Setting Up a Business Website
These days it’s impossible for any business to operate without a decent small business website. It’s not just a place to put information about your business, it’s a vital sales tool and a fundamental part of the way your company presents itself to the outside world.
Depending on the type of event company you have, there will be different aspects of the site that you need to think about. For private events, you need to look approachable as well as proficient for example, and with corporate events you’ll need to look professional, creative and dynamic.
DesignIt’s true that the simplest website designs are often the best, and one of the first things you need to think about is how easy the site will be to use. Spend time researching other sites for companies that operate in a similar way to you, make notes about things you do and don’t like about the way their site works.
User-friendly is a phrase you should keep with you. Don’t make it really hard to find information. Many companies go overboard on their design, making clever sites with moving images and cutting edge design, and lose sight of the main purpose of the site – to present and promote the business. The poor user has got lost and confused in a short space of time and navigated away. Score zero points!
DIY or Expert?The easiest way to put a site together is to get someone else to do it! This might be costly though if you use a large company to do it, and it might be that with a bit of shopping around you can find smaller designers or freelancers that will do it much cheaper. Check that they understand the format though, it’s very different from print design for example.
It is possible to get hold of software packages that enable you to design your own site, so if you are fairly confident using a computer and the internet you might want to have a go at this. It’s certainly cheaper.
ImagesPeople want to see images. Remember this when you’re building the site. If you are offering private services, show images of previous events. If you are offering food as part of the service it’s a very good idea to get it photographed professionally as ‘snaps’ of food can look amateur and unappetising.
Corporate events organisers will often engage photographers at events so make sure you use plenty of these as examples of past work. In the early days when you’re setting up you won’t have many of these to choose from, but talk to your designer about getting good images. It makes a big difference.
DownloadsWhen you set up you will obviously not have case studies to download from the site, but you can certainly offer information. People like to print things off to show others in meetings, for example, so think about that and what you could offer to download.
PricesMost event companies will not show prices on their sites, unless they offer very cut and dried packages – like for example Red Letter Days.
This is to give them room for negotiation with the client, particularly if it’s a bespoke service they offer, but also to keep their competition from knowing too much.