Bill Post, Small Business Research Analyst, provides research on issues of concern to small businesses for Custom Business Cards. Prior to his involvement with 123Print, Bill was a small business owner himself, providing marketing and branding services to other small businesses in the Washington, DC metro area. Bill’s post offers some great tips for doing more with less on your event page.

Going through an old scrapbook of my mother’s recently I came across an invitation on a 4 x 6 card. The hostess’s name was embossed at the top. The rest of the invitation was handwritten: Cocktails Friday Six O’Clock. And that was it. How could an invitation be so simple and yet so intriguing? Saying no to such an invitation would have hardly seemed an option. Are there ways to translate that snappy style to an online event page?

See if any of the tips below would work for your event page:

1. Keep it clean. Information is so accessible these days we feel a need for it, and then to update it, and then to confirm it. But the page doesn’t have to be cluttered with details. Leave your guests guessing a little bit. As a safety net for those with questions, integrate Facebook and Twitter into the page so that guests can get an instant response from the organizer and even share the conversation with friends. Let the event page start the conversation and let the buzz carry it on.

2. Make it clear. The essential details—event title, date, time, location—should be in large print that is easy to read.

3. Make it bright. Colors attract people. Choose a color scheme that is consistent with your other event promotional materials or that match a theme. Color can carry the day, especially if you don’t already have a super-cool logo. If you get bogged down in combinations that aren’t working, try using only two colors or using a white background with a large bold-colored font, such as a pumpkin orange or deep purple.

4. Choose a font that speaks. Isn’t there enough Times New Roman in real life? You want an event that will transport your guests in some way. Play with the colors, fonts, and sizes, and get creative. Experiment with bold and italics. Try Arial Black Bold in a grass green color. It has punch to it.

5. Use quality images. It’s so easy to upload any image to your event page. That doesn’t mean you should. Choose your images carefully. If it’s a scan of a paper invitation or flyer, think twice. It may show up as too small or unclear to read the print. If you want to use an image or logo, make sure it’s of good quality and resolution and that it speaks to your event. If you are putting on a large gala, consider including a photo that captures the essence of your event—maybe a photo of a pair of high heels discarded on a table. Your picture’s done all your work for you: It’s going to be a party where you’re going to want to kick off your shoes and dance.

6. Consider inserting video and letting it do the captivating for you. What if your event is a fundraiser for coastal conservation and on your event page you include a video of baby sea turtles hatching and skedaddling to the sea? Who could resist that visual image that explains why everyone should attend your event? Or maybe you’re hosting a writers’ conference, and the speaker is a well-known writer. Insert a video of fans telling the camera the questions they would ask the author. In print above the video you include the line, “What will you ask?” Make your invitees imagine themselves at your event.

Certainly there are events that must rely on a lot of content and information as part of their event page, but that information can be presented cleanly, clearly, and as succinctly as possible. Sometimes the most intriguing invitations are the ones that “say” the least.

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