And none too soon. At a time when budgets are tight, customers are laser-focused on the bottom line, and ethical concerns cast a harsh light on even the most innocent gift, traditional incentives have less impact and carry a lot more risk. All the same factors make it even more important to differentiate your event, making sure it stands out in prospective participants’ minds.
You can do that by building deeper, more durable conversations with the audience segments that matter to you the most. And the cornerstone of those conversations is imaginative, original content that points them to the solutions they've been looking for—and that they’ll find most easily by attending your event and building a closer relationship with your organization.
But What Can We Talk About?
An event marketer in search of content is like a vegetable-lover at an all-you-can-eat salad bar. That’s because a well-organized conference program is a nearly endless source of smart, targeted content. (And it’s good for you, too!)
But it’s still rare for organizations to recognize the gold they hold in their hands: more often than not, conference content is presented once, then forgotten. It’s a terrible waste of a precious resource, but it gives you an opening to re-purpose your onsite content by:
- Producing topical blog posts based on last year’s sessions
- Posting Q&As with an upcoming speakers
- Connecting an educational session or track to a burning issue in your industry or profession
- Interviewing participants to find out what they did differently or better after attending last year’s conference
- Finding members who couldn't attend your last event and asking them what they missed most (particularly if they plan to be there this year).
It’s All About Respect
The best way to earn respect from your participants and prospects is to respect them in turn. That means communicating in a way that treats them as serious members of a serious profession or industry.
The right content marketing plan operates at two levels to build profile and participant numbers for your event: It delivers valuable knowledge, with the promise of more for anyone who goes onsite, and it positions the conference itself as a place where worthwhile knowledge is shared. Not a bad place to start, when more organizations are asking what they’ll get back from their investment in your next event.
Want more information? Come check out the Greenfield Services booth (number 137) at iBE 2013 this June in Toronto!
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