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Creating Killer Conference Content

Posted: 12th January 2017

If you are running a business event, large or small, the chances are that you are promoting it online, using content to help to attract the right delegates and make your conference, training event or business gathering a success. The content you write is in the frontline. It’s critical for getting your event found in Google searches and also for converting a potential delegate into an actual attendee. Read on for some top tips about how you can use your written content to help create a successful event.

1. Eyeball your audience

If you are running a conference, either you will be the expert or you’ll know a good few and have lined them up to take part in your event. But how well do you know the potential delegates? Do you understand their current issues? Do you speak their language? Do you know what they are excited about or worried about this month? This week? These are the things that will make a difference when you are preparing marketing materials. So, look a friendly delegate in the eye, ask them the questions and use their answers in your writing.

2. Use your data

Alongside the literal or metaphorical eyeballing, you really need to use the data you’ve gathered from previous events. Find out as much as you can about who came and why. This will be invaluable in shaping the material for your next event. Find out about trends, buzz words, current debates and interests to shape your conference content, then use that thinking in your marketing materials too.

3. Get to the detail

People want to know what your conference is actually about, so you need to provide enough real detail to interest and entice. Give away enough but not too much. There’s no point in attending the event if you can read all the conference papers online and contribute from the comfort of your own squashy sofa. However, you do need to whet appetites with real detail… be ready and willing to demonstrate that your conference is well informed and well attended. Provide information about key speakers and get them to help you shape what you say about their talks and workshops.

4. Be clear about who should come

Conference invitations should be crystal clear about who the conference is aimed at. Don’t assume that this will be obvious. Spell it out. Give examples of former attendees and name the roles of those that you expect to come. Be specific about the job levels you are targeting.

5. Invite your speakers to blog

In fact, don’t just invite them, make it a condition of getting them to speak! Getting great content to promote your speakers can be some of the hardest content to source because you can’t make it up. You need the expert. Get them to sign on the dotted line early on that they will provide a short blurb about their presentation, then get some blog content in the bag too. If your presenters aren’t good at putting pen to paper themselves, offer to interview them, then write the blog as if it’s from them. If you are really struggling, give it your best shot yourself, then run it by the expert with a short deadline – they are sure to comment if they don’t like what you’ve written!

6. Build the knowledge

Promoting your event is not a one off activity – it’s a process. If you are running a major conference or exhibition, there will be news about how it is shaping up which emerges over time. Share news as it happens, but make sure it is relevant. Potential delegates will want to hear about major speakers who have joined the programme and great offers on local hotels. They won’t be so interested to know that you’ve got all the meeting room accommodation you need, even if that was the best day’s work you ever did.

7. Be honest

“Last few remaining places” is not a helpful message about an event which isn’t booking. Find things to say that are true and focus on the positive.

8. Follow the plan

A content plan can be a really useful tool to help ensure that the right messages go out to potential delegates and actual, paid up attendees in the run up to the event. Get the plan in place early on and don’t miss the optimum windows for getting those invites out.

9. Create KILLER web content…

Write strong headlines and clear, concise content. Think about the words that your readers are likely to search for and incorporate them into your writing. Carry out some keyword research and build your content around the priority words. Take time to think about the real benefits of attending and write about that – from the delegate’s perspective.

10.…and KILLER emails

Emails are quite probably going to form the heart of your regular correspondence with your delegates, but will also be critical in turning interested potentials into actual seats at the conference. Many marketers are quick to embrace social, but watch you don’t do this at the expense of email. It’s still the killer app when it comes to online marketing, although the right mix for you will depend on the target market for your event.

11. Be sociable

Social media is an important element in the mix too and ideal for building relationships, before during and after.

12. Be on time

Don’t miss the right moment to promote your event. Use previous experience and your knowledge of the delegates to create a comprehensive plan for both your marketing communications and your delegate information. Getting it right for your delegates this time means they are the most likely to sign up next time around.

To explore more about why these points matter so much and how to put them into practice, join our half day interactive training at Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce. The focus for the event is on the copywriting skills you need to write persuasive compelling content that will influence potential delegates to sign up.

Hillary Phillips

Cygnus Extra



Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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