sin.

Jack kindly shares the 10 most common oversights event organisers make and why they could mean sink or swim.

Lack of dates:
Astonishing as it sounds, Jack’s research has shown many events do not contain this crucial piece of information. Make the date of the event clear from the homepage, along with precise start times.

Location for event:
Location! Location! Location! Just because an event is named the ‘London Folks Festival’ on a website or promotional poster, that doesn’t mean customers will come. Include specific details of the venue; which town it’s held in will peak interests.

Redirected to external websites:
While redirection to a ticketing provider’s website might not seem like a big deal, it is. 71% of ticket buyers would prefer to buy direct from the event organiser or venue.

“You’re taking away the trust element and you don’t want there to be a disconnect from the customer experience. A ticketshop embedded on your website means there are no nasty pop up ads, the trust stays with you. As a result, you retain that relationship with the customer and thats good for building repeat business, growing your event and selling more tickets. You make it easier for the customer!”

We’re well and truly into the digital age and great SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) can earn your event that crucial top spot of a Google search. The bottom line is the more time customers spend on your events website, the better your SEO and online presence is.

For more information on SEO and embedding a ticketshop on your website click here.

‘Buy Tickets’ button not visible:
Jack’s grey hairs multiply thanks to the lack of ‘Buy Tickets’ buttons. Some events websites simply do not have them and it’s a cardinal mistake. If the button is on the website, ensure the button is at an ideal location on the page.

Event fee:
Jack says, “Is the event free, ticketed or both? Free events often don’t show that they are free. For ticketed events you only find out the process of buying a few clicks in.”

Tickets on sale until the moment of events:
There’ve been instances where tickets are not available on the day of an event. This should never happen, and it limits your event’s success.

ticketscript equip promoters and organisers with the option to keep online sales live right up to the start of an event.

Social Media:
Facebook and Twitter present a platform to engage and share. The interaction may start from a glimpse of the Facebook and Twitter badges/icons on an events page. Make sure they’re visible as 699m use Facebook daily.

“I’ve seen events where I’ve had to Google a link to a Facebook fan page, and then find out you can’t even buy tickets through their Facebook, or when I go on their Facebook page the ‘Buy tickets’ button is hidden, which occurs around 70% of the time or the link is dead. Now you’re just turning the customers away.”

For information on how to promote your event using social media click here.

“The promoter/organiser has the ability to sell advertising space on the e-ticket we provide. Whether the space is used to provide free lemonade or you want to advertise a sponsor and generate extra money, you can certainly utilise that space”

For more information on sponsorship for your event click here.

For festival planners:
“If you’re planning a festival for 20,000 people, why not keep the brand alive and get the word out by organising a smaller scale event 3-6 months out, maybe for 1,000 people at a smaller venue”

While daunting, it’s great preparation for when the bright lights are focused on your event and an opportunity to spot the potential cracks. A common crack that appears is entrance management. If that’s the case, ticket box office is what you’re after.

Finger on the pulse:
“You cannot rely on an existing customer base. In an industry that’s as dynamic as this, it’s ALWAYS changing. Getting to know who your customers are will help the business to grow.”

For more information on how to maximise your audiences insights click here.

While this list of errors might get an organiser irritated, Jack suggests, “Do something simple like ask those around the promoters to proofread and get an outsider’s perspective, then it’ll be easier to spot flaws that have a simple fix”.

“Essentially, your event should have the name, where it is, the date, and a link to the ticket shop. All within the first 5 seconds on the website. It should be quite clear from the offset. The oversights reflect on the event”. The most telling stat shows 90% stop buying tickets after a bad online experience.

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By Raj Jilka