Creating an integrated website solution for the British Institute of International and Comparative Law
Headquartered in London, BIICL is an independent, non-profit organisation which supports individual and corporate members worldwide with specialist legal research, publications, events and seminars.
We helped them to create a new, refreshed website that is tightly integrated with their existing membership system. It provides access to members-only resources, tiered pricing for electronic publications and events, as well as managing renewals and other payments.
All our websites include responsive design by default.
Background to the BIICL project
The British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) is a respected, independent organisation which carries out research and provides advice to members around all aspects of international law, European law and comparative law. They regularly publish papers, books and electronic documents, as well as running seminars, conferences and other events.
In 2015 the directors of BIICL commissioned a rebranding of all their print materials. At the same time they wanted to create a new website that reflected this visual identity. Their designers recommended them to Bluelinemedia to create a website that would meet their unique requirements.
Working with their established systems
BIICL already had a CRM (customer relationship management) system that allowed them to manage and communicate with all their individual and corporate members. They also used it to manage events, fulfil purchases and administer special interest groups.
However, they had no link between the CRM system and their website. They wanted the new website to tailor content to each individual, taking into account their involvement in specialist groups and offering different discounts on products and services.
They also wanted to give members a secure login to update their details, and to process payments for their membership renewals.
Bespoke content management and editorial processes
BIICL wanted to make it easy for a broad group of contributors, including researchers, academics and other legal professionals, to write articles and keep them updated. However they needed a robust approval process for all new content and for updates.
We created a bespoke content workflow, which allowed editors to review and approve not only new content but also changes to existing material.
They also wanted to make it as easy as possible for members and other website visitors to find the information they were looking for, within a large collection of different articles, publications and other content.
Rather than simple categories, we made it easy for contributors and editors to mark each item with the applicable topic, its format (paper, book, event, etc.) and also very specific tags which would allow hot topics to be easily cross-linked for website visitors.
Supporting professional groups
Many BIICL members are involved in their professional forums, which meet to discuss current issues and publish content within their area of expertise. Access to these groups is restricted and only members of a group may access all of its content.
As part of our integration with their CRM system, the website knows which groups each member is a part of, so that individuals can be shown all the content that is available to them, including forthcoming events.
Promoting events and selling publications
BIICL publish a variety of books, e-books and reports, which they wanted to sell directly on their website. They also run numerous in-person and online events, some of which are free to members while others require payment at differentiated rates.
We created an attractive, easily searchable events calendar which allows members to browse the details of event, register and make the appropriate payment. When someone registers for an event, the details are immediately fed back into the CRM system as part of their member history and for event management.
Similarly, we created a system which makes it easy to browse all their publications, order books and/or download electronic copies. Payment is taken on the website and details of physical orders are sent back to the CRM to trigger the fulfilment process.
Building a longstanding partnership
We have been working with BIICL now for over ten years, extending and enhancing their website and systems as their organisation has developed and grown. More recently we provided an overhaul of the website, to refresh the branding and streamline some of the content management processes.
We have also created two separate microsites for BIICL, using the same system but maintaining separate websites. The first of these allowed them to support and present the findings of a comprehensive legal review, while the second maintains a separate presence for their related organisation, the Bingham Centre.
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