The old-school method of ‘sending out invitations’ is no longer enough to promote an event to the fullest. If you want the right size and type of crowd for your next big event, you need to have a good plan.
Event promotion and marketing have now evolved to become a diversified and complex process. Anything and everything that is a part of your event can be leveraged as a promotional tool. Event sponsors, venue, merchandise, event logo or your event speakers; all of them can help you get the word out there!
Talking about event speakers, they are the backbone of your event without a doubt. From enhancing your event’s reputation and credibility to giving the audience the content they want to being your brand advocates, speakers do a lot for you.
The importance of speakers in any type of event is surely indisputable. But the big question is,
Can speakers help your event’s promotion?
Now this question is as subjective as it can get. If you know how to drive the audience to your event with the help of speakers, they can get you a fair chunk of your crowd. If you don’t, their presence might just won’t make a difference. So, what to do with it? Simple.
Let’s master the subtle art of leveraging speakers for event promotion
I call it a ‘subtle art’ because though you want to your speakers to influence your audience, you don’t want to just push the fact of their presence in their face. You need to understand the ‘How tos’ and ‘How muchs’ of it. That’s what needs the mastering.
So, let us now look at a few ‘How tos’ while simultaneously understanding the ‘How muchs’.
1. Choose the right people.
Though pretty much a no-brainer, this is an aspect you need to look after very carefully. Not just will it impact the promotions of your event, but also the actual success of your big day.
Event profs usually take into consideration the industry of the event and the speakers, but they often forget to look after some other important aspects. This includes, within the industry specializations, popularity amongst the audience, their reputation and credibility and much more.
They need to be especially popular with your target demographics. Only then can you convert their followers into your attendees. Therefore, scrutinise your target audience very carefully before you finalise a speaker.
2. Give them their deserved space.
The mere presence of eminent personalities as your event speakers is not enough. You need to give them their deserved space in all your promotional activities.
The conventional method of ‘spreading the word’ is still just as crucial. That is why make sure to spread the word of their presence in your event. Dedicate some special announcements on various platforms just for your speakers. Add the name and picture of your keynote speaker in your event banners.
Highlight their presence in your invitation emails. In a nutshell, make them an integral part of all your advertising and marketing content. This will give an immediate boost to the credibility and grandeur of your event.
Pro Tip — When you have multiple speakers, make sure to give them all a proportionate presence. Over-emphasising on a particular speaker would just mean imbalanced activity.
3. Use the power of content.
Apart from the content announcing their presence, there is a lot more that can be dedicated to leveraging your speakers for your event’s promotion.
Based on their specializations, your speakers can write guest blogs related to your event that can be published on your website. If they have a regular blog, some content regarding your event can be published there as well.
If blogs aren’t a feasible option, you can also create a video involving the speakers. They can be in the form of an interview or the speakers preparing for the event or anything else that shows their involvement.
Pro Tip — In the case of content, the rule of ‘the more the better’ doesn’t necessarily work. Too much content about one speaker is a big fat no. In this context, the thin line between ‘promotion and ‘throwing it on their faces’ has to be understood. Also, never ever circulate repetitive content. It again implies negative responses.
4. Use the magic lamp called social media.
Most of the event profs understand today that social media is a very important platform for marketing and promotions of any event. However, one thing that some of them usually skip is that it is not only about your social media handles.
All the speakers that are a part of your event are sure to be active on at least one social media handle. Ask them to ‘spread the word’ as well of your event on their preferred social media. Since this would be targeted to their familiar audience, the content viewership will have higher conversion rates.
They can repost the announcements that you have made regarding their presence. Or they can share the guest blog written by them. Or some other content like videos or pictures display their involvement in your event. Basically, they can share anything and everything that breaks the news to their followers.
Pro Tip — Ask your speakers to share something related to your event a few times. But make sure that it is done at specified intervals, especially during the active registration period. Sharing 10 posts two days prior to the event would just make no sense.
These were a few ways in which your event speakers can help the promotional activities.
But wait! This is not the end. Event marketing and promotion have one golden rule:
The beginning of your event does not mean the end of its marketing.
Events are never a one-time transaction. That is why the marketing and promotions should be continued till given a proper closure post the end of the event. Same goes with the promotional activities done with the help of your event speakers.
The subtle art of post-registration marketing
After the registration phase of your event is over, you still have a lot of scope for marketing your ‘event brand’ with the help of your speakers. This can be done in a few ways:
1. Use the magic lamp called social media — Part 2
The social media handles of your speakers can still be very useful in establishing your event brand. Ask your speakers to share some pictures or videos that have their active involvement during the event.
They can even write a guest post for your blog, sharing their experiences and takeaways from the event.
2. Make good use of your networking platform
This step adds one more point to the huge list of benefits of an event networking platform. Using this, your speakers can interact with your attendees pre- and post event discussing various aspects related to their speech.
Such interactions would enhance the experience of your attendees and make them your permanent clients.
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