When preparing for a business or trade conference, you're usually busy juggling multiple tasks leading up to the event, from polishing your presentation to updating your business cards. But don't forget about promoting your business before, during and after the event, too.
Having a solid digital marketing strategy in place is key for making the most of in-person events, and we regularly work with clients to develop targeted campaigns designed to get conference attendees talking long after they've left. Whether your business or trade conference is a year out, or just a few weeks away (oops), we've got your back.
Here are four suggestions we offer to clients looking to make their mark.
How to Leave a Lasting Impression at a Business Conference
1. Know Your Audience
Think about who you want to attract to your presentation or booth before you ever set foot on the plane. Are they CEOs? Marketing experts? Industry thought leaders? Also keep in mind other important demographics like age, occupation, and level of education.
Once you've pinpointed your audience, you can begin building your marketing strategy. As part of that process, research the social media platforms that your target attendees use, and begin working on targeted social content.
2. Build an Organic Social Strategy
Now that you know your target audience and the best platforms for promoting your company, we can begin building our organic social marketing strategy.
Start by setting your goals for your conference or event campaign. Those could include:
- Boosting brand awareness
- Generating new leads
- Increasing followers
Without a clear end goal, you won't be able to determine if your efforts have been successful. Set a clear, detailed KPI for your campaign that you can monitor regularly.
Once your goal is established, you can begin working on social content. We recommend sharing an announcement post several months prior to the conference, and incorporating promotional content into your social calendar about a month out from the event.
Social Content Examples for a Conference
- Countdown posts leading up to the event (1 month, 1 week, 1 day, etc.)
- A giveaway post prompting users with a call to action (Liking a post, following your page, signing up for your newsletter)
- Having an Instagram or Facebook Live FAQ leading up to the conference
- Behind the scenes event prep photos
- Posting client and candid photos during the conference
3. Create an Email Marketing Campaign
With email marketing, you can cut out the middleman and target your clients and other experts in your industry directly.
By sending out an announcement and regular reminders about your plans or location at the conference, you can build on your other marketing efforts and encourage users to move deeper into your marketing funnel.
With email marketing, you can also A/B test different subject lines, design choices or CTAs, to see which ones resonate most with your audience. If you start a new campaign several months out from an event, you can generate enough data to make changes to your emails so that they're the most effective they can be come event time.
4. Geofencing, Geofencing, Geofencing
One marketing effort we are regularly recommending for business or trade conference marketing is geofencing. With geofencing, you can target someone by their location through their smartphone, making it the perfect way to reach attendees and potential customers.
But what if the conference you're attending covers a variety of industries, including some that might not be interested in your company? No sweat! Most geofencing platforms (including Groudtruth, which we use here at Informatics) offer secondary targeting, so you're able to include important targeting demographics for your target audience.
We also recommend a retargeting campaign after the conference to keep your business in the attendees' minds when they're back home and following up from the office.
Marketing your business at a conference might feel like a low priority considering all the other things you have to prepare, but there's no need to handle it on your own. Reach out to our team of marketing experts for help building and/or executing your digital marketing strategy, and focus on everything else!
Need help with your marketing strategy?
We can help you build and execute a strategy that actually moves the needle.