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Should You Create a Website or Blog for Your Special Event?

A special “Event Website” might be a perfect way to promote your event. But is it worth the effort?

Let’s say your company or group decides to hold a special event six or twelve months down the road. Eventually somebody on the planning committee will suggest the group create a special website for the event: “We can create an online registration form, include information about the special speakers and entertainment, post a schedule, and provide links to accommodation, travel agents, etc., etc.”

Sounds like a good idea.

But how can you maximize the effectiveness of such a site? Will it be something that people actually refer to and use? Or will creating it just be a waste of time and effort? Do you have somebody in the group who can get this kind of site up and running quickly? Or will you have to defer to your already overworked company webmaster or the same creative volunteers who are always exploited for such projects?

And will anybody apart from a few select insiders (your committee members) actually be able to find the site once it is set up?

Some important issues to consider

Here are some of the more important issues to consider before you go ahead and create another website that nobody looks at.

1. Will its content be “deep” enough to make it more than just an online announcement? Many websites start out as good ideas, but quickly fizzle when their creators realize they don’t really have much to say. In the case of event websites, the “depth” of a proposed site will depend on the event itself.

For instance, say your Agricultural Society is running a Fall Fair. Wouldn’t an event site be ideal for providing details about competition categories, judging criteria, daily schedules of events, as well as online registration forms, entertainment highlights, and general program notes? In other words, an extended event of this sort provides lots of fodder for making a site “deep” enough to be a valuable resource for visitors and participants alike.

On the other hand if your committee is in charge of organizing a one night Fireworks Display, then chances are the program will be pretty light. There’s not much need for a complete website. You would be better off just creating a web page or an announcement and asking the webmasters of relevant sites to give you some exposure.

Of course there are lots of events right in the middle between these two examples. Family Reunions, for instance. What could be better than a “Jones-05.org” site? You could include contact information, program descriptions, historical photos, comments from family members across the country…on and on it goes.

2. Should your “site” be part of another already existing one, or should you register a new domain specifically for your event?

Say you are organizing the 50th Anniversary Some Company Picnic. The Company already has an active website — www.something.com. And the company website already has a skilled webmaster. Would it be better to ask your company webmaster to put your event in a directory on www.something.com — for example, www.something.com/50th, or www.50th.acmewidgets.com? Or would you be better off to create a brand new “domain” just for the event — something like www.something50.com?

First of all, don’t worry about the cost to create your own site. Yes, it does cost something to register a new domain and find a host. But these costs are insignificant in the larger scheme of things. You can register a “.com” domain for as little as $9.99 (per year), and an .info or .biz domain for as low as $11.99 or less. And hosting is very cheap as well. The standard these days is about $4.19 per month for a reliable host. Here is an inexpensive source for domains.

Much more important is whether or not your group has the know-how to actually create a website from scratch and then maintain it for a year or more. If you have an experienced web designer or webmaster on your committee he or she will probably be able to set the group up for next to nothing. If you don’t, I suggest you find one before tackling the job. This is not the time for flying by the seat of your pants.

If you are able to find someone with the necessary skills, then it’s a no-brainer. Go ahead. Register your own domain and build your own site. You won’t have to beg your overly protective company webmaster for favors. And just as important, you will be able to register a memorable domain name that will help you in your promotional efforts. Which do you think would be easier to remember and find: www.something.com/50th or www.something50.com?

3. Should you create an Event Blog instead of a normal website? Or both?

Blogs have several advantages over “ordinary” websites. First, you do not need a dedicated domain name, or even space on an already existing site. You can create a perfectly satisfactory blog site on one of the free blog services such as Google’s own blogspot.com.

Second, blog entries are usually easier to make than changes or updates to a normal website. Blog posts are made by using a web form. No knowledge of html is required (although it is helpful), and you do not have to use mysterious computer functions like “FTP” to “upload” your files to a server somewhere out in cyberspace.

Third, blogs have a more “happening” chatty feeling about them because they are generally less formal. You bang your posts off as regularly as you can. This allows you to issue regular updates to keep your readers informed as plans develop, schedules change, and so on.

Fourth, blogs have some advantages as far as “networking” and traffic generating are concerned. There are many directories where you can list your blog, and you can network with like-minded bloggers — other people interested in your subject matter. You can also use your blog to do some serious “power linking”.

The down side is that a blog may not be the best place to keep your definitive schedules and descriptions of events — the ones you expect people to refer to as authoritative sources of information. This is more a matter of perception than reality. A blog is quite capable of being home to “static” information which you can readily update and provide links to. But the perception may be that this is transitory and changing.

Should You Create a Website or Blog for Your Special Event?

A appropriate “Event Website” ability be a absolute way to advance your event. But is it account the effort?

Let’s say your aggregation or accumulation decides to authority a appropriate accident six or twelve months down the road. Eventually somebody on the planning board will advance the accumulation actualize a appropriate website for the event: “We can actualize an online allotment form, cover advice about the appropriate speakers and entertainment, column a schedule, and accommodate links to accommodation, biking agents, etc., etc.”

Sounds like a acceptable idea.

But how can you aerate the capability of such a site? Will it be something that humans in fact accredit to and use? Or will creating it just be a decay of time and effort? Do you accept somebody in the accumulation who can get this affectionate of website up and alive quickly? Or will you accept to adjourn to your already busy aggregation webmaster or the aforementioned artistic volunteers who are consistently exploited for such projects?

And will anybody afar from a few bad assembly (your board members) in fact be able to acquisition the website already it is set up?

Some important issues to consider

Here are some of the added important issues to accede afore you go advanced and actualize addition website that cipher looks at.

1. Will its agreeable be “deep” abundant to accomplish it added than just an online announcement? Abounding websites alpha out as acceptable ideas, but bound abort if their creators apprehend they don’t absolutely accept abundant to say. In the case of accident websites, the “depth” of a proposed website will depend on the accident itself.

For instance, say your Agricultural Society is alive a Fall Fair. Wouldn’t an accident website be ideal for accoutrement data about antagonism categories, anticipation criteria, circadian schedules of events, as able-bodied as online allotment forms, ball highlights, and accepted affairs notes? In added words, an continued accident of this array provides lots of fodder for accurate a website “deep” abundant to be a admired ability for visitors and participants alike.

On the added duke if your board is in allegation of acclimation a one night Fireworks Display, again affairs are the affairs will be appealing light. There’s not abundant charge for a complete website. You would be bigger off just creating a web page or an advertisement and allurement the webmasters of accordant sites to accord you some exposure.

Of advance there are lots of contest appropriate in the average amid these two examples. Ancestors Reunions, for instance. What could be bigger than a “Jones-05.org” site? You could cover acquaintance information, affairs descriptions, actual photos, comments from ancestors associates beyond the country…on and on it goes.

2. Should your “site” be allotment of addition already absolute one, or should you annals a new domain accurately for your event?

Say you are acclimation the 50th Anniversary Acme Widgets Aggregation Picnic. The Aggregation already has an alive website — www.acmewidgets.com. And the aggregation website already has a accomplished webmaster. Would it be bigger to ask your aggregation webmaster to put your accident in a agenda on www.acmewidgets.com — for example, www.acmewidgets.com/50th, or www.50th.acmewidgets.com? Or would you be bigger off to actualize a cast new “domain” just for the accident — something like www.acme50.com?

First of all, don’t anguish about the amount to actualize your own site. Yes, it does amount something to annals a new area and acquisition a host. But these costs are bush in the beyond arrangement of things. You can annals a “.com” area for as little as $12.95 (per year), and an .info or .biz area for as low as $7.95 or less. And hosting is actual bargain as well. The accepted these canicule is about $5.95 per ages for a reliable host. Here is an bargain antecedent for domains.

Much added important is whether or not your accumulation has the ability to in fact actualize a website from blemish and again advance it for a year or more. If you accept an accomplished web artist or webmaster on your board he or she will apparently be able to set the accumulation up for next to nothing. If you don’t, I advance you acquisition one afore arrest the job. This is not the time for aerial by the bench of your pants.

If you are able to acquisition anyone with the all-important skills, again it’s a no-brainer. Go ahead. Annals your own area and body your own site. You will not accept to beg your ever careful aggregation webmaster for favors. And just as important, you will be able to annals a memorable area name that will advice you in your promotional efforts. Which do you anticipate would be easier to bethink and find: www.acmewidgets.com/50th or www.acme50.com?

3. Should you actualize an Accident Blog instead of a accustomed website? Or both?

Blogs accept several advantages over “ordinary” websites. First, you do not charge a committed area name, or even amplitude on an already absolute site. You can actualize a altogether satisfactory blog website on one of the chargeless blog casework such as Google’s own blogspot.com.

Second, blog entries are usually easier to accomplish than changes or updates to a accustomed website. Blog posts are fabricated by application a web form. No ability of html is appropriate (although it is helpful), and you do not accept to use abstruse computer functions like “FTP” to “upload” your files to a server about out in cyberspace.

Third, blogs accept a added “happening” communicative activity about them because they are about beneath formal. You blast your posts off as consistently as you can. This allows you to affair approved updates to accumulate your readers abreast as affairs develop, schedules change, and so on.

Fourth, blogs accept some advantages as far as “networking” and cartage breeding are concerned. There are abounding directories area you can account your blog, and you can arrangement with agreeing bloggers added humans absorbed in your accountable matter. You can aswell use your blog to do some austere “power linking”, as I outline in my alternation of online writing alleged Power Linking with Blogs.

The down ancillary is that a blog may not be the best abode to accumulate your absolute schedules and descriptions of contest the ones you apprehend humans to accredit to as accurate sources of information. This is added a amount of acumen than reality. A blog is absolutely able of getting home to “static” advice which you can readily amend and accommodate links to. But the acumen may be that this is concise and changing.