Today's Helpful Hint for Societies:
Ensure your event details are complete!
In my effort to compile as many genealogy related events that I can into one website, I look at A LOT of society websites. One thing that strikes me almost every time is that I have to search for information on an event.
If your society is planning a big event, whether it is an all day workshop, bringing in a popular speaker or hosting an open house, there is some essential information that should be included. Do not do all that hard work just to advertise poorly! Your members have put a great deal of effort into planning and coordinating, make sure that people get the information they need so they can come!
Here is a great example of a site that does this well, the Ohio Chapter of the Palatines to America German Genealogy Society.
This image, taken directly from their homepage, makes it very easy to see all the necessary details of their next big event, the 2014 Spring Seminar. Note that it includes the following important information:
- Name of the event
- The focus of the society, "German genealogy"
- The date, exact times and FULL ADDRESS. This does (and should!) include the city and state.
- Featured speakers to draw attention to the event
- An easy to follow link for registration, which includes both online and offline options.
Why is the city and state so important?
Do not EVER assume that the person looking at your website is already aware of where you are located. Remember, this is the "world wide web," meaning people from just about anywhere around the globe can see your information. If you make it difficult to determine where the event is located, you will lose potential participants.
Use me as an example. I build this website one event at a time, sitting in my office in Colorado. I do not know every town, city and neighborhood in all of the states, let alone international locations. I have to search for the information (even to the point of googling the society name) to put on Conference Keeper at least 75% of the time. How may potential attendees are you losing because they do not have the time or enough interest to go to that effort?
I would challenge you to step back and take a good, hard look at your society website. Even better, partner with another nearby society and critique each other's sites. Are they easy to read? Current? Do they have all the essential information?
Best of luck! Remember, you have a global audience with your website: take advantage of it!