Helena and Detroit are two Convention & Visitors Bureaus (CVB) though not of the same size. Helena is by far small destination compared to Detroit. However, both play a vital role in enhancing the economic vitality of their region in the development of tourism through building of collaborative partnerships and promotion of the year-round visitors and conventions destinations. However, they have both strived to eliminate the intermediaries in their services since they deal directly with every customer without relying on the use of middlemen. Detroit CVB organizes meetings, professional travels, and reunion and sport commission events among others (Visitdetroit.com). On the contrary, Helena offers information and booking services to consumers, particularly since it is a ride center of International Mountain Bicycling Association in Montana (Helenamt.com). This paper will provide a comparison between Helena and Detroit CVBs’ offerings by analyzing each organization’s website.
Both organization website designs are full of esthetics significantly influenced by modern web design. Helena CVB website has plentiful large areas of colorful space with big margins full of content (Helenamt.com). Its homepage features numerous and well-aligned content about the services offered by the organizations. Furthermore, its homepage has a wide space with a tagline and demo animation advertising the exclusivity of the hiking and biking experience services (Köhler and Altmann 25). The design of the website has ensured that everything is not thrown at the visitor at once. On the contrary, it welcomes and allows the visitor to explore different marketing copy’s broken by clean icons that offer the site a plain color edge.
In contrast, Detroit CVP website enhances the visitor’s experience and increases individual likelihood of visiting the site again. The homepage uses white background apparent at the edge of the page, but color mix is much limited. Bright colors common in CVB websites such as green, yellow and shade appear when flashes of animation occur on the page. Moreover, the website has identifiable navigation bars located at the top of it. Furthermore, the homepage has distinctive elements such as prominent search that aids in navigation experience (Köhler and Altmann 65).
In-depth analysis of both websites shows that they are designed to appeal to the visitors to ensure they visit it again. Helena CVP website is easy to navigate since icons are clearly labeled, separated and strategically located in visible places on the homepage (Helenamt.com). The information is well organized through drop down navigation while dedicated slideshow appears on the homepage showing the experience of riders and the hikers. In an attempt to easy visitor’s navigability, the website uses fewer details thus making key icons, especially important ones, conspicuous and visible to the visitor (Chiang, Siau and Hardgrave 32). For instance, the white navigation icon is clearly located on the website on a dark brown background hence making it easy to find. Furthermore, the booking panel with calendar is simple to use.
On the contrary, Detroit CVP website shows the result of their handiwork on the homepage in the form of high-quality photography and professional animation. The site is easy to circumnavigate, and it is enhanced by its branding by making its name a pivotal part of the design. The name is placed conventionally on the top and given medium size (Chiang, Siau and Hardgrave 32). Detroit CVB has strived to enhance the user experience and ease the navigability through the utilization of half the screen slideshow for the visitor to understand the services offered by the organization. The key icons are well placed on the top of the website on yellow panels. Besides, other essential icons are easy to navigate since they are located on the extreme top of the homepage. In order to ease communication, icons leading to different communication platform such as Facebook, Google+ among others are clearly marked on the top right corner of the website (Ji-Lung 19).
Customer Relationship Management
In Helena CVB website, relations with a potential consumer are given highest priority. The site ensures that is clearly communicating all the services offered by the organization with the utmost clarity. Besides, it provides critical information regarding the number of activities and experiences, as well as areas of visit suitable for different categories such individual, family, shopping among others (Helenamt.com). Besides, the website offers highly personalized booking services through provision of all details in accurate and precise ways. Such details include occupancy, accommodation, prices, and variation depending on the presence of a spouse, children or an infant. Besides, it offers a platform for communicating with the customer support in order to ensure that consumers are served efficiently and assisted if a need arises (Ji-Lung 38).
In contrast, Detroit CVB website has been personalized in order to enhance its relationship with the potential customers. The information regarding the services offered by the organization is clearly communicated on the bottom of the web page. Moreover, search panel is provided to permit the consumer to find any incoming event. Customer relationship on the website is largely enhanced by presences of communication platforms. Detroit CVB website offers numerous platforms for communication such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter among other (Visitdetroit.com). However, it lacks direct contact to the website administrator or support service.
In respect to technical compatibility, both Helena and Detroit CVBs websites are multi-browser friendly since they employ HTML5 and new web standards. These aspects make them compatible with virtually any browser on a tablet, phone or computer (Stewart 17). However, only Detroit CVB website provides a link to a printer hence makes it possible to print content of the sites directly (Visitdetroit.com). Furthermore, the sites are well designed to fit a standard 800 by 600 screen size without the need of horizontal scrolling. However, one will be required to scroll vertically in order to access the content at the bottom of the page. Although both websites are full of graphical material, they are different in information loading. It is apparent that Detroit CVB website design has included appropriate size attributes, an aspect that makes the browser load the text before the graphics hence it opens much faster. In contrast, Helena CVB website appears to have utilized less size attributes making the page delay as the browser downloads the image first and then the text (Stewart 17).
Search Engine Compliance
In both Detroit and Helena CVBs websites, the use of third-party technologies is evident. Detroit has integrated a map of the Metro Detroit that permits the visitor to access the location of the different categories of services such as restaurants, attraction sites, accommodation and sports areas among others (Visitdetroit.com). The map acts as a guide to potential consumers’ queries since it is possible to focus the search on one of the above key Detroit destination districts. In contrast, Helena CVB website has integrated Google Satellite Maps to highlight the location of various hotels in the region. The maps ensure that a visitor can compare accessibility of different hotels in respect to their preferences.
E-Commerce & Web-Site Advertising
In respect to e-commerce platform in two websites, only Helena offers the e-commerce platform with the aim of offering the consumer an opportunity to browse, compare and book accommodation online. On the contrary, Detroit CVB website only provides numerous advertisements of various events scheduled on different dates. Besides, it offers the potential consumer detailed information about the event thus permitting the user to plan (Sigman and Boston 35). Although Helena provides numerous advertisements regarding best hotel and accommodation services, it moves a step further. It offers prices and description of the services thus permitting the consumer to compare them in different places (Sigman and Boston 44).
Performance Tracking & Measurement
Performance tracking and measurement is essential for any organization since it forms the basis for changes. It enables a company to understand a number of people using their services. Helena CVB website it capable of monitoring the number of unique visitors frequently using its services since it permits the visitor to register and create a profile, an aspect that lack in Detroit CVB website. However, Detroit can track utilize the page view as a parameter to assess the number of visitors (Vu and Proctor 63). For instance, if the total number of pages clicked is higher than the unique visitors, it is usually an indication that the audience finds the content engaging. Furthermore, to effectively experience huge measurement, the amount of traffic referred to the sites will offer the organization an indication of the effectiveness of the search engine compliance. Besides, the number of inbound links is also an indication the website content is important (Dathan and Ramnath 71). High number of inbound links will enable the search engine to index the site more easily.
In conclusion, it is evident both Helena and Detroit CVB organization have significantly strived to optimize their websites in order to enhance their usefulness to the visitors. The websites are navigable, and the design is full of the esthetic features influenced by modern web design. In terms of compatibility, the websites are compatible with a wide range of browsers though their loading time tends to vary significantly. The sites have strived to meet their objectives through improvement in terms of e-commerce, search engine compliance and performance tracking. These factors are essential in order to enhance the usefulness of the website.
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