Moving conference programmes into the digital space

Written by Sophie Matsell on 2nd September 2022

(Last updated 5th July 2023)

The Challenge

In 2021, ADR UK contacted us to support them with their annual operations conference. The task was to design a (print) Conference programme to send out to their attendees. As part of our partnership with ADR UK, we have supported them by developing their brand and creating assets for both digital and print materials. However, with covid measures in place, it was the first year of holding their Partnership Conference online.

Being a digital agency, we took this opportunity to think about how to make the user experience more seamless and how to make it easy for the event organisers to collate responses and feedback from the attendees. Therefore, we suggested creating an interactive mini-site that would fulfil these requirements and provide a much more useful tool for ADR UK and a more seamless experience for their conference attendees.

This new conference mini-site provided the opportunity to have the conference programme available online and attach the workshop registration form, so everything relating to the conference was in one place. It also meant they could close seminar registration and edit the messaging around this. If there were any last-minute changes to the programme, this could easily be reflected online. Another benefit is that it drove traffic to the website, creating an opportunity for ADR UK to highlight their recent publications from the main website.

You may think that the initial set-up of a mini-site cost is higher than creating a programme, and you’re right. However, by creating the template, you can duplicate and edit pages to suit future conferences at a much lower cost, as you already have the functionality. Plus, you avoid printing on paper so that mother earth will be happy.

Planning

Initially, we had a short meeting to understand the requirements for their online conference programme. The main priorities were to display the conference programme, allow people to register to attend and sign up to workshops and, of course, follow the website's clean design.

This year we were able to highlight where the original styles and features could be advanced to create a high-quality experience for attendees. For example, for the conference programme, we created an interactive timeline. This meant that the order of the event was clear to both speakers and attendees. Furthermore, ADR UK wanted to add an Awards section. It needed to display the Awards information and a form to nominate multiple nominees.

 

 

Building the Conference Pages

We built these pages using the current style guides we had created when building their website. The client sent the relevant content, which made this process efficient and easy.

TYPO3, the enterprise-class CMS we use, is a component-based CMS (not restricted to templates, unlike other CMSs), so there is no need to create everything from scratch every time you want to add a new section to a site - you can add components (pre-designed by us) using a drag-and-drop system. The main conference page used elements from their style guide. Adding images with text to introduce the conference, followed by a highlight box, can help the reader gravitate toward important information.

Full-width banners with clear call-to-actions can lead the user to the next step, in this case, signing up for workshops and nominating a person or team for an award. Furthermore, toggle boxes allowed us to display information on each award without the page looking overcrowded. Once the nominations were closed, we updated the page with the nominations shortlist.

TYPO3 offers a straightforward way of collecting data through its GDPR-compliant forms module. The Partnership Conference needed two forms, workshop sign-up and award nomination.

Collecting data through a form creates a quick and simple process for attendees to follow. They don’t need to fill in a PDF or email the event organisers directly, which sometimes leads to missing information. Plus, the data is easily downloadable by the CMS administrators as a CSV. File, so the organisers can quickly extract information and organise their event.

When a client comes to us with a brief for a mini-project, like this mini-site, we like to brainstorm all the best solutions from a client, user and cost perspective and guide the client towards choosing the most suitable solution. In this case, ADR UK came to us to create a print design, but we saw an opportunity to create a mini-site that offers a seamless experience for both the organisers and their attendees.

 

Thank you so much for all of your work on this, youve been really creative and fun to work with – couldnt have done it without you!” Sophie Peart, Project Manager (ADR UK)

 

Read our Full Case Study on ADR UK

This article was posted in Design, User Experience by Sophie Matsell