EVENT PROMOTION CHECKLIST
☐ Save the date postcard
☐ Updated email addresses
☐ Mobile registration app
☐ Facebook event page
I’ll bet that standard checklist looks familiar. Including the content box at the bottom that often goes unchecked. Yet, content is the one area that can make a difference between empty seats and standing-room only, and it’s often short-changed.
It’s easy to understand why. With all there is to do in planning and executing an event, the last thing you think you have time for is creating content.
What you might not realize is that you don’t have to write a tome or hire outside resources to build an arsenal of engaging content to promote your event. You may find that creating content drives greater results than some of your existing promotional tactics, all without adding to your already long day.
To help you do this, let’s take a closer look at the content creation cycle. Follow it, and your events will stand out among the invitations piling up in your target audience’s inboxes. Not to mention how effective it is in filling seats.
REVIEW FEEDBACK: Let’s say you’re in the midst of planning a big fall event (and who isn’t?). Start the cycle by reviewing feedback from past events. Authentic attendee quotes are a great way to generate buzz. Also, don’t be afraid to address negative comments publicly. It lets your audience know you’re listening and gives you an opportunity to share what’s new and improved.
CONSIDER A SURVEY: After you’ve reviewed the feedback, consider issuing a survey. This will give you fresh insight into what your audience finds interesting to hear and important to see.
BRAINSTORM: Once you have a handle on what attendees expect, huddle with your team to brainstorm content ideas. Jumping-off points can include playing on your event theme and promoting panelists and keynotes as well as tying into current events, trends and fun facts about the host city.
Next, think about how you can convey those ideas and messages to your audience. Content takes many forms these days – images, surveys, videos, blog posts, email, tweets – there are lots of ways to drive interest and boost registrations.
CREATE A CALENDAR: Rein in that lengthy list of brainstorm ideas by creating a content calendar and setting deadlines. Be sure to have a balanced approach when it comes to the timing of your posts and the various marketing channels you use to promote the event. This ensures you don’t wear out your welcome in your attendees’ inbox or inadvertently cause them to tune out your messages on social networks.
Now, think about the ways you can put a fresh spin on existing content. For example, you can tweet your survey results, conduct icebreakers on Facebook, and use email and social media to share a video of your keynote speaker. And be sure that every piece of content includes a link back to the registration page.
Don’t forget to analyze your results so you know which content prompted attendees to register.
TRACK WHAT WORKS: Once the event begins, track the tweets, make note of anecdotal feedback and look for nuggets of great content in presentations. It all feeds your content engine and serves as a great reason to follow up with attendees.
And then the cycle begins anew.