As the founder of Devstars, I’ve had the privilege of steering our team through various digital landscapes, and one area that always excites me is developing event websites. Like their physical counterparts, event sites are dynamic spaces that evolve before, during, and after an event. The key to crafting a truly engaging event site lies in understanding its multifaceted nature and the critical elements that ensure its success.
The Phases of an Event Site
At Devstars, we approach event site development through distinct phases: the lead-up, pre-event, during-event, and post-event phases. Each phase is critical and serves a unique purpose:
Pre-Event Phase: Here, we provide detailed event information, registration capabilities, and a sneak peek into what’s to come.
Lead-Up Phase: This is the anticipation-building stage. It’s where we create buzz and inform potential attendees about what to expect.
During-Event Phase: The core of the experience. It’s live, it’s happening, and it’s where real-time engagement peaks.
Post-Event Phase: Often overlooked, this phase is crucial for feedback, content recap, and maintaining the momentum generated by the event.
Enhancing Event Sites with Effective Onboarding and Data Strategies
The onboarding process on an event website is not just about user registration; it’s a crucial step in data collection and building a relationship with your audience. At Devstars, we give special attention to this phase, ensuring it aligns with our commitment to privacy, GDPR compliance, and effective visitor engagement.
Onboarding: The Art of Balancing Data Collection and Privacy
Minimalistic Approach: In the initial stages, ‘less is more’ is our mantra. We focus on gathering essential information, reducing friction, and enhancing user experience. This approach respects the user’s time and aligns with GDPR requirements by not collecting unnecessary data. Single sign-on and Open ID booth make it easier to onboard attendees.
Privacy and GDPR Compliance: As a digital agency deeply invested in ethical practices, we ensure our event sites fully comply with privacy laws and GDPR. This involves transparent data collection policies, precise opt-in methods, and secure data handling processes.
Building Trust: By respecting user privacy from the outset, we lay the foundation of trust, which is vital for sustained engagement.
Nurturing Visitor Intelligence Through Engagement
Progressive Data Collection: We gradually gather more information as users interact with the event site over its lifespan. This is done through interactive elements, feedback forms, and participation in various event-related activities.
Tailored User Experiences: The data collected during these interactions allows us to tailor the user experience. For example, suggesting sessions based on their interests or reminding them about sessions they registered for enhances user engagement.
Long-Term Relationship Building: This ongoing engagement is about enhancing the current event experience and building a relationship with the audience. By understanding their preferences and behaviours, we can provide more personalised and relevant content in future interactions.
The Pillars of an Effective Event Site
Hosting and Analytics: Robust hosting ensures the site remains accessible and responsive, regardless of traffic spikes. Coupled with sophisticated analytics, we track user engagement and behaviour, gaining valuable insights for future events.
Data Management and Security: With the ever-growing concerns around data privacy and security, Devstars prioritise safeguarding user data while efficiently managing it to enhance user experience.
Crowd Management: Much like managing crowds at physical events, online crowd management involves guiding visitor flows smoothly through the website, ensuring they find what they need without bottlenecks.
Devstars’ Prowess in Event Site Development
Our journey in this domain is rich and diverse. For instance, the MTV European Awards websites we developed testify to our capability to handle high-profile, multilingual events. The sites were not just informational hubs but immersive experiences that resonated with a global audience.
In the mid-90s, we pioneered live band broadcasts featuring artists like Supergrass. These early forays into live streaming laid the groundwork for our future endeavours.
More recently, our work with ‘We Are Family’ for Adobe and Kantar Talks demonstrated our adeptness in creating sites that support live events with interactive elements, allowing users to engage with live panels actively.
Maximising Functionality with Third-Party API Integrations
In our quest to build comprehensive and efficient event sites at Devstars, we harness the power of third-party API integrations. These integrations add rich functionality and significantly reduce development costs and time. By leveraging existing tools, we avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’, focusing instead on creating a seamless and enhanced user experience.
We have extensive experience integrating various CRM tools, understanding that each event and client has unique needs. These integrations streamline various aspects of customer engagement and management:
Zendesk, Hubspot, Drip, Sendinblue: Integrating these platforms allows us to manage customer interactions effectively, automate marketing processes, and provide valuable insights into attendee behaviour. This leads to more personalised communication and better audience understanding.
Integrations for Live and On-Demand Streaming
The essence of any event site is its ability to broadcast content. By integrating with top-tier streaming platforms, we ensure high-quality, reliable streaming experiences:
Vimeo, YouTube, Brightcove: These platforms offer robust streaming capabilities, ensuring that live and on-demand content is delivered seamlessly to the audience. Our expertise in integrating these platforms ensures we can cater to various streaming requirements, from simple broadcasts to complex, multi-camera productions.
Social Media Platforms: Integration with social media sites like Facebook and Instagram extends the reach of events, tapping into the vast audience these platforms hold. This also facilitates real-time engagement and increases the event’s visibility.
Live Event Chat and Interaction Tools
Engagement is key in any event, and this is where chat and interaction tools come into play. Integrating tools like Slido and Eventify adds an interactive layer to the event sites, allowing attendees to:
Engage with Each Other and Panelists: These tools facilitate real-time discussions, Q&A sessions, and networking opportunities, mimicking the interactivity of physical events.
Participate in Quizzes and Polls: Interactive elements like quizzes and polls engage the audience and provide valuable data on their preferences and opinions.
The Data Advantage
Integrating these tools does more than just enhance functionality; it also generates a wealth of data. This data is invaluable for post-event analysis, helping us understand attendee engagement levels, content preferences, and overall event impact. It guides us in making data-driven decisions for future events, ensuring continuous improvement and personalisation.
Tailored Data Solutions
Understanding audience interaction goes beyond what standard tools offer. For events like registered webinars, where details like viewer duration and interaction are crucial, Google’s anonymised Analytics fall short. This is where our custom-built tools and dashboards come into play, offering live metrics and insights that enable targeted post-event marketing.
By combining our development expertise with the strengths of various third-party APIs and tools, we deliver event sites that are cost-effective, feature-rich, and tailored to the unique needs of each event. This approach lets us focus on what we do best – crafting unforgettable digital experiences.
The Future of Live Event Production: AI, Machine Learning, Metaverse, Chatbots, and Crypto
At Devstars, we’re continually exploring how emerging technologies can revolutionise the live event production industry. In the coming year, we are looking at an exciting intersection of AI, machine learning, metaverse, chatbots, and cryptocurrencies and their potential to transform live event experiences.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Personalised User Experiences: AI and machine learning can tailor event experiences to individual preferences, suggesting sessions, networking opportunities, and content based on past behaviour and interests.
Efficient Operations: These technologies can optimise event planning and management, from logistics to audience analysis, ensuring a smooth and well-orchestrated event.
The Metaverse: A New Dimension in Live Events
Immersive Experiences: The metaverse offers a 3D virtual world where physical and digital realities merge, allowing attendees to engage more effectively.
Global Accessibility: With the metaverse, geographical boundaries blur, enabling global participation without the need for physical travel.
Chatbots: Enhancing Engagement and Support
Real-Time Assistance: AI-powered chatbots can provide instant support to attendees, answering queries and offering information, enhancing the attendee experience.
Data Collection and Analysis: Chatbots also serve as a tool for collecting attendee feedback and preferences, offering valuable insights for future event planning.
Cryptocurrency: The New Frontier in Transactions
Simplified Payments: Crypto payments can simplify transactions for international attendees, offering a seamless and secure payment option.
Innovative Monetization: For event organisers, cryptocurrencies open new avenues for monetisation, such as ticket sales or exclusive content access through crypto transactions.
Ticketing, membership and verification for events could be handled by NFTs for example.
The Impact of These Technologies Today and Tomorrow
Today, AI and chatbots are increasingly used to enhance customer service and personalise user experiences. Cryptocurrencies are slowly gaining traction as a viable payment method in specific sectors. However, they still need to work on breaking through due to a lack of network effect.
The Coming Year: We anticipate a deeper integration of these technologies. The metaverse, in particular, is poised to offer groundbreaking ways to experience live events, with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) playing significant roles. Machine learning will continue to refine how we analyse event data, leading to more nuanced and effective event strategies.
Creating an exceptional event website is an art that combines technical prowess with a deep understanding of user engagement. At Devstars, we don’t just build websites; we support agencies in crafting immersive digital experiences. From handling the adrenaline of live events to dissecting post-event data for actionable insights, our journey has been about pushing the boundaries of what digital platforms can achieve for events. We bring this passion and expertise to every project, ensuring that each event site is a digital space and a vibrant, engaging community hub.
We are incredibly excited about the potential of AI, machine learning, the metaverse, chatbots, and cryptocurrencies to enhance and redefine the live event experience. As these technologies become more integrated into our daily operations, they promise a more connected, immersive, and efficient era in live event production.