Last Updated on October 7, 2021
So, you’ve got this great idea for a conference, and you know exactly who you want on staff. Your brand has a clear end goal regarding what they want to achieve here, and you’ve given yourself more than enough time to adequately prepare yourself. There’s just one problem…no one actually knows about your event yet.
I’ve said in the past that event management is a vital element in any marketer’s toolkit, but the inverse is true, as well: marketing skills are invaluable for any event management professional worth their salt. Knowing how to get the word out about a conference is just as important as knowing how to properly run the conference. Today, I’m going to share with you some of the best places (and methods) you can use to spread the word. I’d highly recommend not simply limiting yourself to a single medium.
First up on our list is the most obvious: social networks. If your brand has any sort of presence on Facebook or Twitter, they’re great places to start letting people know about the conference you’re planning. Be sure you don’t spam your users, or put out messages that sound too dry and ‘corporate’ for them. Generally, the way to go is to act like you’re just dropping your friends a line about an upcoming barbeque or housewarming party; casual but not unprofessional.
As for frequency, I’d recommend once every week or two at most in the months leading up to the event, then maybe a few more times the week of. Be sure to include links to the event page, so anyone who’s interested can get more information (and buy tickets). Be sure to mix in other content to not lose followers and gain traction. After all, content is kind.
Believe it or not, radio isn’t as dead a medium as you might think. After all, people need something to listen to while they’re driving, and not everyone has an iPod. Plus, with all the radio apps floating around for mobile devices lately, you can guarantee you might catch the attention of at least a few guests, so long as you’re on the right station for your demographic.
Word Of Mouth At Other Events
Got connections within your industry? Good – use them. See if you can find a way to spread awareness of your own event at other, similar shows; if you can get even a few people talking, you’ve already got some potential attendees. This is one reason it’s important to establish good relationships with guest speakers and vendors: most of them will announce what event they’ll be speaking at next; if they’ve enough of a following, there’ll be a camp of people who will attend just to see them.
Again, mailing lists aren’t necessarily as dead as many people seem to believe – generally, a lot of people will sign up for a brand’s mailing list because they’re genuinely interested in finding out more about the business. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of marketers end up making their mistake: they simply spout sales copy at their subscribers, and offer little of value. As a result, most people tend to hit ‘unsubscribe’ or simply file the messages under junk. It is very important for a brand to curate great content to keep their subscribers interested so that they can market to them when they have an event or other news about their brand.
Last, but certainly not least, you’ve got more traditional media such as posters, billboards, and magazines. Definitely set up physical advertisements around the venue where you’ll be hosting your event (and any other venues attendees might frequent); consider looking into newspapers and magazines, as well.
Alternatively, Just Hire A Marketing Team
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. If you’re finding running an advertising campaign for your conference on top of planning out the details a little too overwhelming, you can always just delegate. Find a marketing team who knows what they’re doing, and you can simply shift your attention to what’s really important – running a great event.
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