Conferences and tradeshows are a staple of many industries, especially since the relationships made at these events can significantly impact the future of their businesses. Bringing together a large concentration of people in one industry can allow attendees to network unlike any other time of the year. Therefore, people travel from around the world to cities like London or Las Vegas as some events are integral parts of an annual sales strategy.
For planners and marketers, organizing a successful event and turning it into a “must attend” event in its respective industry is critical. Marketing a great event also takes hard work as every event wants to the forefront event in its respective industry. The right people attending the event can make all of the difference, so a focus on attendee experience is imperative. Below are digital event marketing strategies that can be the most powerful tools for event marketers.
Focus on Networking & Educational Opportunities to Drive Registration
Attendees often have one of two priorities when attending an industry event: networking and education. Therefore, it’s critical to promote all of the opportunities your event has to offer throughout your marketing campaigns. It’s a plus to also feature high-profile attendees and speakers, like CEOs or executives from Fortune 500 companies, on your event website to capture potential attendees’ attention. Written or video testimonials from loyal attendees singing your event’s praises are also invaluable.
Include a Broad Press Release Distribution Strategy
Getting the word out about your event is easy with current customers and those on your email lists. Take it a step further by promoting your conference or tradeshow to industry new wires, industry publications and local news outlets to increase registrations. Explaining the benefits of attending the event is essential as this will convince those on the cusp of coming to follow through with attending. Local publications are perfect for this as conferences help the economy so many locally driven news websites are going to be willing to help. Carving out a healthy budget to expedite the publishing of press releases can also be a huge help as the timing has to be just right before the event that people will buy tickets but not so early they will forget about it.
Thought Leadership for Annual Events Can Help Deliver Results
Your event’s marketing strategy should go beyond the straightforward messaging to register. Creating industry-related content such as blog posts, infographics, ebooks, fact sheets, videos, etc., can help increase your organization’s reputation as a thought leader. Reaching out to industry publications to ask them to include your event in event roundups sections can also be quite effective. Contributing an article about a hot industry topic or about something that connects back your event’s mission or theme can also help get the word out while increasing your thought leadership efforts.
Using Social Media to Drive Attendee Engagement
It’s no secret that social media in marketing can be extremely powerful, as it can be used effectively before, as well as during an event. On top of being a great way to share all of your event information, announcements, and thought leadership content, you can interact with your audience by using industry-related hashtags, answering questions, sharing photos, live streaming video and much more. Don’t forget about engaging with your audience beyond your event as well. Social media is a great way to generate FOMO (fear of missing out) with those who couldn’t make it, who will then consider attending in the future. Also, by following the right industry influencers and hashtags, you can respond to people mentioning how your annual conference can help them to advance their career or find educational opportunities.
Create Engaging Video and Audio Content to Take it to the Next Level
Written content is great, but it can only get you so far. Our current digital landscape is all about video and audio. Video, especially live video, is easy to digest, fun and interactive. Whether it’s a Q&A-style interview with your famous keynote speaker or a behind the scenes tour of your staff’s first day onsite, video content is guaranteed to generate buzz about your event. Podcasts, on the other hand, are one of the best ways to disseminate information in an in-depth manner and is perfect for the busy, on-the-go professional. Consider going in-depth on an industry trend or topic, discuss why you choose your venue or event location, or even chat with a high-profile speaker and give a preview of their presentation.
Overall, event marketing can vary between industries as well as what type of event is being held. You don’t have to immediately implement every one of these strategies. Take the time to think about what will work best for your industry and audience. Either way, if you put in hard work into marketing your event, it will pay off.