LinkedIn is one of the best places to promote your next event. This
social network has over 238 million members in 200 countries who are
looking to network and educate themselves about their industry. LinkedIn
also provides a number of tools which make promoting your event much
easier. Here you will find five tips for marketing your next event on
#1 Start with Your Company Page
Promoting your event on LinkedIn begins with you company page. When you
have an upcoming event, update your company page. This update will appear
in the news feed of LinkedIn members following your company page. To use
your company page effectively, you need to begin your promotion well in
advance of your next event. The more followers you can attract to your
company page, the wider your audience will be when you start marketing
A recent addition to LinkedIn’s serve-selflink advertising platform is the
ability to create sponsored updates. The sponsored updates allow you to
select any update on your company page and pay for it to reach a wide
audience. Because LinkedIn knows a lot of information about their users,
you can target updates using criteria such as age, location, job title,
company and gender. Using sponsored updates you can ensure that your
promotion gets in front of exactly the right audience.
It is to your speakers advantage to promote the event. Ask your event
speakers if they could promote to their own networks. LinkedIn members
are much more likely to be receptive from event promotion that comes
from the speaker than from an event company that they may not be
familiar with. Consider doing a video interview with your speaker in
order to encourage them to share content with their network.
#4 Join Relevant Groups
Look for groups that your event attendees are likely to belong to. You
can find a list of all of the LinkedIn groups at the LinkedIn Group
Directory. Keep in mind that some
groups will require you to be approved before you can join, so allow
time to be accepted by the group moderators.
Before promoting your event in the group, you want to familiarize
yourself with the type of content that people are already posting there.
You want your promotional content to be congruent with what is already
being posted. You also need to avoid being perceived as hard selling your
event. This can upset other members of the group and may even result in
you being banned.
Instead, you want to viewed as a useful contributor. A good way to do
this is to bring up an interesting topic that will be covered in the
event and encourage other group members to share their opinion. You can
then include a link in your content to a page where they can find out
more about the event.
#5 Leverage Influencers Networks
When it comes promoting an event, one of the most effective techniques is
to leverage the network of influencers in your industry. For example, if
you were promoting an event in the tech marketing space, then you might
want to reach out to influencers such as Seth Godin or Guy Kawasaki.
Whatever industry you are in there will be influencers that have massive
These influencers are trusted by their network who will respond
positively to recommendations that they make. Asking these influencers
to immediately promote your event is rarely effective. Instead, you want
form a relationship with them well before you start asking for favors.
Think about what you can do for them as way of introduction. For example,
you could recommend their latest book with your own network. If you
already have an existing relationship with these influencers, they will
be much more likely to respond favorably to a request to promote your
In order to use LinkedIn effectively, it helps if you have plenty of
quality of content to share. Videos, blog posts, infographics and white
papers should be prepared ahead of time to assist with your event
promotion. Remember, no matter who your ideal event attendee is, they are
already on LinkedIn. Take advantage of the possibilities offered by
LinkedIn to ensure your next event is fully booked.
You just poured your heart and soul into putting on the best conference you could possibly imagine. Everything went well. The speakers showed up, the attendees enjoyed themselves, and nothing major went wrong. The buzz is finally dying down and you have some time to reflect. But now what? What can you, as a conference planner, do to prepare for next year? Unfortunately, while the conference may be over, your work is not. There are a few things that should be addressed right away.
The first thing you want to do is thank your sponsors, speakers, volunteers, and attendees for making this conference such a success. A letter with your signature would be most appropriate. If that is not possible, sending an e-mail will suffice. Be sure to thank everyone on your website, your social media platforms, and through an e-mail newsletter if you have them in your contact list. Everyone loves to be appreciated and recognized!
The next thing you want to do is make sure that everything is set for next year. By now, you have told the attendees and speakers when the event will take place and hopefully where. Confirm your venue is set and that the dates are solid, the conference rooms are booked, and get details about parking and catering. You can iron out more specific details when the time gets closer, but make sure that you are on the calendar and that everything you will need is available. The next step is to secure your speakers and make sure that the attendees have a save-the-date. It is not too early to start promoting your conference for next year. Talk about it now while people are inspired from the previous conference and eager to do it again.
It is very important to re-group and evaluate the conference. What went well? What didn’t? Get your whole team together for a daylong de-briefing of the conference. Bring in some lunch and make it fun. Review the surveys you sent out to attendees during and after the conference. Which speaker did they like the best? Which topics were most popular? What would they change if they could change one thing? Take note of this very important information and put it into practice. The conference is for the attendees. You want to make them happy, so listen to what they have to say. Fix something if it is not working and duplicate those things that are.
Finally, give yourself a pat on the back and some time to relax. Planning a conference takes a lot of work, patience, and skill. Take a couple days to enjoy the fact that it is over. Give yourself kudos for pulling off such a great event. This will give you the strength to get back into the game and start getting ready for next year’s event. It will be here before you know it!
6 Strategies to Maximize Every Conference
You’re attending a conference, and you have a million conflicting
priorities plus twice as many distractions. First of all, don’t panic.
It really doesn’t matter what you do at a conference as much as how you
follow up after you get back. Remember that fact, and it will take the
pressure off, but it also points out how important it is to manage your
time wisely. Once you get home, all you have is the data you collected.
Here are the top 6 ways to make all those conference fees pay for
1. Get there early and map out your day.
The vast majority of attendees spend their conference waiting in line
for registration, for presentations, for lunch, etc. Be the early bird
and spend the down time preparing your game plan to hit the best
presentations and booths.
2. Leave holes in your plans.
This is the next stage of problems that many people experience after
they start preparing more carefully. They budget their time to the
minute and lose the “Aha!” moments. Schedule time for depressurizing,
for taking notes, for updating your schedule based on changes and new
information. Take a little time to expect the unexpected and seize the
3. Meet as many attendees as you can, but do it wisely.
The rule at conventions should be: accept 2x as many business cards as
you give out. This is actually a challenge because so many interactions
involve an exchange of cards. However, if there is a crowd around a
person or table of a company that interests you, take the card and come
back. They are much more likely to remember you when they aren’t
surrounded in a sea of faces. This is also a better way to manage your
time and cover more ground.
4. Pay very close attention and make it short.
Listening beats pitching every time. There will be time for your pitch
after you are better prepared. Now is the time to learn about the people
you meet because most people are not what they seem. Are they
enthusiastic about their business or scouting for a new job? Are they
thought leaders or just repeating something they have memorized? The
after conference happy hours are very often the places where business
actually gets done and whole new industries are born.
5. Jot down some notes for yourself after every interaction.
The one with the best comments wins. These will form the basis for your
follow-up emails, posts and tweets. What did you have in common? What
were they passionate about? What promises did you make? It all happens
so fast that most of what is said at the conference stays at the
conference, which ends up being a tremendous loss of potential revenue.
6. Get it in the system.
At the end of every conference day, transfer your hand-written or
voice-recorded notes into your CRM system. If you don’t have remote
access, save the data as a text file or spreadsheet that can be imported
later. There is no time to waste because the efficient competitors have
already updated their systems on the fly.
When you get back to the office, or even on the road home from the
tradeshow, start prioritizing the interactions you had. Who are the
mentors? Who are the prospects? Who are competitors who only want your
information? Don’t start the process of following up until you are clear
on your priorities. These six simple instructions will help you turn a
useless stack of business cards into solid connections of an
ever-expanding business network.
When I attend conferences, Twitter is typically my go-to platform to follow and contribute to the conversation. Twitter is real-time, and it’s quick and to the point. Here are 7 tips for conference planners on how to market using Twitter. Your presenters, vendors, and guests will appreciate the direction and exposure!
- Create a Hashtag: The very first thing you need to do is create a hashtag for the conference. It should be short and sweet. Remember, you can only use 140 characters for each tweet so you want it to be short so people can retweet and/or comment back to you. Most conferences will abbreviate their name and then add the year of the conference. For example, Social Media Success Summit 2013 is using the hashtag: #smss13. Check to be sure no one else is using this hashtag. If they are, you might want to modify it just a bit.
- Promote the Hashtag: A hashtag is no good unless people know about it. Create the hashtag early and put it on all of your printed materials, websites, and other social platforms. Encourage people to tweet using this hashtag when referencing the conference. Always use this hashtag when sending out a tweet about the conference. Remind all employees, vendors, and sponsors that they should use the hashtag when tweeting.
- Set up a Hashtag Stream: Set up an alert or a search for this hashtag so that all messages and tweets with this hashtag go to the same list. This will help you keep up with the conversation and will alert you when the hashtag is used. You can do this using several different monitoring platforms such as Sprout Social, HootSuite, or Twubs.
- Tweet Before, During, and After the Event: Tweeting before, during, and after the event keeps your conversation going and the content fresh. Remind your speakers to tell the audience to tweet if they hear something they like. Give your audience your hashtag and encourage conversation on Twitter. Don’t forget to download the Twitter app or a similar platform so you can tweet from your mobile device.
- Connect on Twitter: Before the conference, look to see if your sponsors, vendors, and speakers are on Twitter. If they are, follow them and connect with them. Send them a tweet telling them how excited you are to have them as part of the conference. This will nudge them to tweet about the conference and shows them that you are using Twitter as a key component in marketing for the conference.
- Review and Analyze: You can learn a lot about what was tweeted during the conference. Using your hashtag as a search, go back and read the tweets. Which speaker was quoted most often? Which topic stirred the most conversation? Use this information to your advantage when planning for next year’s event.
- Say Thanks: It is always nice to thank you sponsors, vendors, speakers, and attendees after the conference. You can do this through hand-written letters and/or e-mails but it is also nice to send them a tweet. Give them some recognition and make the tweet personal.
If you have been tasked with the assignment of hosting a conference you know how time consuming and cumbersome this task can be. If you have never hosted a conference, buckle up! You are about to tackle a very huge project. Here are just a few tips on what not to do at the conference:
Don’t Throw Everything Away! There are many things that can, and should be, recycled. The most important item is the plastic name tag sleeve. Those can be used again and again. Make sure that you have a place for attendees to return their name tag. You can even host a raffle for all of those who turn in their name tag and give away a prize. This will incentivize your attendees to return their badge!
Don’t Over Do It. Less is definitely more when it comes to name tags. A first and last name with their company name is usually sufficient. You don’t need to add in their state, position, and favorite type of ice cream. People are looking for a name and that is about it.
Don’t Neglect To Check the Sound System. Sound systems are notorious for glitches and mishaps. Do not go with the cheapest sound system. Do your homework and find a reasonably priced system or company. Test the sound system a couple days before the conference. Test it again a few hours before the conference. There is nothing worse than technical difficulties when you have a room full of hundreds of people.
Don’t Put Your Speakers in the Shadows. Be strategic in where you place the podium and/or speakers. Make sure that they are easily seen from the audience. Do not place the podium or your speaker behind a huge pillar or in the shadows. This will deflect from their message. People want to see who is speaking to them. Put the speakers front and center with good lighting.
Don’t Run Out of Coffee. People can get really grumpy without their morning coffee. Make sure that you have plenty of coffee in the morning and afternoon. This is one area where less is not more!
Don’t Have Messy Food. There is nothing more awkward than talking to someone you just met and trying to bite into a pastry puff that is oozing with cheese or dripping with jelly. Finger foods are great. Just make sure they are easy to eat and clean.
Don’t Forget To Announce The Next Conference. Before, after, and during this conference you will have your attendees undivided attention. Take that opportunity to tell them about the next conference or event. Allow them to sign up online while sitting in their chair.
Trello is an innovative productivity and project management app that uses boards, lists, and cards to help get projects on track. A project on Trello is comprised of a board which can include any number of lists. Lists can represent the status of a project, such as done or doing, and cards can represent a specific task. Once a task’s status has changed, it can be moved to a different list.
Trello is useful to event planners and conference organizers because it allows you to add members to a board so you can get clients and team members on track. You can also assign people to specific cards and color code cards to better keep track of their status. The best part about Trello is that it is totally free, with a premium version available for only five dollars a month.
Trello can be a very valuable tool for professional event planners. You can create boards for specific clients and projects such as venue selection, decorations, and speakers. You can also attach files and images to cards for quick viewing. Another feature is the ability to create checklists within cards.
Evernote is a great note taking tool with a desktop version, an iPhone app, and an Android app. Your notes are synced when you save so they’re always available. Evernote is useful for taking notes on venues, speakers, and anything else you need to take note of.
You can easily share these notes with other people by linking them directly to a note or by sharing an entire notebook (a group of notes) with them. Evernote’s usefulness extends beyond text as well. You can embed images, videos, tables, and other media within notes for added effect.
Twitter lists are one of Twitter’s most underused features. You can create lists for different types of people, such as journalists, attendees, or speakers, and add people to the lists relevant to them.
A public list will be viewable by the public and people will be notified when you add them to one. Private lists are only viewable to you and you can add people to them without them getting notified about it.
Twitter lists allow you to monitor the activity of people you care about and filter the large amount of tweets in your timeline. This is useful if you want to engage with specific people or want to have a quick list available of a specific group of people along with their contact info.
Pinterest is a popular social network that describes itself as an online pinboard. Chances are you’ve used it to share fashion photos or pictures of dream houses, but it’s also a valuable organization tool.
One innovative way to use Pinterest to organize a conference or event is to create a board for venues, designs, seating charts, or anything else that has to be decided upon when planning a conference. After adding clients or team members to the Pinterest board, they can vote on their preferences by liking or repinning their decision.
You can also use Pinterest as a template for different types of events. For example, if you know that weddings usually require certain items and conferences require other items, then you can create an event board with examples of items and services that are needed for that type of event.
- Bare Necessities: Sometimes we forget the small stuff. You might be surprised how many of your attendees forget a pen. Be ready with a supply of pens and pencils. You may also want to have duck tape, a Clorox pen, mints, and a first-aid kit. You just never know!
- Emergency Contact Person: What if the lights go out, the pipes burst, or heaven forbid, you run out of coffee?!? Hopefully, these emergencies won’t happen, but it is best to be prepared. Make sure you know who to call if there is a crisis.
- Presentation Reminders to Speakers: Speakers are busy, over-achievers, and sometimes they forget that they committed to speaking at your event. It is common courtesy to send them an email or give them a phone call as a friendly reminder. They will thank you for it!
- Ask for Help: One of the hardest things for any person to do is ask for help. You may feel like you have everything under control, and you probably do, but there is always something that someone else can help you with. This will take the burden off your shoulders and allow you to focus on the bigger projects at hand.
- Make a Checklist: Having a checklist either in a notebook, in Evernote, or on a whiteboard at the office will help keep you organized. Writing something down helps keep it in the forefront of your mind. Go back over your checklist on a daily basis and especially right before the event.
I would have a lot of trouble telling people that my internship at BusyConf has been a job, at least in the normal sense. I hardly ever felt that my internship took too much effort, was too hard, or demanded too much of my time. Working on the BusyConf site itself was interesting, and while at times I felt overwhelmed, Ryan was always there to help me when I needed it.
Many of my worst programming habits have been resolved this summer. I now correctly use the shift key on Mac and Windows PCs, instead of the caps lock key. I also learned what habits to avoid, such as poorly named git commits. But even more critical, I learned to commit everything and that “vendor everything” still applies. In my opinion, my worst problem was naming conventions. I was taught that programs should be written with the future developer in mind.
I realized that many of the best programmers use Macs. I learned of a prediction by Paul Graham in 2005, that Macs would be used by all the top programmers in 10 years. Although Ryan insisted through his actions that Macs (Unix flavors) are superior to PCs for programming, it took me a while to completely shift my opinion. Much like someone learning a foreign language by traveling to another country, I learned about Macs via immersion. Surrounded at Ruby LoCo meetings by the iconic white apple, it was clear how other Ruby programmers felt. Nowadays, I just feel betrayed by Microsoft. My whole life I had been taught and somewhat mindlessly conditioned to believe in PCs – akin to the 1984 Apple Commercial.
The best things I learned were the most simple. Never be late to work, and quintuply so with interviews. Simple office tidbits, like going to lunch and that you should always “network, network, network” are more important than I originally thought. Optimism, persistence, and initiative are noticed. I specifically remember how I felt included. My opinion was taken into account, and I could always chime in. Ryan even taught me how to teach. I now have the opportunity to teach those around me.
I whole-heartedly recommend working with Ryan McGeary. I will not forget this summer. I still wake up with the optimism and passion I had working at BusyConf and then quickly realize that I am ‘stuck’ at college. Regardless of now being a student at CNU, and even having a great dorm, and new friends, I truly wish I could still be going in to work at BusyConf each morning.
If you are hosting a big conference or event, it is wise to invest a bit of time and create a Facebook page. This will serve as a great platform to communicate with your vendors, volunteers, guests, and staff. You can promote your event through your Facebook page, create ads, promoted posts, and showcase the event while it is happening. Once the event is over, your Facebook page will be an excellent platform to thank all of the attendees, volunteers, sponsors, and everyone who helped make the event such a success.
Creating a page is easy as long as you have a personal profile already set up. Follow these steps, and you will be on your way to promoting your event with ease!
1) Create the Page: First, go to Facebook, and create a Facebook page.
2) Choose a Page Type, Category, and Name: Your next step is to determine the type of page you want to create. The “Company, Organization or Institution” type is your best bet for a conference, convention, or event. For the category, one of “Community Organization,” “Non-profit Organization”, or “Government Organization” should work well. Choose a name for the page that matches the name of your event, but make it generic enough that you could reuse it for future events. You can only change your Facebook page name once, so choose wisely.
3) Choose a Thumbnail and Banner: The most important part of building your Facebook page for your event is your thumbnail and banner. You want them to stand out, tell people what you are about, and look professional. Most importantly, they need to be the right size! If you are not a graphic designer (not many of us are), outsource this work. There are many contractors out there that can create banners within days, if not hours, and for a reasonable cost. The banners should match your website, theme, and look similar to the rest of your printed materials relating to your event or conference.
4) Finsh Up the Details: Be sure to give as much information as possible. Fill in your address, website, and any other social platforms you may be on. There will be a place to write a short and long description. Do not leave these blank. This is your chance to tell everyone what your event is all about and why they should attend or donate.
The last step in making this page successful is to keep it updated with relevant information and on a consistent basis. Share pictures, thank your sponsors, talk to your attendees, and have fun. Put your Facebook page URL on all of your printed material and let everyone know that you are on Facebook. This will help attract fans and increase engagement on the page.
One of the biggest issues that event organizers have is increasing the amount of people who register and attend their events. In this post, we’ve put together 3 different strategies you can use to promote and market your next event. Along with marketing effort, increasing event registration also takes a focus on making things easy for attendees.
Here at Busyconf, providing a better experience for both event organizers and attendees is a priority. You can click “Get Started” to start using the BusyConf platform.
For more tips and advice on planning and marketing events, click the “Subscribe via Email” button in the right sidebar.
1) Streamline the Event Registration Process
Bad event registration processes can make all your event marketing efforts worthless. No matter how many people you get to visit your registration page, a bulky and cumbersome registration process will drive away potential attendees.
The best event registration processes decrease the amount of information that attendees have to enter. Only ask for the information you need. For example, you don’t need attendees’ addresses unless you’re planning on mailing them something.
An event registration process that is hard to navigate and forces users to go through multiple pages will lead to less attendees. Filling out page after page of registration information will annoy anyone. Presenting necessary information and sign up forms in a clean single page format is the best way to go.
Did you know that 50% of all tickets are purchased by someone other than the attendee or are purchased in a group? Whether it’s a company buying tickets for multiple employees or just someone buying a ticket for their friend, making it easy to purchase multiple tickets at the same time will help increase the amount of tickets you sell. Attendees should be able to purchase multiple tickets in one transaction, entering their payment information only once.
We know that having multiple ticket types is important, that’s why we made it easy to implement multiple ticket types. However, having too many ticket types can cause decision paralysis. Only create ticket types when the difference in benefits between tickets is clear. For example, we recommend creating student discount codes instead of defining a special student ticket type.
2) Clearly Communicate the Benefits of Attending
Take the “convince your boss” approach. If your conference or event is large and business oriented, chances are a company and not an individual will be making the decision to attend. Make it easy for potential attendees to convince their boss by giving them 3 or 4 benefits of attending. Whether that be making connections or learning new skills, make the benefits of attending clear and concise. The Next Web Conference did a great job with this, publishing an article on how to convince your boss to send you to their conference.
Communicate to attendees what they will learn during the conference. In large companies where the human resource department decides whether or not to send employees to a conference, they look at what employees will learn and the knowledge they’ll gain from the event. Sometimes the best way to communicate this is through the conference agenda or schedule. BusyConf schedules are made to effectively show the sessions and talks that are planned for the conference, along with the speakers who will be presenting.
All the basic rules of selling and marketing apply to events, and the most important part of selling is to show people the value of what you’re trying to tell them. Here are some ways to show people the value of attending your event:
- Share pictures and videos of past events.
- Publish the schedule/agenda from past events.
- Highlight speakers and sessions through your schedule and agenda.
- Interview speakers for your blog.
- Create a “Convince your boss” or “Why you should attend” page on your website.
- Blog about your industry. This is one of the first things you should do to promote your event.
3) Submit to directories and discovery engines
Conference discovery sites are great tools for attendees to find relevant events to attend, and they’re an indispensable tool for conference organizers to promote their event to a large number of interested people. Some great conference directories are:
When submitting to these sites, be sure to include some compelling reasons to attend in the description, along with relevant information like dates, locations, times, and information about the past event.
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