Simon Clayton: Website experiences

ExhibitionRegistration
Websitestock.jpg

Simon Clayton, chief ideas officer at RefTech on the customer journey and website experiences.

 

For around 362 days of the year, the only presence that an exhibition has is their website. So this means they must get it right? Sadly not.

 

I attended a well-known education exhibition a few weeks ago and their website was appalling for a first time visitor. It was inconsistent too – sometimes unbelievably slow and other times not so bad but page load time is critical to your user’s experience. Amazon conducted research that showed that for every one tenth of a second a page took to load, they lost sales.

 

I decided to check out the website before I attended in order to have a look at the exhibitor list, see who I wanted to meet, check out the education sessions and plan my day: Pretty classic visitor behaviour – especially as around 60 per cent of visitors to exhibitions are new each year (according to FaceTime research).

 

The exhibitor list was long and looked very pretty – a vast array of logos (that sometimes took an age to load) but I had no idea what any of the companies actually did. Ah, I realised that I had to click on each logo to read their blurb. If I had clicked on each of them in turn it would have taken me about two days to read about every exhibitor. They weren’t even divided into categories to help me narrow it down, and there wasn’t a way to review them in list form either. While I’m sure that some visitors may have known the companies from their logos, I didn’t and as a school governor I was actually a fairly typical visitor looking to learn and discover new companies at the show.

 

So I’m 10 minutes and many, many clicks in and I still don’t really have a clue about who I’m going to see. I decided to check out the seminar sessions. Again, I was greeted with a pretty row of photographs of the speakers – telling me their name but not giving anything useful away. I didn’t care who was speaking, I just wanted to know what they would be discussing and if it was relevant to me. But this information was yet another click away, and with each page taking half a minute to load, I would have lost the will to live.

 

I’m talking about one website and my experience of it, but unfortunately this is not a lone occurrence. As part of my work, I review a lot of exhibition websites and many of them simply feel that they aren’t actually designed – that they have just happened almost as an afterthought. Registration is always channelled to the website, so your potential visitors are getting a feel for your show before they even register. And your website may be putting people off visiting your show or at best – not encouraging them to make the most of your event.

 

Think about the customer journey, and plan your site around it. Walk a mile in your visitor’s shoes and visit the site as a (novice) visitor would. You may also like to consider your other clients too – and look at the exhibitor user experience because they’re often poor as well. Don’t assume anything, but if you do, assume that they don’t know your event or the industry too well and that your site is there to help them find their way.

 

Simon Clayton
Posted by Simon Clayton
PopularComments
Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Tim Banfield leaves ACC Liverpool for Doncaster Racecourse

Tim Banfield has left his post of commercial director at ACC Liverpool and undertaken a new challenge as executive director at Doncaster Racecourse and Exhibition Centre.

Reed launches SUMS alongside All-Energy 2017

The inaugural Smart Urban Mobility Solutions (SUMS) exhibition and conference will co-locate with All-Energy 2017, organiser Reed Exhibitions has announced.

Full Circle Events expands with new Midlands office

Full Circle Events has announced the opening of its new office in Coleshill, Warwickshire to support the on-going expansion of the business.

Others on EN

Paul Byrom: Opportunity knocks

Paul Byrom: Opportunity knocks

Paul Byrom, AEO chairman and MD at Upper Street Events on the formation and goals of the new AEO Development Board
The height of safe practice

The height of safe practice

Andrew Harrison, ESSA director on continuing to build a robust, safety-first, working culture in events and exhibitions.
All part of the plan

All part of the plan

Kevin Horler, project director of Vividfish Ltd, on the importance of creating an inbound marketing strategy for your next exhibition.

WATCH THE EN AWARDS 2016 HIGHLIGHTS


silverstream.tv

Most Read Stories

Lourda Derry: Making the connection

Lourda Derry: Making the connection

Lourda Derry, director of Easyfairs UK addresses the science behind operations and the profile of our audiences.
Steve Monnington: The Dealmaker in March

Steve Monnington: The Dealmaker in March

Steve Monnington of Mayfield Media Strategies, runs the rule over the latest global exhibition deals.
Helen Lowe: Marketing déjà vu

Helen Lowe: Marketing déjà vu

Helen Lowe, events and marketing manager at Europa International, talks about the importance of keeping up with the creativity amidst the chaos.

Latest News

AEO launches Development Board

AEO launches Development Board

The Association of Event Organisers (AEO) has announced the formation of a Development Board, with the aim of ensuring that the AEO delivers value to all members.
F3 secures Watford FC contract

F3 secures Watford FC contract

F3, the joint venture between One Event Management and Legends of the US, has won a 10-year contract with Watford Football Club.
MA Exhibitions appoints LiveBuzz as exclusive partner

MA Exhibitions appoints LiveBuzz as exclusive partner

MA Exhibitions, the exhibitions arm of media company Mark Allen Group, has appointed LiveBuzz as exclusive registration partner across its entire exhibition portfolio.

Latest Features

The big picture

The big picture

Imagine you could find all the photos taken at your event...well now you can, says Gaggletag founder Gideon Summerfield.
The talent of a nation

The talent of a nation

Following the launch of Connect16 this year, EN catches up with founder Nicola McGrane on experiencing the essence of Ireland.
EN30/30 Breakfast Club in November

EN30/30 Breakfast Club in November

Tasting the delicacies of ExCeL London’s River Cottage, members of the EN30 gather to discuss recruitment, working from home and the potential death of email.

Latest Galleries

ESSA 2016 Conference of Things

ESSA 2016 Conference of Things

This year’s ESSA Conference achieved a record attendance of delegates from across the events supplier industry, representing over 100 companies at Ricoh Arena, on 24 November.
The Prosthetics Event 2016

The Prosthetics Event 2016

Exhibition, education and shopping show The Prosthetics Event, returned to Conference Aston in Birmingham for the third consecutive year on 19 November.
World Travel Market London 2016

World Travel Market London 2016

World Travel Market (WTM) London 2016, which took place on 7-9 November at ExCeL London, celebrated its most successful show yet with a joint record attendance of 51,500.