After years developing festival websites and being festival enthusiasts, we’ve come up with some great tools that you can use to best showcase what your festival has to offer, whether it’s a large or small event. We’ve developed the tools, but we know that alone isn’t enough, so we are highlighting 7 features and tips that will help you create an engaging festival website!
7. Utilize video
Presenting videos of film trailers, artists’ performances, personal profiles, interviews, event previews, etc. allows your audience to embark on their festival experience even before they arrive. Regularly adding new video content to your site also provides an incentive for festival enthusiasts to return to your site to inform themselves of your festival’s upcoming programs in the months, weeks and days leading up to your opening. Video simply helps position your festival site as a source of entertainment and information.
Gala allows you to embed video at many different points throughout your visitor’s experience, from featured videos on the home pageand in the sidebar, to embedding videos in your blog content, and featured trailers on film and event detail pages.
6. Add slide shows and images
Because your festival will be full of fascinating media and programs, images and slide shows help support text descriptions of your events by strengthening the impression your audiences get of your festival content.
Gala provides you with multiple options for easily creating slide shows and uploading images to supplement your festival content. Request a temporary login to our demo site, so you can explore how easy it is to add media to your website.
5. Pay attention to the details
Your festival has a unique identity. One of the simplest ways to define your festival’s mission and voice is by paying attention to the details. Does your festival have a special mission that can be highlighted through your menu titles? Does your festival have a unique color palette that communicates your festival theme? Is there a background image or color you can use that will highlight the type of experience your festival provides?
Gala has over 90 design customization options, which allows you to easily enhance many elements of your website to best communicate your festival’s voice. For example, build a custom main menu with your own architecture, change the button colors, navbar background color, customize the fonts, or add a background image to the page. With so many options available, you can surely create a unique combination that expresses your festival’s unique image.
4. Create an impressive banner
The first place your visitor’s eyes will hit is your banner! This is where all of your festival’s most important information lives. Your festival logo, dates, locations, tagline, etc. help your audiences glean the essentials they need to feel informed about your festival. Having your festival identity built into the banner helps translate the live experience that awaits your audiences.
If your budget allows, don’t hesitate to hire a professional designer to create a banner for you, this is one of the most important elements of your site.
3. Blog to your audience and utilize social networks
In this age, audiences are seeking a sense of interactivity when visiting websites. They want to feel that someone lives in the place they’ve landed. Actively blogging to your audience about festival developments and highlights is one of the best ways to achieve this connection. Gala is build on the industry-leading WordPress platform and utilizes it’s great blogging features. Gala provides share buttons on every post that visitors can use to easily share your content to their social networks instantly.
2. Guide your audiences with Curated Itineraries
No one understands your festival better than you, the festival organizer! You’ve spent months, if not more, curating a fantastic festival program, full of films, events, music, speakers, panel discussions, and more. With Gala’s Curated Itineraries feature, you can easily create paths through your festival to allow audiences to optimize their experience. We’ve attended some very elaborate and complex festivals that host events throughout a city, across several locations, covering a wide range of interests, mediums and genres. Having a selection of events specially curated allows audiences to come away with a holistic narrative of your festival.
1. Don’t send people off your site (for anything)
One of the most problematic issues with many festival websites is that visitors get lost, lose trust in the payment transaction process, and get frustrated with piecing together their schedule, when they have to leave your site to complete their ticket purchases. Any festival enthusiast is familiar with this problem!
This was one of the central issues we wanted to resolve for festivals, so we have built two great features to help you avoid this clumsiness altogether: 1) A range of schedule planning features and 2) integrated ticket sales — both available within your site!
Your audience will be able to view your festival’s schedule, watch trailers right there, then simply click “buy tickets”, add as many tickets as they need to their cart, and checkout without leaving.
Once they book tickets, you are able to manage ticket sales from the back-end of your website and keep track of your patrons. You are also able to organize lists of those who’ve purchased tickets and communicate with them directly. Your website visitors will be able to build their itineraries as they navigate through your site with ease.
You should also remember always to set offsite links to open in a new window or tab.
Put these tips to the test!
As you get more familiar with using Gala to build your festival website, you will find many more useful features. We’ve found that following these 7 tips alone will enable you to really connect with your audience from the moment they visit your festival site, and immediately get them started with their festival experience.
We also welcome your feedback to request that we develop new features that would help your festival.