Whether you’re exhibiting, speaking at or just a standard delegate, there’s more than you might think to be gained from attending an event. Here are 4 ideas you should think about before your next event appearance!
1) Use the speaker sessions and any insights gained for blog content
If you’ve chosen to attend an event, then the chances are it offers something relevant to your industry. Go through the event programme beforehand and pick out the sessions which you think you could write up about on your company blog. I’d advise looking for topics which your company can add additional insights into on the blog post, as opposed to just writing a summary of the session.
If you have a member of staff speaking at the event or taking part in a discussion panel, this is even more reason to provide post-event blog coverage, and if possible a preview of the speaker session before the event itself.
This blog content will increase the chances of your website getting picked up for long-tail searches and if published soon after the event, you could also pick up traffic from event attendees looking for a recap of the day.
Tip: if you’ve written about a session delivered by someone who is active on social media, drop them a tweet or private message to let them know your blog post is live – they may even share it on their social accounts!
2) Use photo content to drive people to your website
One of the things I do after I’ve attended an exhibition is to look for photos of the event online. I’ll be honest, there is a vanity element to this – I’m usually looking to see if I can see myself in the background of the photos! I’m sure I’m not the only person who does this (although I might be the only person to admit it!) and you can use this idea to drive people to your website after the event.
The event will probably have an official photographer, but if you can allocate resource from somebody on your team to take some good quality photos of the event, then it’s worth doing this and uploading the photos to your website afterwards. Remember to let people know you’re taking photos of the event and give them the location of where they can access the photos afterwards. You could perhaps print up some business-card-size flyers with details of where they’ll find the event photos.
Tip: I would suggest adding a small watermark to your photos and allowing other people to use them with a Creative Commons License providing they attribute your company as the source with a link back.
3) Use the opportunity to create videos
In addition to written content and photos, you can also use events as an opportunity to create video content. If it’s an industry event, why not take advantage of the key influencers in your industry being together in the same place at the same time and conduct some mini-interviews. If you’re a B2C company and there will be consumers in attendance, you could use the event to record some video testimonials/feedback on your products.
As with the photo content, be sure to keep in touch with people you feature and let them know when the videos are live on your company website.
Tip: Plan what video content you want to create in advance and email your interview subjects in advance to build up a rapport with them before the event. It’s also worth doing some research on the event venue itself to scout out possible video locations. Ideally if you’re exhibiting, you would want to conduct the interview with your exhibition stand in view, but this may not be practical during busy times on the exhibition floor.
4) Encourage social interactions
How many times have you been to an event and seen a “leave your business card to win an iPad” competition? Whilst these types of promotions might have worked in the past, there are much better ways to interact with people at events, especially if you have a prize to offer.
Instead of “leave your business card to win”, why not try “tweet a picture at our exhibition stand” instead? A competition which involves social interaction will mean that friends and followers of the event attendees will also have the chance to be introduced to your brand.
Aside from running competitions, it’s worth keeping an eye on who is talking about the event on social media and responding where relevant.
Tip: On Twitter, before the event, use Twitter’s search facility to find people who are talking about attending. Create a private list of these people so you can keep a track of their tweets at the event and get talking with them in person.