Most marketing conferences took a summer break, but they are back in full swing starting in September.
Once you’ve picked your conference, convinced your boss, forked over some hefty fees and made your travel arrangements what more do you need to do (and know) to get yourself ready?
The Prep Work
1. Goal Setting
It’s important you and your team go into the conference with a goal set and top of mind. There should be some prepping and strategy that goes into picking the conference, but those two things should support the overall goal you set.
Why yes, you are most likely attending to gain more knowledge, learn about new technology and network with industry leaders but how do you want you and your team to grow from this experience? What should be a major takeaway and focus for the conference?
Whatever it is, discuss it with your team before hand and schedule a time to talk about it after everyone gets back to the office once the conference has ended.
What type of conference access did you purchase? Are you there for a day? Are you there for a few sessions? To hear a particular speaker? Are you part of the tabling and exhibiting that takes place before of after?
The answer to theses questions will determine how you and your team are using the conference, which will help shape the goal you make before you set off.
If you do have access to the entire event make sure you read up on all the sessions before the first morning. Many sessions will be happening at the same time so if you are there with a team do you want to divide and conquer? Is there a session they MUST attend? How are you going to decide which ones to go to? Set expectations before you arrive so you can create a plan of attack that makes the most sense for everyone that is there with you!
If we want to take it a few steps back and you are still trying to decide if you should or should not attend a conference make sure you check out social media. Search hashtags, look at speakers they had last year, did any of acquaintances attend? Why or why not would they attend again? Don’t just rely on the conference website, find out as much info as you can because this is a HUGE investment of your money, time and talent.
3. Social Ready
It’s time to get your own accounts ready for the conference- whether that means using your personal profile or the company’s page. If you plan it out, you could use almost every form of social to get your audience involved. Whether you use Facebook to live stream a part, Twitter to find other conference goers, clue people in on your day through Stories on Instagram and Snapchat. There are a bunch of ways to connect with your audience while you are learning some new things! At the very least it will help you connect with other conference goers and become a part of that larger conversation.
During & After The Conference
1. Live Tweet
Now that you are at the conference you have to decide how are going to cover the conference and Twitter is an easy place to do that. Conferences have hashtags, and most speakers give out their twitter handle so be sure to tweet out some key points and tag the conference and the speaker in them. This is an easy way to get some non-brand stuff on your feed and supply your followers with tips that are worth retweeting and liking!
2. Create Lead Magnets
Is there a session you can take notes at that would be great at capturing some MQLs? Maybe an Infographic or a blog post comes to mind? After all, you paid to attend a conference I think if your audience wants to know a little bit more you can lock it behind a lead form. Just make sure it is worth signing up for! Maybe create a teaser blog post highlighting some things you learned while the real stuff is available to those willing to give up their emails address. Stretch your conference coverage as far as it can go!
Wrap It Up