Events can be stressful. But for most businesses, they are necessary for getting yourself out there and making new connections. We’ve run and attended lots of events from small meetups right through to massive conferences. There’s a lot to learn, so we have put together six tried and true steps to help you squeeze the most value out of your next event, no matter whether you’re a host or attendee.
#1 Plan well ahead
This is is the simplest step, but it’s so crucial! Make sure you give yourself enough lead time to plan accordingly. If you’re the host, create a promotional strategy that kicks off at least 6 weeks ahead of your event if it’s small, and three to six months ahead of a large conference.
If you’re attending or exhibiting at an event, brainstorm ideas for content you can create in the lead-up, at and after the event to create value with your intended target audience. You have the benefit of leveraging high-profile speakers, businesses, and attendees, so create as many ideas as you can. The second thing you can do is create a checklist of things you need for the event.
Content Idea: Share a must have event product guide with your audience ahead of the event to build curiosity.
#2 Create buzz
Drumming up excitement about your business attending an event is a great way to get the most value out of the experience. Take advantage of the weeks leading up to it to let your people know where your booth is and what you’ll be doing there. Use the opportunity as a way to boost your cred’ and let that free publicity rub off on your business. A couple of ideas on how you can do this include creating social media posts that tag the event, the organizer, or speakers and creating blog posts with backlinks to the event.
Content Idea: Share your personal experience of an event with a case study
#3 Offer advice
Events aren’t just confusing for the exhibitors! Often times the attendees are unsure of where to go for things like accommodation, food, and flights. You may know some insider information on keynotes and presentations or must do activities attendees should tap into at the event. Offering advice can be a great way kick start relationships and to get your business on people’s radar.
Content Idea: Create a blog post and/or video on how to choose a hotel for the event
#4 Create a competition
One of the best ways to rock your booth is to engage with attendees through fun activities. Draw in a crowd with games, unique merchandise and a great offer. Use social media beforehand to ask what would make a great prize. High-value items like iPad Pros make great, easy to fulfil prizes.
Content Idea: Create a blog or social media post about your competition ahead of the event
#5 Get involved
The event doesn’t have to end with your booth. What can you offer? Get in touch with the organizers to see how else can you be involved. Do they need more panellists? Could you host a fireside chat with one of the speakers? Could you be a speaker? All of these questions are great to ask right away when you are considering attending an event. You never know what can happen! Sometimes, it just takes that one phone call to create a great opportunity.
Content Idea: Host a Fireside chat featuring a speaker and share the info via our blog and social media, or just with a select audience via your email newsletter.
#6 Share the highlights
Don’t forget post-event buzz as well! A wrap-up post sharing what you learned is a great way to engage with your audience. It also helps your brand stay on the cutting-edge by sharing industry developments and trends. Share highlights from the event via a blog post or video.
Content Idea: Share the event highlights with your audience.
Over to you
To help you kickstart your content for an event, we’ve created two Writally Content Recipe collections for content around exhibiting at B2B events. You can check them out here.