Considering Event Content

Posted on 29/07/2013 by Chloe

Content is King and a powerful strategic tool to boot. At the crux of formulating the event content, is your attendee. Put yourself in their shoes. As soon as your invitation hits their inbox -- be that an e- or physical version – the key question will be “What’s in it for me?”

If applicable, it’s also worth remembering that content can span the whole organisation process – pre/during & post event. In this sense content will be created, re-formulated and shared, giving it extra umph and potential for that all important competitive edge. Before the event, create specific hashtags for weekly conversations leading up to the event, link to your event website if utilising one and keep people in the loop to increase visibility (remember to note the time zone so international delegates can participate).

You can do anything you like as long as there’s value and as Christopher Vogler points out in The Writer’s Journey you can do anything as long as the journey makes sense (a mantra I take everywhere - especially in the event world!).

Make sure your delegate’s experiences make sense, ensuring they’re satisfied and you’re onto a winner. How? Here’s a Pick ‘n’ mix style of guidelines to be used with your own tried and tested ways, homing in on and thereby establishing content…

The attendee: Think about the delegates you’d like to attract. This may lend itself to content, theme, technology, AV, speakers and sponsors. Be ahead of the curve.

Attendee value and demand:  Ensure the event content offers value and correlates with the interests of your chosen audience. Create demand and buzz. Social proof in the form of attendee peer acknowledgement on social media forums and linked to your event website (again if utilising one) will definitely help. Bear in mind that some of your target audience won’t even leave their office unless they believe they’ll get significant value from the event.

Differentiation: How does your event differ? What is the event’s Unique Selling Point?

Engage customers/prospects: Are you providing an exciting opportunity for your attendees with a view to consolidating more business? Perhaps specifically enabling them to generate exciting networking opportunities? Are you providing a backdrop for prospects, clients, suppliers and distributors to strike up and consolidate relationships? Providing demo zones and/or specific networking areas facilitate these engagements.

Engage audiences: In a world of ever changing technology, empower audiences with the ability to contribute and offer responses. This makes it a more engaging event and creates further content. Equally, among other things, the information that’s generated can be used to linchpin decisions, changes in strategy and extend appeal to clients. Technology as content can therefore play an important part to capture information and by extension ROI. Calls to action on voting pads are a simple way to gather information and live content.

Create a Multi-platform event: A further way to engage audiences is by providing a social media platform for delegates to connect within the conference particularly if it’s a larger conference. This enables people to share the content you’ve painstakingly organised. With this in mind, if social media is important to your event video the conference, snippets of keynote speakers, suppliers, attendees for live and post event content. If it’s a repeat event, you can use this content as teasers to grab the attention of potential delegates for the next one. Note: make sure the WiFi is capable of supporting your needs and consider providing secure power towers for delegates to recharge their batteries particularly with the heavy use.

Bring together influencers: Powerful influential figures can add weight to any event, particularly those that highlight compelling trends and forethought. If you’re hosting an event with many different sessions and speakers running at the same time, consider providing coverage of each session online after the event. This will empower attendees, speakers and sponsors with fresh content available at their fingertips from any location at times suitable to them.

Scheduling:  Scheduling will help to map out and establish elements of your content.

Takeaways: What content would you like delegates to take away with them? What would you like them to learn? Continue the effort online focusing on these key questions. Continue the hashtags and conversations, adding any interesting photos you’ve managed to snap. Follow up with attendees, sponsors, speakers and exhibitors to get their feedback for future events and future content.