Grasmere Lakeland Sports and Show

One of the most popular traditional events in the English Lake District calendar

Challenge

A traditional Lake District event, now reaching 169 years old, Grasmere Sports has an abundance of history which extends long before the internet. With their previous website, likely ahead of its time when it was first built but for various reasons had been patched up and content built upon over more recent years of the show. With willingness of volunteers required to keep the website up-to-date, general practices on how content was presented changed and varied over the years, and the website had lost some of its natural flow.

Unfortunately the site was no longer entirely user friendly, it was felt a new website may actually be the best step in moving forward. Timing was going to have be a big consideration in this as tickets are sold online through a third party booking system linked to the website on the run up to the show for a discount. In addition, following the show competitors tend to view the results tables from the Sports in the days thereafter. There would always be a window of time during which a new site could be built.

Our Solution

With so much historic data the website really held the legacy of the show at its heart, and it was important this was continued. The first thing we did was take a copy of the site so that nothing could be lost and we built a holding page which also held some important information around the dates that the sports field in Grasmere could be hired out - an agreement across the committee which it was important to honour throughout the website design and build. We then proceeded to design and build the new website in the background.

We set our mind to a new, fresh design for Grasmere Sports. One which complimented their brand's colour palette. The contemporary logo loaned itself to this new design, with a more friendly and exciting design produced.

Our approach to content and layout was with the understanding that someone would be interested in what was already in existence. We didn’t look to omit content from the old site to the new site, instead we considered the layout for this and presented it in a more user friendly way. Being sure that the people who would be interested in this historic information could easily find what they’re looking for. We also addressed the system for presenting results tables on the site so quickly after the event, and working with the appointed Directer for Grasmere Lakeland Sports & Show, we established a system which we are confident will work for them.

Once live, we supported the Grasmere Sports Committee in integrating a new ticketing system for the show. Designing the landing page in making the purchase of tickets online as seamless a process as possible. Utilising their support time, we also know that they are selling more tickets online than in previous years.

On the run up to the popular Lake District event, the site performs exceptionally well. It’s first year live there has been a 58% increase in sessions on the site, compared to this same time last year. In addition the bounce rate has dropped by over 52%, meaning that people are spending more time perusing the website - a real nod to how user friendly it is. In addition how people find the site has improved massively with over 83% of users finding the site organically. Importantly there has also been a big decrease in referral traffic; historically the site received a lot of spam traffic from dubious sources. Something we have managed to rectify.