Lunchtime Links: How to Build the Perfect Event Website

A guide to building an online home for your next conference. Plus: scouting talent within your organization.

In event planning, it’s not just the venue and speaker and travel arrangements that need figuring out. Your association also has to build a home online where members and others can go before, during, and after the event to find out more. A guide to designing the perfect event website, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links.

The right site: Whether you build a special microsite specific for your event or create a special page for visitors in your existing digital universe, its online home will likely serve as the most important touchpoint for attendees and interested exhibitors. They’ll come for information on registration, costs, travel booking, daily schedules, and even goings-on around town. As part of its month-long series on event technology, editor Julius Solaris and the folks at the Event Manager Blog have created a new infographic called “Anatomy of an Effective Website” that covers everything from your initial call to action and the benefits of responsive design to the integration of social media and other tools during the event. Does your organization develop its own conference websites? What elements are most essential?

Farm team: The New York Yankees are one of the most consistent and successful teams in the major leagues. Love them or hate them (and this is coming from a Baltimore Orioles fan), there’s simply no denying the team’s ability to compete year after year after year. Some say that’s because the Yankees have more resources than just about any other team. Yet, as Virtual, Inc., President Andy Freed points on his firm’s Association Management Blog, the Yankees also have been known to effectively groom talent from within—or, as they say in baseball, down on the farm. But farm teams aren’t exclusive to baseball, writes Freed, noting that associations can cultivate home-grown talent too. He offers three questions associations should ask to gauge their ability to promote from within: Is there a meaningful way for young talent to participate? Do you keep watch for rising stars within your ranks? Is talent development a part of your broader strategy?

Strategy disconnect: Conventional wisdom holds that the senior leaders should be responsible for overall strategy and execution of ideas. Writing on his personal blog, association consultant Jamie Notter uses new research to challenge that notion. The findings from Toronto-based technology firm Mercanix suggest that though senior leaders are often committed to their plans as the way to move the organization forward, its employees often feel “woefully disconnected” from those ideas. When asked whether their company’s purpose made them feel as if their job was important, a large percentage of employees said no, while an overwhelming number of senior leaders said yes. The huge gap between managers and employees is a problem, writes Notter. And the disconnect becomes even more troublesome when looking at whether employees feel their company’s strategic plan makes sense. In that regard, “even more than half of managers don’t get it,” he says.

What does your organization do to keep employees and managers on the same page? Tell us in the comments.


Corey Murray

By Corey Murray

Corey Murray is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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