You want to set up a website for your venue, but what should you include? Of course, there’s the usual generic website stuff, like a home page, reviews, etc. However, a venue website differs from other websites. Your conversion rate is based on ticket sales rather than physical purchases. Here are our eight recommendations to help you get your bookings through the roof, whether you’re a theatre, music venue, or cinema.
Keep your venue front and centre of your website design. Use photographs to showcase what you do and any interesting details of your space. Keep everything else visually simple so your website is easily readable and easy to navigate, rather than cluttered, so visitors can quickly find what they are looking for.
Use your About page to spotlight what makes your venue unique. Maybe it’s the architecture or historical significance. One of our favourite examples of this is The Curzon (who, in the interest of honesty, also happen to be on our clients).
You could even include a “meet the team” area with photos and profiles of your staff. Giving behind-the-scenes access increases familiarity when website visitors attend your venue for the first time.
Keeping your website updated with all the latest news is an easy way to keep adding fresh content to your website, which is excellent for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)! It also encourages return visits from those who want to stay up-to-date with what you have going on. As well as sharing information about upcoming events, you can post photos of what’s been happening, too.
Highlighting what’s on with an events calendar is a great way to build traction for upcoming events. Include images and an overview for each event, so potential attendees know what to expect. You can even include filters so website visitors can search by date, time, performance type, etc. Leading us nicely to our next point…
Enabling visitors to book directly from your site can improve your conversion rate, making the process easier for the customer than going elsewhere to complete the booking process, such as via phone. The Barn Theatre does this well with a Spektrix integration to their website (Full Disclaimer Alert; Rigorous Digital completed said integration). Another plus is that with the correct permissions, you can use the contact information they give you to follow up with further marketing.
Answering Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) helps limit repeat enquiries for the same information. For example, include information on public transport links, car parking arrangements, refunds and rescheduling policies, accessibility, and refreshment availability to help customers plan a visit to your venue.
Have multiple ways visitors can get in touch with you to ask any additional questions they may have. Options include a Contact Us page, displaying your contact details prominently on the header or footer of each page of your website, a pop-up contact us form, or a chatbot.
Remember to give the office hours to reach your phone line, particularly if this differs from your venue’s opening hours. Also, setting up an automated response to contact forms and emails with an estimated response time lets the enquirer know their communication has been received and sets expectations for when they will hear back; especially important if they have tried to contact you an hour before they are due to arrive, but the method of communication is not monitored 24/7.
Connecting with your audience through social media is a great way to build a community. Add social links to your website to make it easy for visitors to find and connect with you on your social media channels. Another option is a newsletter sign-up form. Don’t forget to use these to drive visitors back to your website also!
In summary, you need a website that is an extension of the experience of your venue. Adding these elements to your venue website should help get those bookings rolling in and your audience coming back time and time again.
Rigorous Digital is a Digital Marketing Agency based in Cheltenham, UK, servicing an international client base. Ticket-based websites are one of our specialisms. Want more website and marketing tips straight to your inbox? Then, sign up for Rigorous Bulletin, our monthly newsletter.
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