With so many free or cost-friendly ways to promote an event online, why not use them to make your event amazing?
At BlueGlass, inbound marketing has played a major role in promoting and enhancing our conferences, and through this process we have learned a lot about what does and doesn’t work when it comes to promoting an event online.
Here are 6 tips to go above and beyond in the conference world…
1. Create a Buzz
Use your social networks to start talking about the event before it happens. By planning ahead (yes, it’s a new concept for us too!) and knowing what you want to accomplish with your event, you will find the engagement to be much higher and the content to be more useful for all those involved.
- Make a secret Facebook group that only past and current attendees can access. Why past attendees? If they are on the brink of deciding whether or not to come to your event, the conversations in this group will definitely have them wanting more.
- Make a LinkedIn Event. Similar to Facebook events, these let attendees connect on a more professional level beforehand. You can also see which companies will be represented at your event, along with following all that happens within the group.
2. Get in the Game
Have a couple of people from your team designated to do live postings. If you won’t have any staff free to do this, you can even hire event correspondents to take care of all of your on-the-scene coverage. They will need to be present at all the sessions (you will need multiple people for a conference with more than one track) so they don’t miss a beat!
Live tweeting extends the reach of any collective experience. Live tweeting also attracts the attention of attendees, prompting them to retweet your company account to their followers, and potentially growing your following.
- Tell your followers (and attendees) in advance to follow the dedicated hashtag for your event
- Use the same hashtag before, during, and after your event
- When quoting speakers, attribute them by using their Twitter handle
- Make a list of speaker Twitter handles before the conference for quick reference. To encourage attendees to live tweet, send them this list as well.
- Concentrate on the main points of sessions, rather than tweeting a verbatim transcript
- Interact with other slive tweeting the event by retweeting and replying to their commentary
Blog posts can be compiled during the session and published when it is complete. Many of your speakers will share the post about their session afterward and attendees will share posts from their favorite sessions, helping to drive some new traffic to your blog.
- To save on time, already have drafts composed with a title as well as speaker and session information.
- Whoever is live blogging will be furiously trying to keep up, and usually too busy to take pictures. Have another staff member in charge of taking and sending photos to the blogger to include in the posts.
- A helpful trick is for the live blogger to follow along with the stream of your event hashtag to make sure they haven’t missed any important points or quotes to include in the post.
3. Host a Competition
4. Facilitate Networking
- Facebook Groups (like the ‘super secret’ one above) . Of course, you have the option to make the group public as well, so prospective attendees can see who is interested in the conference as well. Connect, connect, connect!
- When attendees are signing up, leave a space for them to enter their Twitter handle. Use the information to make a Twitter list before the event so they can follow each other and get even more out of the event by learning industry related knowledge from their peers. It’s also a great idea to make a Twitter list of only the speakers as well, so anyone live tweeting can easily find the speakers’ Twitter handles to give attribution to them during their session.
- Encourage attendees to review the conference on their blogs, and then be sure to share their posts with their social network. This is a great way you can help promote them, and they can return the favor!
5. Create Video Content
- Conduct video interviews with attendees or speakers at the conference. You will be able to showcase all the people that contributed to the event long after the last session.
- Ask attendees for video testimonials at the conclusion of your event. These are a great resource to help promote the next conferences you will be hosting.
And don’t forget to optimize your videos for search – include your event name, the name of anyone in the video, and your company name throughout the title, description and video tags.
6. Social Advertising
- which company they work for
- fans of your page/ friends of fans of your page
- fans of other conference or industry pages
- fans of one of your speakers’ pages
- by location
- by industry
- by job function/title
- by LinkedIn Group membership