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Balancing Organization Goals With Attendee Expectations Through Event Content Strategy With Rachel Cohen From GitHub

Rachel Cohen of GitHub talks event content strategy at the intersection of corporate objectives and attendee expectations.

Crafting engaging and valuable content has never been more crucial in the event industry, especially in a world where digital and hybrid formats have taken center stage. Today’s audiences are hyper aware of the importance of their time and expect a highly engaging and interactive experience. 

In our latest episode of Sessions, Chris Carver, CEO & Co-Founder of Sessionboard, and Rachel Cohen, Senior Content Program Manager at GitHub, explored the evolving landscape of event content strategy. They discussed the importance of aligning corporate goals with attendee expectations, leveraging speaker networks for enriched experiences, and insightful ways to measure the impact of event content on the sales pipeline. 

Our Favorite Quote From Rachel...

What You'll Discover:

  • Event Content Strategy Evolution: Rachel discusses how her role in event content strategy at GitHub, especially for their Universe event, has grown in importance over the years. The pandemic emphasized the critical role of content, making it essential for virtual engagement and learning. [00:22]
  • Integrating Corporate and Attendee Needs: Rachel emphasizes balancing corporate goals, attendee expectations, and industry trends to create a successful content strategy. This involves closely working with internal stakeholders to ensure the event's messages align with corporate objectives while meeting attendees' learning needs. [13:42]
  • The Importance of Speaker Networks: Highlighting GitHub's investment in the developer community, Rachel shares how leveraging speaker networks enhances the event experience. Utilizing testimonials and engaging content from speakers can significantly boost event promotion and community building. [31:00]
  • Utilizing Content to Drive Pipeline and ROI: Rachel introduces the concept of connecting specific sessions to the sales pipeline as an innovative way to measure content success. This approach helps in assessing the real impact of sessions beyond traditional metrics like attendance and satisfaction scores. [24:01]
  • Professional Growth through Event Participation: Rachel advises event professionals to attend and speak at events themselves. This experience provides valuable insights into attendee and speaker experiences, improving their skills in content strategy and event planning. [34:15]

This timely discussion offers a roadmap for event content teams looking to elevate their event strategies and underscores the importance of personal growth through active participation in the event ecosystem. 

Our Top 5 Takeaways

  1. Event Content as a Marketing Tool: Event content is becoming increasingly important for marketing organizations. Insights from attendee behavior and preferences, trackable through event technology, provide valuable data for understanding audience interests and tailoring marketing strategies.
  2. Content Strategy and Session Design: A successful content strategy should be built on corporate goals, attendee feedback, and industry trends. When designing sessions, think like an email marketer, with clear titles, engaging abstracts, and strong calls to action. Consider different levels of expertise and learning styles to cater to a diverse audience.
  3. Diverse Session Formats for Engagement: Introducing various session formats, such as discussion lounges or interactive workshops, can cater to different learning styles and enhance attendee engagement. This approach ensures that content is accessible and relevant to all participants.
  4. Aligning Content with Attendee Needs: It's crucial to design event content that addresses attendees' specific problems and needs. Demonstrations and sessions should not only showcase new features but also demonstrate their practical application and value to the audience.
  5. Pipeline Growth as a Key Performance Indicator: While measuring the impact of events on pipeline growth is essential, it's important to remember that the quality of attendees in a session can be more indicative of success than sheer numbers. Focusing on attracting the right audience can lead to more meaningful engagement and better long-term results.

These takeaways highlight the importance of strategic content planning, attendee-centric session design, and the role of events in driving business outcomes.

More Of Our Favorite Quotes From Rachel...

  • "Event content's importance to marketing is growing, as event technology enables us to glean valuable insights from attendee behavior and interests, making every interaction more trackable."
  • "Crafting an event agenda is like email marketing; your session title is the subject line, your abstract the body, and your CTA encourages attendance. It's about capturing attention quickly."
  • "Effective content strategy hinges on three key inputs: aligning with corporate goals, addressing attendees' desires, and staying current with industry discourse."
    "Diversifying content to cater to varying levels of expertise and different learning styles, from auditory to tactile learners, enhances the attendee experience and engagement."
  • "Focusing on content that addresses attendees' needs and considering pipeline impact over session quantity can redefine success metrics for events."

Full Interview Transcript: Sessions -  Balancing Organization Goals With Attendee Expectations Through Event Content Strategy With Rachel Cohen From GitHub

Chris: Perfect. Well, Rachel, thank you for joining us. What I thought we could do is if you could give us a quick overview of your current role and tell us a little bit more about the GitHub events, and the event you specifically focus on. That would be a good place to start.

Rachel: Yeah, of course. Thanks for having me. So, I lead the event content strategy and execution for Universe, which is GitHub's annual flagship event. I've been in events and specifically event content for almost 14 years now. And my role, the way that I explain event content and the role of an event content professional to someone, is we sort of sit at the center of the speaker experience at your event.

Rachel: The attendee learning experience at your event, you work between the internal stakeholders. So, your various folks in marketing and product, specifically for a tech event. And then also your event operations contacts. So anyone who's thinking about the venue and the logistics and everything associated with that, you're at the middle of all of that. So you're the voice of the attendee and the speaker in a lot of those conversations.

Chris: Yeah. One of the things we'll get into, and I remember a conversation we had, I don't know, I think it was last year, is just how you really pull that out from a variety of different aspects of the organization. So I'm excited to dig into that. But before we do, can you give us a little bit of background about how you got into events?

Chris: And specifically, if you look through your LinkedIn, I mean, it has event content throughout. So how did that evolve for you?

Rachel: It's a funny story. It wasn't something I set out to do, which I think is pretty common for a lot of event folks in particular. We just sort of fall into it, although now I hear of a lot of people in college studying events, which blows my mind, and I love that. I'm one of the people who fell into it.

Rachel: I had a job my senior year of college at an energy efficiency software company. It doesn't really exist anymore in Boston, and they were doing marketing and they wanted to hire me full-time, but the only role they had available was an events job. I'd never done events before, but I'm a pretty type-A, organized person, so it worked well with that personality, I'm sure, you know.

Rachel: And I fell in love with it. I really enjoyed, you know, the deadline-driven aspect of working in events. It also happened to work out that the year I started was the first year they were hosting their own conference, and they needed someone to manage the speakers. It was a perfect opportunity for me because I'd studied communications in college, specifically focused on public speaking.

Rachel: So, and I did that, you know, not really knowing what I wanted to do, but figured that would be relevant to a lot of different roles. And I ended up getting a job that was very relevant for, almost perfect for, honestly. And the longer that I did that, the more I managed speakers. That role grew to be overall, you know, agenda strategy, content strategy for the event. I was at the company for about five and a half years.

Rachel: But my role was always kind of split between content, event content, and then other kinds of marketing content, like email marketing, case studies, things like that. And I really wanted to focus in on that content. I didn't even know if that was a career path, but I did some informational interviewing, figured out that it was, and that's what I've been doing ever since, primarily having that role, that sort of content lead role for events in the tech space, internally at a company.

Rachel: But I also have done some time at an agency, which is really interesting to kind of learn about how to get into the weeds of what speaker management really entails for some pretty large conferences. I've also worked in the event tech space, planning events for event professionals themselves, which is really fun. So it all culminated in where I'm at with GitHub because I think GitHub, in particular, is so passionate about the attendee experience at our events and really getting creative with how that comes through in content.

Rachel: And it's a great place for me to take everything I've learned and create a really wonderful both attendee and speaker experience at our events.

Chris: So, I mean, there are so many things you mentioned in there. I am sure how the event content role, if it has evolved for you, or have you, you know, it seems like that is becoming such a more and more critical part. So maybe this is a two-part question for you specifically: has it evolved? And then I want to dive into more of the kind of industry perception.

Chris: So, yeah, the first question, how has it evolved for you?

Rachel: For me, I think it's evolved both in my, obviously, my confidence in the space. So of the experience I've had, I definitely feel confident with coming into a new organization and helping create a structure for their content program and explaining, I've really learned, kind of what I did at the beginning of this conversation, explaining what an event content person does because I think I've had to do it many times.

Rachel: Not that I mind. I love educating people around this career path and this role in particular. I also think it's evolved in the level of importance it plays in and on an event team. Not that I would ever wish for a pandemic again, but I do think a silver lining there was how much it elevated both the role of an event content person on an event team, but also the content itself.

Rachel: I know we always hear the term content is king, or queen, or some non-binary version of that. But I think because of the pandemic, it really showed that to be true because that was all events had at the time. All we had was content to be delivered virtually. And in that time, and I'm going to, there's probably one a few times I will plug this group, as you know, is the Event Content Council, which is a group of other folks like myself who meet every month. We really, you know, supported each other through that time because we were all learning in real-time kind of how to do virtual content, how to train speakers on, you know, speaking to a camera, how to think about your lighting, how to think about your sound, how to make, you know, the same content that you had planned for an in-person event, work for a virtual audience.

Rachel: So I think the role has evolved because events have evolved and events now, especially with virtual events, just sort of being the de facto, I think still in the space that I'm in, they still are really important to your overall event strategy. And so an event content professional now needs to be able to balance both worlds, to be able to produce an in-person event, to be able to produce a virtual event, to be able to think about how your in-person content works for your virtual audience, how your content lives beyond your event.

Rachel: I think I partner a lot more closely now with our marketing team to make sure that their content from the event is integrated into post-event content campaigns and other things our marketing team is doing. So those are a few ways I think the role has evolved. Maybe I think I may have answered both of those questions at the same time, both for myself and in general.

Chris: Yeah. It's interesting because one of the things I love to hear more about is how, or why this has become. It seems like it's becoming an even more critical part of the marketing strategy, not just the event execution strategy. Are you seeing that trend? It sounds like you are. Do you have any thoughts as to why and you know why that's happening?

Rachel: I think that people are realizing, and I think event folks have known this for a long time, but I think people are really seeing the impact, especially now, of in-person experiences, in particular, with the fact that you have so many of your key target customers, you know, your industry audience looking at you at the same time and capitalizing on that opportunity is so important because now we have so few opportunities to have everyone looking at us at the same time and talking about us and investing their time in participating in our experience.

Rachel: And so from a content perspective, I think it's becoming, from an event content perspective, I think it's becoming more significant to the marketing organization because there are so many insights you can glean from what people are interested in based on how they're spending their time at your event with event technology. I think everything is so much more trackable now to understand what people care about. And the way that I talk to the marketing teams I work with, as I talk, I use the sort of revolving door analogy.

Rachel: I rely just as much on them as they rely on the content that I produce at an event because I'm constantly looking at the trends that they're sharing with me around blogs like which blog topics are most popular, email marketing, what are the email subject lines that people are clicking on? What are the CTAs that are driving people to convert?

Rachel: I translate that. I always talk about how a session title, an abstract should read like an email. You know, your session title is your subject line. Your abstract is the body of your email, your CTA is what gets people to actually add the session to their schedule. You know, I like to think like an email marketer when I'm creating an overall agenda because it's the same idea.

Rachel: You have that really short moment to capture them. So using language like that, which kind of speaks to how marketers think, it creates a really good connection and helps them understand how the work that they're doing really influences the content that we put on at our events.

Chris: That's really interesting. And that gets me to well before I actually go to the next prompt or point, you want to talk a little bit more about the event content counsel for the folks that are in content, you know, how do they get involved? You know, I know it's not this secret society that you have. So and I think it's great and a lot of you folks and it's incredible some of the conversations that I've been a part of and I'm not even a part of the event.

Chris: Content Counsel.

Rachel: Thank you. Yeah, I'm happy to talk a little bit more about it. It's a group of folks just like myself, who own an event content or or excuse me, influence event content in some way in their organizations. We are primarily, excuse me, for end-users. So by end-users, I mean corporate event marketers. We don't have folks from vendors or agencies involved just to kind of keep, keep your audience focused on, on and we're all sort of having the same experiences and yeah, we meet every month to get involved.

Rachel: We, it's not hard. We have a group on LinkedIn that we use. You can also honestly just message me and I'll get you added to on LinkedIn, I'll get you added to our distribution list in our email or monthly calendar invites, but we every month we either do a case study so someone from the group presents on an event they just did.

Rachel: And we get to learn from each other, which is so helpful. Or, you know, we have different topics that we all care a lot about, like, you know, how to, how to write a call for speakers in a way that gets you the submissions, you the quality of submissions. You want to think about session scheduling, how to think about presentation review.

Rachel: So, you know, those really like niche topics that only event content folks get excited about. We alternate sort of between case studies and discussion topics like that. And then we always try to leave a little time for anyone just to bring questions to the group. We have a Slack channel, too, that we collaborate on there as well.

Chris: That's awesome. Yeah. Thanks for sharing. I know folks will be really interested, but again, it's a you guys are amazing. So so yeah. That brings me to the next kind of and I think if you could start from the beginning on how, how you start your process and think through it. Just walk me through how you develop and evolve the content strategy for, you know, your key event.

Chris: I think it's really interesting how you do it. So I'd love to hear you kind of go as deep as you want into that process.

Rachel: It's a big question because it's a really tough thing to do. And it's interesting because I actually had a meeting earlier today where we were talking about the content strategy for one of the events I work on. So yeah, the way that I think about it is you're basically taking three different inputs.

Rachel: So you're taking kind of what your overall corporate goals are, what are the products, what are the product releases that you know, to be coming out around the time of your event? Again, this is sort of my experience as a working for a tech company. But what are the corporate goals like?

Rachel: What are the key messages that your company wants to make sure attendees leave with from coming out of your event? So there's that you're taking in what attendees have told you they want. So whether that's from again, their the way that they react to your marketing, if you have post-event surveys, what they tell you in their surveys, if you do pre-event surveys, what they're telling you, basically how they're hinting at you, this is what I need to get out of your event to feel like it was a successful experience.

Rachel: And then the third is, what is your industry talking about? So what are those key topics that if you are not talking about, you seem like you'll you'll seem like you're behind. What are your competitors talking about at their events? What are your industry publications talking about? Just what are those topics? And ideally, a lot of those three inputs are rowing together and saying similar things, but sometimes they're not.

Rachel: And sometimes you have to try to make space for all of them. And that's kind of always what I'm gut checking an agenda against or a content strategy against or are we accomplishing all three of those things?

Chris: Very cool. And so how much are you involving internal departments in the process of kind of understanding those ideas, understanding how you're going to actually move forward with your tracks, your sessions, things of that nature?

Rachel: Absolutely. Yeah. So I think I first take a stab at it just based on those three things I just talked about. I consume a lot of information. I'm always talking to people. I think a big part of my role is collaboration and just sort of knowing everyone or knowing kind of who you need to know. So when I first started at any company, I do a listening tour and I just start talking to people.

Rachel: I talk to as many people as I possibly can, and I make sure I ask them about obviously about their roles, but also how their roles interact with our event or traditionally how they have or how they think they should be. And I learn about what motivates them, what they need to do to be successful in their role and strategize with them on how our event can help them do that.

Rachel: So as I'm building those relationships and maintaining those relationships, I'm constantly hearing about what's the next thing that that we care about, what's the next thing we're talking about. So I have that in mind. I'm consuming a lot of external industry information, following different folks on social media, reading blogs, sort of hearing about what what's going on in our industry.

Rachel: And then I'm keeping up with, you know, our speakers, what are speakers talking about from previous events? And and that is what I use to kind of create, you know, the initial take on a content strategy. And what do I mean by content strategy? Because that can be a lot of things. So for me it means if you have tracks, what are those tracks?

Rachel: You know, are you using the same tracks you had last year or do you need to update them because either they're not as relevant or they didn't work for some reason. What I do say though about tracks is I think at least in our experience, it's not like attendees just will stick to that track and follow it. I think they need to be broad enough that they can, you know, you can cross tag things because that tends to be the case.

Rachel: But then you can go a level deeper with other ways of of slicing and dicing content. So you can get into sort of sub topics or levels of content. So are you going to have an introductory and an intermediate, intermediate and then advanced level of session? I recommend that. I think it's a good idea because people are coming to your event with different levels of expertise, are you thinking about how your content is, you know, tag to different product lines, you have different audiences, you know, different industries, different roles.

Rachel: One thing that I that I am seeing a lot of events doing that I really like is people are also tagging sessions, different learning styles. So is this a session where if someone is more of an auditory learner, you know, is it a panel discussion or is someone more of a tactile learners that session where they're going to open up their computer and, you know, build something?

Rachel: Is someone more of a visual learner or do they just want to talk to people? Like, are they really there to just network? Cool. You can do that in, you know, in social events. You can also do that in content. We introduced a new type of session on our that last year for a stage really called the discussions lounge and that those were sessions that were purely discussions based.

Rachel: So we had a speaker come in who facilitated a session on a specific topic and attendees would just talk to each other about it. Personally, I would talk to people, so that would resonate with me and luckily it resonated with our audience as well. So it's something we're going to continue doing. But just thinking about the different reasons that people come to an event.

Rachel: Obviously when you're thinking about attendee experience, that's important, but it's also really important when you're thinking about content.

Chris: Yeah, it's super fascinating. I when you think about working with internal, different internal departments like customer success, product marketing, sales, whatever, are you, are you listening for different things from each department? And I know I'm going a little off track of what the question said, but, you know, as we I think it's pretty fascinating. So as you're doing your listening tour of are you interacting with those departments in a different way and looking for different pieces of feedback?

Chris: Or is it all kind of trying to, you know, kind of understand if your content strategy is the right fit.

Rachel: Yes or no? I and I realized my the answer my last answer sort of went in one direction, too, so I totally get it. That was awesome and great. Yes and no. So obviously all these different folks who work in customer marketing, their goal is to showcase customers in our content or recruit customers to participate in testimonials. So yes, thinking about content, I work very closely with our customer marketing team because customers are great speakers.

Rachel: We love to have them on stage when it comes to product marketing, their goals really are around making sure our products are shown in the best light and that the messaging that they have created on how we talk about our products is, is continuing through our event content so that we're saying the same thing our our event that we're saying everywhere else.

Rachel: And these groups have very similar goals in that they want customers on stage saying the right things about our products. So I'm trying to bridge those gaps. And we also have, you know, we have folks in our analyst team wanting to make sure that the things we're saying about our company are resonating with the market and are getting through to the way that analysts are writing about our our company.

Rachel: So it's important that I know that those are the different goals. I think anyone who works in content should know those things. But I think what I what I do, the one sort of caveat to it is that they're not always necessarily thinking about the attendees and the speakers. They have a lot of you know, they have goals around how we as GitHub are are showing up in in the marketplace.

Rachel: And I think that they don't care about the attendees and so because they absolutely do but they aren't necessarily thinking about those things through the lens of how an attendee is consuming that content. And so that's where I'm always sort of bringing it back to the attendee. It's like, yes, we definitely want to do a demo of our newest feature that we're putting out for sure.

Rachel: But can we make sure that demo actually speaks to a problem that the attendee has? Like, are we using that language when we are creating our content? Or if we have, you know, this amazing customer that we want to come speak or know or we have like, you know, potentially a panel of customers. Yes, absolutely. We should we should make sure that we have those panels, but we shouldn't do, you know, seven panels.

Rachel: You know, we should really tailor it and focus on one. That kind of thing is where I make sure I'm still putting everything through the lens of an event content person.

Chris: Very cool. Now, you talked about, you know, obviously starting with the company goals and helping. And so how does that resonate down to do you have specific goals, KPIs, whatever in mind with your with your event strategy, your content strategy and not even thinking about the specific goal itself? But broadly, what would those goals potentially look like?

Rachel: It's a great question because I think kind of I think you had another question about sort of things. You see things the direction, you see things going in or, you know, any trends that you think are really interesting. And this is where when when I saw that question, this is what I thought about what were goals in particular.

Rachel: So I'll answer both through that. Yes. So when it comes to goals, I think meant content. You know, traditionally we've looked at the number of people attending a session, the the score, the survey scores we get from attendees on how effective that content was at teaching them something new. And those are totally still very much part of what I'm looking at.

Rachel: However, something else that I think is really interesting when it comes to goals are actually connecting your content to pipeline. So we were all talking about Pipeline all the time making sure there's there's really good ROI on your event, making sure it was successful and driving business for the company because ultimately that and sort of brand recognition is traditionally what we think about when an event, you know, and sort of judging whether or not event is successful.

Rachel: But what I haven't seen a lot of and I've seen people talking about it, but maybe, you know, some companies that are doing this like I would love to talk to them, but something I've heard really that I find really interesting is driving specific or connecting specific sessions to pipeline. So being able to see or judging whether or not a session is successful based on that.

Rachel: And the analogy that I usually give is, you know, you have two sessions, one had 150 people show up and another one had 25 people show up. You would look at that and you would think, oh, well, 150 person session. Obviously that was more successful. However, if you're able to track the opportunity values of everyone in one room versus the other and the total pipeline of want, you know, the 25 person session is higher than the 150 person session.

Rachel: Then I would almost value that is more successful. So being able to use that as a KPI I think would be really valuable. And I'm sure there are companies out there doing that, but I think I don't think enough people are talking about that as a another way to measure the success of your content. And I personally would love to.

Chris: So yeah, it's interesting. It's kind of like developing content for, say, your enterprise team that is, you know, almost like inviting those high ISP clients to a specific session before you open it up, brought it to a broader audience and have even a smaller group may have a much higher rely than if you have a full auditory in for folks.

Chris: But it's then to your point, working with the enterprise team and maybe whoever serving those enterprise level clients about what do they actually care about. And really, I'm curious if they'll start to get into segmentation and you know, of specific marketing of certain types of sessions to different groups of people. So that's really interesting. And then probably I guess people would be starting to tie that to lead scoring and things of that nature as well.

Chris: What's also interesting and I'm curious your feedback to that point is you develop content depending on where in the sales funnel people are or is it got that sophisticated yet? Because I'm sure it will.

Rachel: Yeah, we I wouldn't say we develop content based on that, but we do we do connect content to that. So I've I've sat down with folks on our demand gen team and talked through different sessions and sort of figure out how sessions mapped to each stage of our, of our buyer journey. And that's really helpful when thinking about our post event content strategy, you know, if, if and thinking about our nurture campaigns.

Rachel: So certain. And we record, we record a lot of our content. So and we also have folks from our content team kind of divide and conquer on site at the event. You know, they take notes in different sessions based on blogs they want to write about and things like that. So we can map back to those where those sessions fall in the buyer journey to then map them to the different stages of our of our nurture campaigns.

Chris: Yeah, it's interesting. As you were talking, one of the things I was thinking about is it's possible that a supposedly less popular session might be better content for later stage or middle of the funnel customers. So it is ultimately how do you get to a point where you connect the origin of the content from that session to describe the full ROI of that session?

Chris: It's yeah.

Rachel: That's tough. But you got to do yeah for sure.

Chris: You think of it that way if you have a really ABM approach to, you know, as a part of an event account based marketing approach, then you are starting to think that way and which is which is also interesting. The more you coordinate with your demand gen team or your content team, I would assume that gets discussed in the strategic creation process.

Rachel: Absolutely. And that's another team, too. When you're you know, when I'm thinking about my internal stakeholders, our content marketing team, you know, I'm as plugged in with them as I can be because as I mentioned earlier, kind of the revolving door there, the content they're producing influences the content strategy for our event. So I want them to be involved early.

Rachel: I want them to understand, you know, what's coming in from our call for speakers, what are we accepting? I want them voting on submissions. I want their perspective because that can get them start thinking even earlier before we even finalize the agenda or even have the event. What are some of the sessions that they can start to think about they can incorporate in their post-event strategy?

Chris: Stay. Okay. So switching gears and I talk to you for hours about that stuff.

Rachel: Yeah, but.

Chris: One of the things that we're we're obviously thinking a lot about is, you know, the power of the your speaker network. You know, these individuals are your influencers, they're your champions, they're your subject matter experts. And I really I think it's interesting that maybe I don't see it on a day to day. So it feels from an outsider's perspective that it's not leveraged as much as it could be.

Chris: But I'm curious from your perspective, how important is that? How are you thinking about the speaker network and and just yeah, if you can provide some color there, that would be really helpful.

Rachel: GitHub in particular is really invested in the developer community in a way I've, I've never experienced that another company and it's it's really great honestly it's it's great one just because in general I think it's a really good thing to be part of the community of your customers. But when it comes to our who speaks that universe, there's there's a lot of connection there.

Rachel: There's a lot of overlap between folks in the open source community and who speaks at our event. And and, you know, we have a whole team focused on building and maintaining those relationships. So I think a lot of a lot of tech companies have that are focused on developer audiences have like a developer relationship developer relations group, which we have.

Rachel: So our speakers are kind of connect back to that and how, how important that community is and how much our speakers are part of it. So something we do at Universe is we obviously we capture a lot of video content, but we, we capture a lot of testimonials. And so, you know, we have customer testimonials. We have testimonials from our employees, we have testimonials from our speakers, the testimonials from our sponsors, and there's hours of testimonial content and that's in addition to obviously the content that we've captured of our sessions themselves.

Rachel: And those, those testimonial clips are used all over the place. We, you know, we have them on social media, we have them on YouTube, we have them in email campaigns, we have them on blogs. We have we're actually we're using a lot of them to promote our event, this universe. This year, we're creating a different sizzle reel. And just to bring this back to content, something we're doing is we're taking some of the speaker testimonials and we're creating a sizzle reel to then promote our call for call for sessions.

Rachel: That's going to be launching in the next month or month and change. So and they're talking about, you know, why they love speaking at Universe and why you should apply to speak at Universal. So I think just that's an example of it. And I would love and we're actually going to be using some service to do some internal enablement to to get folks at home to apply to speak.

Rachel: We're going to have other GitHub covers is what GitHub employs called covers. We're going to have covers talking about their experience, speaking and and giving some tips on how to, you know, how to apply and things like that. So I think obviously it can be used to promote your company and your products, but you should be using it to your own event.

Rachel: And again, because it's it's they're really great resource for that.

Chris: That's awesome. So I'm going to end it here unless you have any other tips. And one of the things I think is interesting is you've been on both sides of the fence. And so it's always really great to talk to you because you kind of understand where we're coming from. That's why we have a lot of folks on our team that have also been organizers.

Chris: But I always just really appreciate, you know, the conversations we have and I excited to be able to share this with the organizer community.

Rachel: Thank you. Yeah, thank you for having me. I think the only last piece of advice I would give and this I think seems obvious, but I don't know if folks prioritize it as much as they should. Is you as an event professional? It's important to attend events. I feel like I learn so much when I attend an event because it allows me to be, you know, in the same seat that that attendees are in for for my event.

Rachel: And it it creates even more kind of layers of empathy and especially for event content, folks, is to try to speak at events, you know, put yourself in the role as a speaker and see what that experience is like. I've started speaking at events for the past couple of years and and I really enjoy it. But I also think it's made me better at my job because I get to understand what that experience is like from from the other side.

Chris: So yeah, it seems like the more we could hear event content strategists, professionals, the better. And it only seems like it's going to raise the bar for that role, which I think is becoming more and more critical to the overall marketing org. So, you know, it's always great to see when you're speaking. I saw you at CMA and and I'm sure you'll be on the card for other other things, but I really appreciate the time, Rachel.

Rachel: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Check out the Event Content Pros To Follow In 2024 to get more insights from industry leaders.


Sessionboard is a next generation speaker & content management platform that simplifies the complex workflows and disjointed communications that exist around speaker and content management. From call for papers, abstract evaluation, awards, applications, agenda building, speaker onboarding and communication, Sessionboard helps event organizers work smarter, move faster, and improve their ROI.

The results? A faster-growing event, more productive staff, seamless collaboration with speakers and more time back to do what you do best—building epic experiences.

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