Surprisingly significant amounts of time, energy, and financial resources go into attending an industry conference – is your firm making the most of this investment? The conference scene can still be a valuable difference-maker for emerging brands, or companies with new products or services to showcase. With some advance planning, high-touch engagement during and strong follow through after your next conference, you can elevate your brand awareness and underscore your industry presence.
Here are four tried and true strategies that we recommend to our clients to enhance your brand presence at your next industry conference.
1) Leverage social media
We are in a digital age, so it’s no surprise this tops the list. Utilize the conference hashtag and follow other conference attendees on appropriate social channels. Before you leave for the conference, research the social handles of top presenters you are excited to see. While on-site, live tweet during the sessions you attend, and take advantage of photo and video. Give your followers a glimpse into what you’re experiencing in real time.
2) Engage attending reporters
See what media will be in attendance and start a conversation. Just like you, reporters are hoping to gain insight and resources from the event. Position yourself as a resource who can offer insight and takeaways. This is a symbiotic relationship. You can assist the reporter in their content development by sharing your analysis and opinion, and in turn, get the opportunity to further your brand’s core messages.
3) Interview attendees/speakers before or during the conference
Put your journalist hat on and identify topics and trends from the conference that would be interesting to your audience. Then mold them into blog or podcast content, analyzing the information through your brand lens. Developing post-conference takeaways is another opportunity to extend your time investment and share your insight with those who couldn’t attend.
4) Use compilation tools, like Storify
The conference isn’t over until you make a recap…but really. This area is often overlooked, so do this and really make your brand stand out. Compilation tools allow you to take content that’s already out there and package it into an easily shareable format to give your followers a snapshot of the conference and top takeaways. This final push shows what you got from the event and offers another opportunity to get your brand out there, so take advantage!
Try these tips for your next conference to maximize ROI and take your brand to new highs. Keep an eye out for my colleagues Joe Anthony and Lauren Davis at the IMN Global Indexing and ETFs conference June 25. They will be sharing updates from the conference via LinkedIn and Twitter.