Why an Interview,,,

Over the years we have been able to meet and talk with some very interesting people. They have shared with us their knowledge and have provided us with a great deal of insight as to how and why festivals and events work and why they are so important to our communities and to the Province of Ontario. With this in mind, we decided that we wanted you to meet and hear from some of the wonderful people who work so hard to provide us all with such wonderful Ontario Festivals and Events! We are pleased and proud to present "THE INSIDE SCOOP"!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Festival & Event "Web World Strategies"

Interview with Mr. Shawn King
Web World Strategies

Part 7 - The “5” most important steps in developing a “Good Website”!

1.      Define the goal of the website!
. What do you want to accomplish
. Who is your target audience?
. What are your desired results?
2.      Decide how you are going to achieve your goals.
. Once your goals have been defined, decide if you going to work with your web designer to achieve these goals or maintain yourself.
3.      What is your theme?
. What is your desired look?
. Are you “branding” your look?
4.      Bata development!
. You need to test out applications before you finalize your website.
. “Dryon” – have a few “focus sessions” where five people test out the website and give feedback.
. Does your website make sense, is it fluid.
. You will need to “work out the bugs” at this stage.
5.      Launch and Manage!
. Press Release is a good way to advertise the launch of your website.
. Launch parties are becoming common an effective way to advertize.
. Manage and maintaining your website plan must be in place.
. It is VITAL to keep up-to-date relevant information.
. Keep your website FRESH!

If you are considering starting or growing your festival/event website, Shawn offers (through his website Web World Strategies Link:  http://webworldstrategies.com ) some of the following which may help to identify some of the areas of a website that can be considered: Web Design, Ecommerce, Open Source Frameworks , Graphic design, Optimization, Marketing, Custom PHP/MySQL programming, CSS/(X)HTML, XML/JavaScript (AJAX), JS Frameworks (jQuery, MooTools), Actionscript/Video Streaming, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing. Good Luck with your Festival and Event Promotions!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Festival & Event "Web World Stratagies"

Interview with Mr. Shawn King
Web World Strategies
Part 6 - Costs, What “They” Know & Utilizing Search Engine Statistics?
How much should a “Good Website” cost?

With much thought, Shawn states that … A good website doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars. A good website can cost as low as $500, but, you have to know and understand what you are getting! The costs are vastly different then even 5 years ago. Most programming designs can be built in a day and are self installable.
What does a Web Designer have that you don’t?

As mentioned, there are many ways to design a website. I asked Mr. King what were some important points to consider when designing your website. He states the following …
. Know your "demographics"
. Identify your "Search Terms"
. What is your “Landing Page?”
. What is the “Bounce Rate” (how fast do visitors get off your page or as I like to ask, how long does a web visitor to your festival/event stay on your page!)
. What is the average time spent on a site by a visitor?
. What “Reference” is there to another site?
. What are your “Key Words and Key Word Phrases?”
What is the best way to utilize your statistics from the Search Engine findings?

There are tools for finding out your Optimization results. Once you identify your audience, you can adjust to suit your festival/event needs. You can adjust your “target audience” accordingly. Some of the terms a web designer uses are …
- Snippets, HTML, Applications – need to have a purpose, Mobile website, Android Applications that are free to customers, Applications – for Browsers, Chrome is the “Google Browser” android name, I Phone charges, E-Commerce sites, Word Press + Juma, U-Tube video, HD media share, Interface own site, “Google Ad Words” – set up a free account, Pay per click

(To Be Continued)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Festivals & Event "Web World Strategies"

Interview with Mr. Shawn King
Web World Strategies
Part 5 - Choosing qualities in a Website Designer
 for your Festivals and Events Website?

Mr. King states … "I can only speak for myself. I listen to what the customer wants instead of telling them what they want. Then I tell them what is possible and what is not. Some designers try to sell customers the “Razzle Dazzle”, however Shawn cautions, if it’s not going to get you the EXPOSURE then no one will ever see your website anyways and money will be lost in poor design choices".
For those who don’t know what questions to ask when setting up a website, a consultant, such as Shawn King would be a good start. Shawn goes on to tell us … "You may not know what you want in a website, but, you do know what is important to your festival/event! If you can identify what is it that you want to achieve or looking to solve something (i.e.: how to bring more visitors to your festival/event), you may be able to come to clear conclusions.
Shawn continues with his advice … If you are looking for a Basic Website it should only take a reasonable amount of time. It will be pretty quick designing once all the elements you wish have been defined, taking about only 2 weeks. I would help build a website and then teach the client how to manage it. This would be financially more economic for the customer. Your choice of “who” you want to manage your website will depend on your needs. You may want to choose someone who is available to maintain the website with updated important information in a timely manner. It should be someone though who knows there way around".
(To Be Continued)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Festivals & Event "Web World Strategies"

Interview with Mr. Shawn King
Web World Strategies
Part 3 - Should you Optimize Your
 Festivals and Events Website? continued ...

 Shawn goes on to share with us … that drawing people to your website is important as it creates more activity and it stands to reason you will get more visitors out to your festival/event. The Search Engine Optimization can be expensive. Many festivals/events are run by volunteers and/or minimal budgets and financial constraints.
Part 4 - What should a GOOD WEBSITE includ
for Your Festivals and Events Website?

I asked Mr. King, what he thought a GOOD WEBSITE should include. Shawn replies … “When I think of a Festival/Event I think of fun! The website usually gives a good reflection of what people can expect when they come out to visit. If your website offers lots of pictures and video, it will be a great asset in promoting and enticing visitors to attend. Testimonials of people having a great time would be of benefit!

Shawn feels a poor website is one that is “too cluttered”. A website that does not focus on the actual event will not be as successful. It is important to be clear and have prevalent information about your Festival/Event including details about the time, location, costs, phone numbers, maps and other relevant information. (Such as are pets allowed on the grounds to- are the grounds accessible to all?)

If you see the contact information predominantly posted on your website it is inviting. It also states that you have nothing to hide and welcomes questions to assist with visitors. It is vital to have a contact telephone number at the site on the days of the Festival/Event. This will allow visitors to ask any challenging questions (from the Festival/Event being cancelled due to weather, re-located to different location, time changes, etc.) It is important to keep promoting your Festival/Event all year around. Visitors sometimes plan their outings and schedules well in advance. If they see your website and your’ Festival/Event, it may just prompt them to “pencil you in”.

(To Be Continued)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Festivals & Event "Web World Strategies"

Interview with Mr. Shawn King
Web World Strategies

Part 3 - Should you Optimize Your
 Festivals and Events Website?

Having a website is one thing … having a GOOD WEBSITE is another! Part of having a Good Website, Shawn tells us, "is maximizing your website's visibility by using techniques of “Search Engine Optimization (SEO)”. My understanding of Search Engine Optimization is that you use different techniques to maximize how Search Engines see your website in certain categories or "key words/key word phrases".  The Search Engine rates your website for these key words, the higher the key words the higher the placement on these internet websites. To optimum is to be on the "first page" of the major search engines' websites for specific "key words" that relate to you and the web visitor you wish to reach. If ,for example, you go to “Google” on the internet and type in the name of an event you wish to attend, you may not find it right away (or at all) or. If the website has been properly optimized, you might find it right at the top of the first page. There are hundreds of pages of listings of similar names and types of events listed. Sometimes, festivals and events authorized websites are not listed until many pages deep into the search. There may be articles written about the event, “You Tube Videos”, or many other postings on the search engine that will show up before yours. These are not the “official” website of the festival/event, but still rank higher".
Shawn King shares with us … “You want to draw people to your website. As much as people are looking for information, they don’t like to read. If you know your demographics (the visitors you are looking for, their age, diverse income levels, types of interests, families, couples, young, old, etc.) you can identify your Search Terms and the Key Words that you can use in your Optimization". I wondered then, how a festival/event would know if their website was best “optimized”. Shawn tells us “that if you simply use a search engine to find your event, you can see where you stand in the listings. Part of knowing how well you are doing is by understanding the importance of having a Good Website in the first place! There are programs to help you track your ratings on the internet and through Search Engines. The attendance of your event increasing may be an indication of how well you are getting your word out there”.
(To Be Continued)