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7 Tips to Turn Your Conference Content into an Effective Marketing Machine

These tips will turn your event content into a marketing gold mine.

We've all heard the age-old philosopher's conundrum, "If a tree falls in the woods, but no one is there to hear it... does it make a sound?". Well in this helpful guide, the "tree falling" would be your next conference, and "no one hearing it" is you not having a strategy in place to turn this singular in-person (or hybrid!) event into a lead-generating, buzz-building, ultimate marketing machine!

There's a reason video content is the most dominant marketing and educational force, there is no quicker nor easier way to convey information in a captivatingly succinct way. We all know this to be true, but not everyone knows exactly how to use it effectively. That's why we decided to lay out a few of the most useful steps you can take to leverage your content capabilities.

In this article you will be equipped with tips and tricks that will 10x the power and reach of your conference, from pre-event to post-event, by deliberately capitalizing on the magic of content.

#1 Pre-Event: Hand Feed your speakers promotional material

Pre-event, your speakers are an amazing resource to drive the ideal attendees to your event. Your speakers often have access to an audience who follows them, and if you make it easy for them to promote their appearance at your event you are speaking to a beautifully curated list of potential attendees. Arming your speakers with content to promote to their fans or network is smart and easy with a little bit of effort on the front-end from your team. In fact, there are some amazing tools out there that can help you get this particular job done right.

Leveraging platforms like Gleanin or Snöball can make this process incredibly easy.

"Gleanin helps you create engaging content for your events, which your event stakeholders can share with their trusted communities. It’s fast, easy, and helps you attract high quality attendees."
"Snöball’s video testimonial tool makes it easy for speakers and/or attendees to record a personalized video soundbite from anywhere and share it with their digital marketing toolkit!"

#2 Pre-Event: Mini Content Videos

Get your speakers to give a one minute synopsis of their talk 30-60 days prior to your event. Even if this doesn’t drive net new registrations, it will help those who have already registered get even more excited about attending. In the least, this will likely result in having your attendees even more engaged and prepared for your event. This step is just an awesome way to generate marketing assets for you to use via social or in nurture track campaigns to your existing attendee list.

Think of this as a sort of teaser to attract your target audience and fire up your existing audience for the coming event. It's a two birds with one stone sort of effort.
Pro Tip #1: Keep It Simple

Have each speaker quickly record it over Zoom, so it doesn’t require much work on their part at all. You can also add this content piece to each session description of your event app.

Pro Tip #2: Streamline the Process

If you want to make things even easier for your speakers, create a super simple template/outline of basic questions they can use to keep the synopsis short, sweet, and succinct. Once you create this, you now have it to send to all of your speakers saving you time and energy you can spend elsewhere.

#3 During and Post-Event: Micro/Short Form Content

First off, we hope you are recording each session. Keep in mind, just capturing the content is 100 times more important than the production value itself.

As for strategy beyond pressing record, a great tactic is to have an intern or someone on your team sit in on the session and take note of the top three concepts the speaker hits on and the actual timestamp they occur at during talk. This will make life so much easier during the editing process. You will be able to quickly find the highlight points in your recordings, thus empowering you to crank out the highlight shorts remarkably faster.

For the actual editing portion, you don't need Martin Scorsese's editor cutting the footage. Simply have the same team-member who sat in on the session import the recording in a basic video editor, (think iMovie) and cut the marked sections by topic. Those clips can then be dragged into Canva where you can create a title card (name of your conference, the session and the speaker name). You can have them create basic title cards wit the topic name, an outro title card with a CTA to watch the whole session, and put it all together in Canva or iMovie.

Once the team-member does this a few times, you will have three simple videos within fifteen minutes after the session. A fourth video containing the session in it's entirety can also be published. The initial short form videos are perfect for marketing efforts such as email campaigns or social media content and will ultimately point people to the full session video via the CTA. That's where you can make the full recording a gated asset so you can capture the viewer's contact info, organization, etc. for full access.

Pro Tip: Mark Memorable Quotes

Another great way to capitalize on each session's content potential is to have the same intern or team-member write down the top 2 -3 noteworthy quotes with timestamps. These quotes can be turned into cool social assets with that can then be used in social posts or in email campaigns.

#4 During Event: Interview key attendees

Event organizers often don’t realize how many subject matter experts they have as attendees, so they often just try to capture content from their speakers and industry influencers. By doing a quick LinkedIn search, you can easily find Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) to share their thoughts and expertise on certain topics.

Our suggestion is to find those that can offer something of substance around some of your key sessions. To execute this, you need to do a bit of research on certain attendees in each track. Sure, it's a decent chunk of time up front, but it can go a long, long way in extending the conversation from your event. Once you have identified the individuals, try and pinpoint them at check-in (with a special designation) and ask them if they’d be willing to give short 2-5 minute interview on the topic being covered. Again, nothing crazy production value wise... you can easily record it on your iPhone.

Pro Tip: Prep Like the Pros

As mentioned previously, utilize the power of an outline/template for your interview. This may seem obvious, but the number of times we've encountered ill-prepared teams in these situations is surprising. Make sure you and your team make this process as painless as possible, it will benefit everyone and help you capture the content you are truly looking for in the long run.

#5 Event Wide Survey

As a continuation of #4, your event is a perfect place to capture the thoughts, concerns and ideas of your industry. Keep in mind you have a captive audience. Now, to be clear, we’re not talking about asking how the chicken tenders were during Happy Hour on Tuesday night. The market and industry information and data you can capture (even from a small cohort of your attendees) can be very powerful engagement tool for months following the event.

It's like turning your event into a focus group without it feeling that way. It's an organic way to generate insight for your team and value for your constituents.

There are multiple ways to execute this:

  • Ask 3-5 questions during registration.
  • If your concerned with effecting registrations this way, you don’t have to make the questions mandatory and you can easily have a link to the survey in the registration confirmation they receive.
  • Try and catch people at registration pick-up on-site, rather than asking them at the registration table. If you're worried about lines, then you can have someone walking through the line with an iPad to collect the results from each person waiting in line. It will give them something to do while waiting and gives an opportunity to kick the engagement off early.
  • We also suggest a small incentive - perhaps an extra drink ticket? That's one guaranteed way to drive conversion :) Another great incentive is to make participants the first folks to get access to the data and information. The ideal scenario would be to release the information to all that took the survey the last day of the show. It can add an entirely fresh view of things and make that last day really interesting.
Pro Tip: Gather Post Survey Reactions

Collect your constituents reactions and feedback to the data. This can definitely be used down the road to stimulate further conversations.

#6 Aggregate the top announcements from each exhibitor, sponsor and speaker.

As attendees to multiple shows throughout the years, we've always found it overwhelming to sort through which sessions are right for us, which exhibitors we really need to focus on and what we just cannot miss. The blessing and challenge of a well curated show is that it's often a "choose your own adventure" type of experience.

As much as event systems help you curate the experience you want, providing really helpful overviews of each session, speaker,  exhibitor, etc., makes the experience so much more impactful. We've also always wanted an event to take it one step further and aggregate the top 1-3 new announcements and news from each speaker, sponsor and exhibitor. That way, as we find the general overview of the sessions, exhibitors and sponsors we want to dive deeper with, we also have the most up to date information that they are focused on. Things can change in an industry or discipline on a dime, and speakers adapt their sessions as a result. We live in the instantaneous information age and attendees want to stay up-to-date to make sure they are spending their time at your conference wisely. Aggregating exhibitor, sponsor, and speaker announcements makes it easy for everyone prior to doors opening.

For example: Sessionboard is getting ready for ASAE, and we would love to highlight:

  • Our recent partnership with ExpoPlatform
  • Our recent Applications feature
  • Our expanded Abstract Grading Reporting feature

#7 During and Post-Event: Create a content repository

We understand how dauntingly difficult it can feel to repurpose your event content for further consumption post-event. However, it doesn’t have to be.

With a platform like Sessionboard, you will easily be able to decide which presentations and content can be released to the public in real-time and/or right after the event.
Why is this important:

  • Attendees can’t get to every session. So this allows us to catch up on what we missed.
  • Not everyone takes great notes. So a content repository is a way for me to access the sessions and ideas I really liked and share them with my colleagues who didn’t make the event or a particular session.
  • Not everyone can make the event at all, so this gives them an opportunity to leverage what was shared and then share those learnings with their network.
Ultimately, you want your conference to have as large an impact as possible. The content you capture is your ticket to exponentially growing your audience and notoriety long after the last booth has been disassembled.

Providing a repository for all of your event clips and sessions will inspire your speakers, sponsor, and exhibitors to share content relevant to their own audience as well, inadvertently allowing them to market your event and/or organization simultaneously. Investing in the production and storing of your next conference's content doesn't have to break the bank, and it's an investment that will pay off in ROI ten fold.

Pro Tip #1: Speed Thrills

It’s critical to get the content out as fast as possible, when the event is still fresh on people’s minds. Every day that goes by allows your constituents to put the event, the tips, the relationships on a back-burner. Speed is critical, especially with new ideas.

For example: when an attendee gets back to the office or their desk on Monday and is starting to talk about how beneficial the investment to go to the event was, you want to arm them with supporting evidence to share with their team. Imagine giving them the ability to quickly pull up the content and ideas they found valuable. Your repository helps them do that.

Pro Tip #2: Content > Production Value

Where a lot of organizers get held up is trying to create a high production value video. Keep in mind that attendees care about the content more than the quality of the intro and outro. Don’t let editing perfection get in the way of distribution. Think TikTok versus a commercial on tv.

Pro-Tip #3: Offer A Combination of Both Open and Gated Content

By creating little snippets of content, you can capture people's interest and collect their contact info in order to access the full length content.

Clearly the content you are curating by hosting the event is really valuable, but don’t hold it in a secret vault.

As we all know, people actually attend for multiple reasons. The post event content will give them even more excuses to attend the next time around. In the meantime, let them tell you who they are and what they are interested in by asking for their information in order to consume some of the nuggets of wisdom at your event.

Pro-Tip #4: Create Nurture Campaigns By Track

By having a content repository, you should be able to tag each session by track. From there, once someone consumes a session, you now have a better idea of what track or area of interest they have. With that small piece of information you can organize your content by track (like you do with your sessions in person) and create a series of emails that that individual can receive over time. You also have the benefit of seeing which sessions were most resonated with by attendees, giving you further insight into planning your next event.

Pro-Tip #5: Invest in a System

It goes without saying that it is really hard to execute the above without a system in place. You can try, but it will take a lot of time and likely a lot of mishaps. The distribution benefits of a system like Sessionboard will far outweigh the cost. So if you'd like to learn more about the Sessionboard Speaker and Content management platform, please reach out: https://www.sessionboard.com/contact-us

Chris Carver


As CEO Chris brings his diverse background working with nonprofits, events and tech—inspiring him to build Sessionboard.