Events are a huge component of many of your marketing, health promotion, community outreach, professional training, and fundraising efforts. But would you know it from looking at your website? Too often healthcare websites include brief event descriptions copied from print materials, challenging navigation, and few calls to action that frustrate registrants on many healthcare websites.
Here are twelve tips for ensuring potential attendees can find your listing, have the information they need, and can figure out how to sign up for the event.
Enhance Your Event Content
- Expand your event descriptions. Try to help potential attendees learn about the entire event experience – where it’s held, who will be attending, what they will be asked to do, and what information will be presented.
- Use photos and videos of the event location, class materials, props, speakers and even highlights of the content.
- Include feedback, quotes or testimonials from past participants. First-person perspectives can help potential attendees imagine themselves at your event.
Make Event Listings Easy to Find
- Be sure events can be found by topic. Visitors to healthcare sites tend to focus on finding events around a particular topic, rather than browsing events on certain days. They are more likely to want to know when the next flu clinic is than everything that’s going on this Friday. Make sure they don’t have to look through tons of irrelevant information to find the event they care about.
- Watch out for navigational dead ends and cul-de-sacs. Categories with no events, expired event listings, and lists of events with no calls to action can create a frustrating online experience.
- Cross-link events throughout your website. Visitors arrive on your website in more places than just your home page. Make sure it’s easy to access information about relevant events from these entry points.
- Link related events together. Make it easy to locate the best date for a particular topic, as well as support groups, screenings, or wellness topics relevant to a particular condition.
- Promote events with social media. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and even Pinterest can be great ways to share information about upcoming events. Use multimedia elements (see number two) to make your posts even more engaging.
- Pay attention to search engine optimization. Page title, description, and properly-structured headings can help searchers locate your event listing.
Make it Easy to Take Action
- Make the call to action clear and prominent. It should be obvious what someone needs to do to attend the event. Online registration, a phone number to call, or the fact that no registration is required should be among the most prominent items on the screen.
- Let attendees sign up online. If you require advance registration, letting people register online just makes sense. It’s convenient for registrants and a timesaver for call center and event staff.
- Follow-up with clear email messages. Always let individuals know the status of their registration. Don’t leave registrants wondering if they’re “on the list.”
Putting it All Together
We’ve taken all of these ideas (and many more) into consideration as we’ve built VitalSite’s Calendar and Event Registration capabilities. From robust, multimedia event content, to related event SmartPanels, to a fully featured event shopping cart with online registration, VitalSite is the best way to promote events on your healthcare website.
For more information on how to promote your health events online, check out our recent webinar Revenue Drivers: Improving Your Site’s eCommerce Capabilities on our website.