2016_09sep20-_-event-marketing-part-1

Event Marketing Part 1: Checklist for your upcoming event

SC16 is right around the corner. Can you believe it’s just 7 weeks away?! Our HPC, Enterprise Technical Computing, Research, University, and Organization customers have us quite busy with their event marketing and preparing for SC16.

This spring, we shared our Musing (Blog) about how to market your company for an upcoming event, Don’t Just Show Up – Engage!. To help get you ready for your industry’s next big event, we would like to highlight some bite-size pointers in a four-part, #JustStartToday series to cover what to do 2 months prior to an event, 1 month prior, during the event, and post-event. Whether you are a first-time attendee or a “usual suspect” at an event, we hope you pick up a few useful tips that can help your business get the best return from your presence at the event.

Part 1: Event Marketing 2 Months Prior to the Event

Set Goals

Whether you will be attending an industry conference, exhibit, or networking event know that what you do before the event can improve your results. If you haven’t done so already, we suggest taking the time to set goals for your upcoming event. To get your juices flowing, start by asking yourself two questions: What am I hoping to get out of this conference or event? How will I know if I have been successful? To see an overview of B2B companies’ top goals for attending events:

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Source: BtoB Magazine: State of Event Marketing, July 2011

Whether your goals include increasing brand awareness, customer leads, or media exposure, defining measurable event goals will set you on the success path.

Reach Out

Bet you have a “wish list” of those you’d like to meet at your upcoming event. You may want to meet someone you know will be attending the conference, connect with representatives from certain companies in your industry, advise clients of your attendance to find out if there is anything you can do for them at the conference (offering to help with an introduction can be very valuable to them), plan client meetings in the area, or gather information that would be helpful to your company or clients’ post-events. The point is, if you do not identify these goals in advance and take the time to identify the individuals you want to connect with at the event, you’re missing the opportunity to make these connections. Take 15 minutes to brainstorm with your team and you’ll have that list. Then, reach out via newsletters, LinkedIn, email, or good old fashioned mailed invitations.

Explore Opportunities

Next, consider what opportunities exist at the event to help you meet your goals. Perhaps there are speaking opportunities for your area of expertise or event sponsorships available. Lunch and evening networking opportunities (aka parties) are typically built into the event’s itinerary, and you should plan to actively participate. Industry events are also a great time to set up press and analyst briefings. In other words, make the most of your time at the event. That doesn’t mean you have to stay up past your bedtime every night; although, you might just surprise yourself with the fun you’ll have and new connections you’ll make if you do, even if it’s just one night.  

Get The Word Out

Publicity isn’t just for PR firms to handle. Well in advance of the event (now would be a good time), you should begin publicizing your participation whether as a speaker, vendor representative, or attendee through as many channels as possible. Depending on the nature of the event, a pre-event press release might be to your advantage. And, of course, promoting on your social media channels is very important. Besides posting about your attendance, it’s also a good idea to post other content (blogs, shared articles, etc.) that is relevant to the event’s topic. If the event has a hashtag, by all means, use it! If not, give it one to get the conversation started.

For those attending #SC16, we know you know that #HPCmatters, and we look forward to seeing you there. For those looking for some event marketing assistance before your company’s industry conference or event, let us know what topics we can help you out with – we’d be happy to offer our expertise.

 

 

About the author: Kim McMahon has performed sales and marketing for more years than she cares to count. She writes frequently on marketing, life, the world and how they sometimes all come together.