In order to stay competitive and keep show attendance healthy, event managers must balance a diverse set of priorities and deliver during show time to convert attendees into positive word-of-mouth marketers.
1. Use social media to its full, un-tapped potential. One of the big keys to any successful conference this year will lie in its utilization of social media — before, during, and after events. Social media is a great way for companies to create high-impact, long-lasting relationships, and this is no different for event, conference, and trade show brands. If a conference is having a spectacular guest speaker, get them on-board early to help promote the event. Enlist in live tweeters to help tweet out quick live quotes of what is said during sessions. If a follower can view this information and take something meaningful away, they might become interested in your brand. After the show, reach out to new exhibitors and guest speakers through social media, thanking them for helping make the conference a success.
2. Use data to boost marketing events and personalize the ROI. According to a report from PriceWaterhouseCoooper, each year approximately $108 billion is dedicated to events in the United States. With the industry being so active, there is a massive amount of data transpiring that is just now truly starting to be harnessed. Now conference managers can leverage data to boost attendee satisfaction, and plan events that are more personalized to help increase ROI. This is happening right now through the use of branded conference apps, where users can interact with different aspects of the show guide, and their behavior can be tracked to see which parts of the show garnered the most interest, and what parts maybe need some work.
3. Properly vet speakers and moderators and carefully place their expertise in proper sessions. A lot of times, speakers and panelists are selected quickly without the necessary time given to fully round out their speaking capabilities for the show. Look at enlisting professional moderators who can quickly adapt to new industries, and look to make industry experts panelists instead, where their expertise can be focalized. Panels should be planned out ahead of time, with outlines on topic discussions and which industry expert should tackle which topic questions.
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