This awesome guest post is written by Stephen Kim from Bizzabo.
Enough is enough. There’s a common misconception about events that need to be dispelled right here, right now. Many believe that an event is a single instance that only stays relevant for however long it lasts. They believe that its value is confined to the event’s start and end dates. This kind of limited scope is undercutting the true impact of events and completely overlooking the potential that events have of being a source of valuable content.
This kind of limited scope is undercutting the true impact of events and completely overlooking the potential that events have of being a source of valuable content.
No event is an island. There are countless ways in which content can be inspired by the event as well as echo the core message. Instead of viewing events as a standalone initiative, it is more accurate to understand them as supplementary pieces to the bigger marketing picture.
Keeping this in mind, it makes sense that events serve as a content marketing goldmine that continuously provide opportunities to elevate the company brand across multiple channels. A helpful way to understand this is by breaking down the process into pre-event, live event, and post-event stages. Each section will take a differing approach to creating a solid content strategy for events.
Pre-Event Leadup: Building Anticipation
Content creation should begin as soon as the event dates are announced. It’s important to be aware of the feelings of anticipation and excitement surrounding the event and to form a content strategy that capitalizes on those emotions. Here are a few tips to steer you in the right direction.
- “Road to the event” series
A great way to build steady momentum for your event is to create a weekly series that focuses on the lead-up to the event. By creating a consistent weekly stream of content, attendees and potential attendees will more clearly understand the offerings of your event and why they should be excited to attend. You can call it the “Road To ____” series or any other name that holds the same idea.
This series can come in the form of video, podcast, or even blog posts. Perhaps each episode focuses on a piece of advice for making the most out of the event experience. Or maybe you’d like to create an interview series of past attendees to share their event experience. The possibilities are limitless.
As shown below, Salesforce created a video series titled “The Road to Dreamforce” that offered tips to attendees on how to make the most out of their flagship event. Whatever your medium of choice, a weekly-leadup series is a great way to build anticipation.
- Past Event Videos
Nothing ignites the desire to register for an event than the deep-seated feeling of FOMO, otherwise known as “fear of missing out.” A great way to create this emotion is by having video content from the previous year’s event and making that a core promotional material for the current year’s event. This video can be shared on social media, included in email campaigns, or even embedded into the event website’s homepage, as shown below.
Live-Event Enthusiasm: Capturing the Moment
After months and months of meticulous planning, the event is finally here. All of your lead-up content has culminated to this very moment and it’s clearly paid off. Now is the perfect time to harness all of the energy that is pulsating throughout the event to create more awesome content. These pieces of content will prove to be incredibly valuable for not only the current event but for future events as well.
- Collecting valuable data
Arguably the most valuable content that can be produced during an event is not from the organizer’s end but from the attendees’ side. Make sure to take advantage of every possible opportunity to collect data from your attendees. Whether through onsite registrations, live polling or post-session survey responses, gathering these key pieces of information is crucial to ensuring future event success.
The best and most efficient way to collect this information would be to use a fully integrated event software that offers the necessary tools to gather this data.
- Creating shareable moments
Make it easy for attendees to share moments from the event to their respective social media networks. For starters, set up several photo booths or designated areas in which attendees can take pictures. This encourages more photo-taking at the event which in turn leads to more photos of the event being shared on social media.
Additionally, make sure to have a simple and memorable hashtag for your event to make picture sharing more appealing.
- Live streaming
An increasingly popular form of video format is live streaming. This a great platform to utilize because it captures the energy of the event and delivers it virtually to anyone tuning in.
You can plan for certain event sessions to be live streamed while also encouraging attendees to live stream the event on their own. In today’s digitally connected world, making your event accessible for everyone will only magnify its impact.
Post-Event: Maintaining Momentum
Now that the event has come to a close, the mission is to maintain as much post-event momentum as possible (after thoroughly congratulating yourself and your team, of course).
The first few weeks after the event is the ideal time to push out more content to capitalize on the good vibes that attendees are surely taking home with them after the event.
- Recap blog posts
Writing blog posts to recap the event is a quick way to create relevant content while also revisiting the highlights of the experience. Similar to a pre-event lead-up series, you could create a blog post series that offers all the key takeaways and lessons from the event to better package it for your readers.
- Partnered content with speakers/sponsors
As is the case with all events, the relationships that are formed through the event planning process are the most crucial benefits. Think of ways to further the build upon these relationships by launching partnered marketing initiatives with speakers or sponsors from the event. These partnerships may come in the form of webinars, ebooks, or workshops.
Maximizing Event Impact
The aforementioned tips are only scratching the surface when it comes to event-related content. The possibilities are boundless so make sure to be creative in your approach and diligent in your execution. Remember, an event is greater than the sum of its parts and a great content strategy will prove just that.
Stephen is a Content Marketing Strategist at Bizzabo. Launched in July 2012, Bizzabo is the world’s first event success software. It helps organizers create successful events by empowering them to build amazing websites, manage event registration, grow communities, go mobile and maximize event experiences – using a beautiful, user-friendly platform.
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