When Gary and I choose the events we want to visit, it’s normally as a result of the event’s website. I believe a lot of potential event visitors do the same thing. It is an easy and fast way to see what an event is all about, and when it is going to take place. So, it amazes me when a festival either doesn’t have a website or has one that is so vague that it is useless as an information tool.
As I have mentioned in previous blogs, being too cute or over exaggerating, can be just as bad. The old KISS principle – “Keep it simple, stupid” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISS_principle ) should be applied here. Having a simple but factual festival website, in my opinion, is best! The following is my list of “What festival websites should include”:
Accurate description of your event
Event costs (all of them)
Parking information, including costs if any
Directions to the event including a map for out of town visitors
Event program and guide, including activities, activity locations and activity times (A site map is always helpful)
Contact list, who and how (I always like to see a way of e-mail contacting)
You or your web designer may have other ideas, and that’s okay, but these basics should always be included.
Other good things to include, but not as important as the above are:
Special links (local restaurants, hotels, attractions and businesses)
Also, make your site printer friendly. I like to print out festival information and take it with me. I get more out of the festival that way.
Finally, it is important that your website is accessible to mobile phones. Search engines, especially Google are penalizing (not showing your website high on search page) websites who are not accessible. This doesn’t mean that you have to have an APP, but just that when your website is reduced to mobile size it is readable.
Your website is your voice! Make sure that your web designer understands this and adheres to your instructions!