Responsive Design for Conference and Association Websites

2005 was a pretty rough year. We had Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and eleven Asian countries were just starting to recover from the Tsunami. There were some bright spots though. Gwen Stefani had the number two song of the year with Hollaback Girl, Green Day hit with Wake Me Up When September Ends and your new website was spectacular… Amazing even.

Fast forward 11 years and here we are. And there is your website. It is looking a little wrinkly, a little old, and it kinda is smelling like moth balls.

Wanna make matters worse? On January 11, 2017, Google confirmed that they were rolling out the mobile intrusive interstitials penalty. In short, your awesome 2005 website is going to start hurting your search results which will start hurting your bottom line. That technological marvel is no longer marvelous and now your association or conference is going to take a financial hit because no one knows what to do. Relax there sparky, all hope is not lost. You can actually recover from this without breaking your annual operating budget.

Part one of the answer is WordPress and the second part is a responsive design.

WordPress has come a long way in the past few years and is now the CMS (Content Management System) of choice for many conferences and associations around the world. In fact, it powers almost 30% of the websites on the globe and it runs 98% of the conference and association sites that we create (all but one). Our little WordPress is all growed up and is no longer just a builder for bloggers and weirdos with tinfoil hats.

WordPress is so easy to use now that anyone can do it. You have the power to update your site at will. Change the look and feel. No more waiting for your web designer to get back from the Bahamas. You want it done, you can do it.

WordPress: The Powerhouse CMS for Conferences and Associations

In recent years, WordPress has evolved remarkably, solidifying its position as the preferred Content Management System (CMS) for a myriad of conferences and associations globally. Today, it powers an astonishing 30% of all websites, a testament to its versatility and reliability. Specifically, in our portfolio, 98% of the conference and association sites we’ve developed are WordPress-driven, save for one. This growth trajectory highlights WordPress’s transformation from a platform primarily for bloggers to a comprehensive solution catering to diverse online needs.

Ease of Use and Customization

One of the standout features of WordPress is its user-friendly interface. It empowers even those with minimal technical expertise to manage and update their websites independently. This autonomy is crucial for event professionals who often need to make timely updates or changes to their sites. With WordPress, you’re no longer at the mercy of your web designer’s schedule. Want to revamp the site’s aesthetics? It’s just a few clicks away.

Responsive Design: A Must for Modern Websites

But what is this responsive thing-a-ma-jiggy that we speak of? Responsive Design is the art of making a website resize itself for whatever device it is running on. Copy the link to this post… Open it on your phone or on your PC, or MAC, or Tablet… It is like freaking magic. It just works and your website can work the same way, and luckily, WordPress is built to be responsive right out of the wrapper.

The Impact on Association Marketing and Conference Planning

For professionals in association marketing or conference planning, a robust online presence is non-negotiable. While social media is influential, its primary role should be to funnel traffic to your website. Here’s where WordPress excels. It offers a rich, responsive user experience across all devices. Attendees and members expect to access information quickly and effortlessly, regardless of their device of choice. WordPress ensures this by providing a platform that’s not only responsive but also optimized for speed and user experience.

To help you on your way, here is a checklist on responsive design from our Friends over at CyberChimps.

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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