Making first conference impressions count

Jon Benjamin, CEO of conference website specialists ASP, tells CMW why online user experience (UX) is essential to every conference strategy:


Conferences across the globe always have one thing in common; the preferences of their customers and members are always the primary driving force behind how a conference evolves.

At ASP, our research on user experience (UX) in websites found that when a potential conference attendee clicks onto a website, they will make up their mind on whether they like that conference or not in 2.6 seconds.

That is the same time it takes for a Formula 1 car to reach 60mph. Clearly first impressions count.

Potential attendees to your conference demand an easy, efficient, and fast user experience of your conference website. Therefore, good UX is a key cornerstone to building a positive and lasting relationship with your audience.

So, how can UX help your conference succeed? First of all, it is important to remember that search engines love great UX design. No matter the size of your show or audience, UX design will directly affect your SEO rankings through user engagement metrics.

Your website’s SEO can be helped by good UX that improves page speed, mobile-responsiveness, URL structures, page layout and keywords and shorter drop-down menus.

While UX helps with SEO, it also can lead to far greater conversion rates. Studies have found that in some cases, UX has improved conversion rates by 400%. That’s not a typo and that’s not all. Websites with good UX see a major increase in customer satisfaction, loyalty to your show and trust in your brand. Clunky websites with long navigation pretty much do the opposite – remember that 2.6 seconds you have?

Speaking of time, if you can capture your potential conference attendee’s attention, longer dwell time on your website through better UX will increase your revenue. A good user experience will increase the amount of dwell time a visitor spends on your website. Intuitive design will in turn help your target audience to easily find what they are looking for, while a well-developed conference website will enable visitors to choose their preferences so they can interact with a conference in a way that suits them. The net sum of this is heightened brand loyalty to your conference.

In an often highly competitive conference market, loyalty and trust in your offering is vital. UX design can play a pivotal role in ensuring your website leaves a positive lasting impression on your potential attendees. Intuitive layout and clear information are vital to UX on a homepage. While bugs, mislabelled links and an incorrect tone of voice in your content will all negatively impact building trust and loyalty in your show online.

Never forget that your conference website is your year-round shop window so make sure your website’s UX leaves your attendees coming back for more! n

Keen to know more about how to make a good conference website great? Get in touch with ASP at: