Last week, we hosted a webinar on “Creating Killer Event Content.” Big thanks to our panelists, , Curtis Midkiff, Sarah Atkinson and Laurie Ruettimann! You can hear all of their event content tips in the recording at the bottom of this post. Or, read on for our wrap-up of the best advice from the webinar.
Why should I give away my content for free?
We covered several ideas about giving away event content last month, and our panelists had even more good tips about the value of offering free content.
Sarah: Make your content so good that people who aren’t there know that they’re missing out. Write content that describes the vibe, excitement, inspiration at the event that you can’t get from flipping through a slide deck.
Curtis: Look at your content as marketing for upcoming events. A person’s decision to not attend your content in person is not a finite decision forever. Keep those people engaged and they may come to future events.
Laurie: Nobody ever goes to an event for the Powerpoint presentations. Give away something — executive summaries or infographics. Don’t give away a 42-page Powerpoint deck, but instead give away something shorter. If your Powerpoint is your content strategy, you have a failed conference. Think about videos, podcasts, and tweetable content that’s interesting.
What kinds of content should I create at events?
Laurie: Stop thinking about the vehicle for your content and start thinking about the content that’s there. Think about the format that makes each event content shine. Make your speakers feel like the superstars that they are.
Sarah: We’ve seen a lot of success with video, anything visual, and anything short and shareable. Short snippets from a speaker, or a highlight from an attendee showing what they enjoyed the most.
When you’re creating video, think about how you can reach people that aren’t in the room. That might mean broadening your content a little bit — talking about the industry as a whole to drum up more interest in your content.
Curtis: Conference organizers make the error of not alerting the general audience about where they can find the content. A lot of content is set up for sharing on social networks. At SHRM, we’ve created a content hub where people can easily find and share content, and we promote it in all of our event communication. We also do a printed daily content piece at SHRM.
Laurie: I read the daily SHRM newspaper every day at the event! And I’m not the only one. Not everyone is digital and addicted to their smartphones. Getting a newspaper or a one-sheet every day that isn’t in my digital stream is really helpful. The idea of going old-school is really new-school, and it’s a great idea.
How can I add value to the conversation by curating event content?
Curtis: First, present the experience content, which comes from the people at your conference. Choose a picture of the day from Instagram, or a tweet of the day. We have also incorporated a group of social influencers and bloggers, who have helped us expand the coverage of our content. Take a double-tiered approach.
Sarah: Encourage and even reward social activity. If you’re the only one tweeting, people are going to get sick of seeing what you have to say. It’s important to have a lot of voices. We’ve instituted a structured media/blogger program. We seek people out who want to attend the conference, and in exchange for a free pass to attend, they tweet and blog for us.
Laurie: I’m a big advocate of an editorial calendar, and I use the 80/20 rule. 80 percent of the content at your event should be planned, so you should think in advance about your strategy and plan your tweets, Facebook posts, etc. and you don’t have to worry about it. Then the remaining 20 percent of your content currency can be live from the event. Manage your time before your conference, so that once you’re at the event, you can keep your attention focused where you need it.
How can I live-tweet like a pro?
Curtis: Make your audience aware that you’re going to be live-tweeting, since you’ll have more tweets coming from your account than normal. Also, it’s not a play-by-play. I like following conferences where the Twitter account focuses on the most poignant points.
And, you should be a good listener. A lot of times, what your in-person audience tweets can guide you as to what your online audience will respond to.
Sarah: Think about who your followers are. Make sure whatever you’re tweeting will make sense to people who aren’t in the room. Remember that a lot of people who are following you aren’t there in person. Give them a little background and help them get involved in the conversation.
Laurie: I recommend everyone follow Jennifer McClure to learn how to live-tweet. She is the example of how to live-tweet right. She pays attention to what’s going on, she’s listening, speaking to a broader audience, and is not using lingo and jargon. She takes what’s in the room and makes it relevant.
Looking for more conference and event content tips? Download our white paper.
Reputation Capital Media Services is a Baton Rouge marketing agency that helps B2B companies and their marketing agencies produce high-quality digital content, including blog posts, e-mail newsletters, white papers and multimedia. Our editors and writers are experts in their fields, which include HR technology, employee benefits, and financial services and accounting. Contact us for a free 30-minute consultation to find out how great content can help you attract and retain your customers.