Every user group, conference, or other community event has a website. It’s a great way to provide easy accessibility to event information. Except a good number of sites don’t do that very well. I am increasing frustrated by the amount of effort required to find even the simplest detail about a user group such as a GPS-able address or contact information. Here are ten suggestions for community event websites:
- A GPS-able address should be on the homepage. This is especially important for speakers who may or may not be running late and desperately searching over a mobile device connection for the venue location. The address should be in plain text to enable copying on supported devices. This should also include the venue name, building name, room number, etc.
- The next upcoming event should be on the homepage. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to find information about an event on a site built to share information about events. The event detail should include the speaker name, date, time, and location.
- Provide a contact mechanism. People need to be able to contact you. Some sites list the email addresses of the user group leaders, others have a contact form. I’ve had more luck getting in touch with people directly, but the method used for contact is up to you.
- Have a list or previous and upcoming events. This sounds obvious to most, but there needs to be a list of events on the site. And while a calendar is nice, there should also be a list view.
- The official name of the group should be on every page. You may have a great acronym, but the full official name of the user group should be on every page. If it’s selectable text that’s even better.
- Have links to other local organizers. You should display links to other local user groups, conferences, and events.
- Meeting recurrence information. If your meetings are regularly occurring such as the fourth Tuesday or first Thursday (and they should be), this information should be provided on the website, and preferably on the homepage.
- Venue security information. If your facility has access control, any instructions should be clearly provided.
- Meeting schedule. If your meeting follows a specific format or flow this should be provided to the website visitor.
- Meeting resources. After a meeting has concluded, you should provide any resources from the meeting such as slide decks and code demos as soon as possible. This includes hosting the materials yourself, or more preferably linking the the materials on the author’s site if possible.
What suggestions do you have?