As you approach your next conference or meeting, spend some time thinking about how to best use your event content. It’s possible that you’re not using this valuable resource to its full potential.
You put a lot of time and money into your event content. With a little advance planning, you can make the most of that investment. To get lasting value from your event content, start planning your event content strategy early.
Before the event
Event content, and content in general, has two main purposes: distribution of information and marketing. Incorporating aspects of both will lead you to an effective event content strategy.
Complete these steps before your event:
- Develop your content strategy
- List your content components (session handouts, itinerary planner, etc.). What do you want to offer?
- Consider which media to use. Print? Online? Mobile event app? All three?
- Make a decision about content delivery based on budget and staff.
- Choose your vendor(s). You’ll want to work with competent partners.
- Complete the initial legwork.
- Develop a mobile event app.
- Print advance and final programs.
- Post information on your event content website.
Valuable content can provide information and market your event. The better your content, the more attention—and potentially, attendees—you’ll attract.
During the event
Once the event is underway, distribution and engagement is the name of the game. Among (many, many) other tasks, add these to your list:
- Distribute final program/pocket guide.
- Update late papers/other information on event content website as needed.
- Promote social media use through the mobile event app.
Increase engagement by offering content in a useful format, be it a mobile event app or a printed program. Attendees will connect with the content and the association in a meaningful way.
After the event
In the afterglow of a successful event, you can take advantage of that momentum to get a head start on marketing next year’s event.
- Archive papers, session handouts, and other information on your event content website.
- Post event pictures, the best of attendees’ tweets, and more to commemorate a great event and promote engagement for next year.
- Update your event website with information for next year’s event. Include as much information as you have, but at a minimum, give dates and location.
- Open content to non-attendees, if that’s what your association decides. Whether you offer content to attendees only or to all members, you’ll be providing the benefits of membership and creating an online archive of association content.
- Analyze usage information. What worked this year? What changes should be made? Should any of your event content delivery methods be discontinued?
Bottom line: When you start to view your event content as evergreen, you’ll see how to make it work for you all year long.
Read our 2018 State of the Conference Industry Report to learn how other organizations use their content before, during and after an event.