Even when they have similar demographics, event attendees have varying preferences when it comes to digital communication. Some prefer receiving periodic emails while others like to get news through social media channels or blogs. Invariably, what they all have in common is that they do not like to spend time on the event website searching for important information. When they need it, they need it right away.
Faced with a rich array of choices, many marketers tend to get confused about which channels to focus on for their digital promotions. We recommend following a three-fold strategy that is not unlike putting together a cool cocktail!
Mix it up, and mix it up till you figure out the right proportions that work for your audience. Choose a theme for the week (or month) and broadcast messages related to that theme on all channels. Tie each theme to important stages in your show cycle – registration, proposal submission, profile updates and so on. Prepare and post a mix of rich, original content such as interesting visuals, videos, customer stories and survey results. Only text and links is so 20th Century.
Move things around by circulating content across different channels. Cross-promote different marketing channels. Encourage website visitors to follow you on Facebook and Twitter. Post important website links on social media. Include both web and social links in your press releases. Include important web links in your confirmation and reminder letters. Enable attendees to share exhibitors’ profiles and products as well as favorite sessions with others in their networks. Very soon, your team will be in a position to figure out which channels are more popular with your audience and where to put in the maximum efforts for maximum gains.
Try something new every year. Don’t hesitate to venture into the unknown to stir things up a bit. Organize a contest for your newest audience to engage them. Prepare short videos to instruct participants on how to complete key tasks and promote these on all channels. Encourage attendees to submit their own videos that have the potential to go viral. Send out notifications using the event’s mobile app to remind participants of important deadlines. The idea is to do something novel that stirs your attendees’ imagination and captures their attention.
To put it succinctly, your event’s digital marketing mix needs to include all major channels of communication but how much effort you put into each channel would depend on your audience and their requirements.