At Aventri, we understand the importance of an event website; it's why we're so excited to officially bring our new Website Builder to market, which makes building a professional and beautiful event website easier than ever before.
In this Q&A, two of Website Builder's key developers Daniel Leon and Leandro Garcia go behind the scenes into the development of this new and improved experience for Aventri customers, as well as share its most exciting features.
Q: Why was it time to improve Aventri’s website building capabilities?
A: Our original Website Editor was a great tool, but we recognised that it was in need of modernisation. The way websites are built, the way we all consume them and our expectations of how they’ll look and perform has changed radically over the last few years. To keep track with these changes, we decided to start fresh and create a modern Website Builder from the ground up.
Q: The improvements were largely based on customer feedback. What was the process like working with our customers and what did you learn from them?
A: Our customers had a significant impact on how we developed the workflows for this project. It’s not always the big ideas that we learn from our customers; it’s more often the smaller things about using the system that we learn that are truly invaluable. We did a lot of remote testing during development - asking customers to complete a number of key tasks within the Builder and then seeing how they fared. As a designer of any system, it’s then you find out that things that have always made sense to you don’t always make sense to everyone! The cumulative effect of fixing lots of small usability issues is huge to how well the whole product works.
Q: What’s great about Website Builder is that planners don’t have to have a design background to make a great event website. What new features help them do that?
A: Primarily, our customers will be able to use the new pre-built templates we’ve produced. We’ve got over a dozen now and are planning on adding more. It’s gives users the ability to build a visually stunning website in just moments. However, the template is just the starting point; the Website Builder also includes easy-to-use customisation features, widgets with multiple layout options, and a powerful theme editor gives users complete control of fonts and colors to ensure that their brand is consistent across an event website.
Q: What were some popular or modern design aesthetics you kept in mind while building these templates?
A: When you look across the templates what I think you’ll find is a lot of clean, colourful, and bold designs that focus on letting event content shine. Many of these templates have large, vivid images on the homepage (what we call ‘hero’ images), which we believe can be particularly effective in telling your story visually without relying on text alone. Simple navigation and clear calls-to-action are also a key feature; we know they need to look great, but we’ve also designed them to perform well – downloading quickly, ensuring effective SEO and of course, making sure visitors are engaged and convert to registrations.
Q. What makes Aventri’s Website Builder stand out against the competition?
A: We built ours with event planners in mind. There are some great third-party site builders out there and we learnt a lot from them, but we know events and the people that organise them and we remained focused on them. For example, we included features that automatically populate event data from our Registration module and other features that implement brand consistency across website pages. One other key differentiator is that we’ve built a tool that empowers both the event professional and the web professional – designers and engineers can use the tool to create their site from scratch with access to the site’s code and the API.
Q: Why is it important that a planner’s website tool integrates with other Aventri product areas such as Registration?
A: We understand the effort that goes into building out an event in Aventri. We know that customers start by adding in a huge amount of content and data for their event agenda, speakers, sponsors, etc. and we know they don’t want to be adding it in all over again when building their website! That’s a key advantage of Website Builder—planners can save an incredible amount of time by using a pre-built template or creating their own that automatically pulls in event content and updates automatically when it's built along side Registration. Once you’re happy with a template, creating a new website for an event could just take seconds!
Q: Do you have any general tips for building a successful and aesthetically-pleasing event website?
A: I think before you do anything else you should think about your target audience, the key message you want them to take away and the key action you want them to take while visiting your event website. Our pre-built templates can give you a great starting point. Pick the one that appeals to you most, adjust it to meet your goals, personalise it and you’re all set.
Q: What’s your personal favorite feature of the new Website Builder?
A: If I had to pick one, I’d say it’s the revision history feature. When I build a website, I know I might make mistakes, and I want to also take risks and see what does and doesn’t work. Having a revision history feature allows me to take those risks and trust that if something goes wrong, I can just revert to a previous version of the site. It’s a perfect safety net.
Q: Overall, what’s one thing you want Aventri customers to know about the new Website Builder?
A: That it was built for them. Every inch of this tool was designed with our customers in mind and we’ll continue to make sure that they’re driving how it evolves.