Tips on How to Run a Successful Conference or Seminar – Part 4A How to Market a conference

The last blogs have reviewed the reasons for having a conference, how to plan for a conference and how to budget for a conference. There can be many business reasons why a company should consider having a conference, not least are that events are an important part of the marketing mix. We will now outline the main check points to consider when planning a conference:

Having decided on your objectives and established a relevant theme, you need to consider the conference or seminar logo and the overall event branding and the invitation process for delegates.

The Promotion of the event

  • This is the most important aspect of all the planning, as you need to make sure that you have the relevant number of attendees.
  • The marketing of your event is not just the promotion of the event but integral to promoting your business, services, and expertise.
  • What ever marketing methods you adopt make sure you measure the results, so that you know what is the most effective method of getting people to attend.
  • Make sure that all your promotion is highly targeted.
  • Consider all possible methods of communication as different people like to receive different methods of communication.  Use the full range of traditional offline promotion as well as online  promotion as well as registration method for the delegates:-

Offline promotion

  • Advertising in newspapers, trade press, effectiveness of the advertisement  will depend on the clarity of the advertisement,, perceived value and targeting the degree of benefits for a person to attend.  You need to have a properly organized advertising plan and campaign.
  • Direct mail – addressed to specific recipient, which allows one to be more targeted.  You need to think who your target market is and adapt your message and language accordingly.  Unaddressed mail can also be effective but again needs to be carefully targeted.  Leaflets are a good medium for unaddressed mail.
  • Leaflet drops
  • Posters
  • Postcards, can be used as teasers to announce the date
  • Telephone, good for marketing to existing clients
  • TV & radio advertising
  • Audio and video, produce a CD that may show some of the speakers and their expertise.
  • Business introducers, using  face to face communication
  • PR, promoting the event with a press release that needs to be newsworthy i.e. different, entertaining or significant to grab the editors attention.
  • General correspondence, make sure your event is mentioned in some shape or form on all correspondence that leaves the office, such as fax header, note pads, compliment slips, leaflets to include in any correspondence sent out.  You can also use giveaways to promote the event.
  • SMS messaging, short texts are great way of reminding attendees of the event, and sending updates of what is happening.

Online promotion

  • Email, is an excellent way to market your event if you already have permission to contact the customer or prospect, often the collection of contact details through the website for newsletters can be excellent in sending electronic invitations.  The event can be promoted on every email sent from the office with an additional line on the signature.
  • Website this can be used to promote all your events on your corporate website under a specific tab heading of events.  You can also now use external website specifically designed to promote your event, provide additional information on the event and register the attendees, automate confirmation and joining instructions and send reminders if people have not responded, as well as statistics of registration and the  attendees profile.
  • Pop-Ups, on your website to convince people that your seminar is worth attending.
  • Social Media, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn
  • Phone Apps programmed for your event where delegates can link with other registered delegates and get the latest information and promotion

Further blogs on how to run a successful business event that has ROI will follow.  To receive these valuable ideas and make sure that you do not miss any of the articles we will deliver them to your in-box free, when you sign up.   The blogs will be full of tips and ideas, to help you and your business in event management.

Reference reading:

John G Fisher – How to run a Successful Conference
Philip Calvert – Successful Seminar Selling

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