What’s better than hoping for a big attendance at your booth? Knowing with confidence that you’ve secured solid RSVPs before the party begins! There are several, proven, actionable steps that must be taken to get butts in your booth before the conference starts. However, you have to start at least x weeks in advance to get the ball rolling. This requires online participation, great graphics, making friends, hitting the airwaves and pitching the local media.
The Work Creative Group tackles all these preliminary goals for our clients. With such a solid foundation set, our clients see right away that pre-planning with implementation is a HUGE element when it comes to conquering the conference world. Because this is a critical step in getting the biggest big bang for your buck, we wanted to share our top 5 ways to get more butts in your booth with you. Trust us, it’s worth it!
Follow the leader: The first step is to follow what the conference is doing. Go on each popular social media outlet and follow them. Use their hashtags, repost, retweet and participate in the conversation. Follow the speakers and those who will be teaching a break-out session. How are they talking about the conversation? Can you add to the conversation online?
See who else is retweeting on twitter and start a convo with them. Check out the folks on LinkedIn and post an article in your feed and ask for feedback about why they are attending, or what booths they will be visiting. Share visuals and cross-promote on Facebook. Get clever on Instagram – like and tag what the conference is promoting as well as their followers. Is there an opportunity to guest blog? Do it!
Get visual: Creating shareable graphics is a fun and quick way to get attention while getting the news out. We use WordSwag or Canva to create easy yet stunning graphics to stand out and capture the attention in the social media world. Use quotes from the speakers or infographics that relate to the event. Put some personality into it by taking pics of your team getting ready for the conference. Cross-promote those shareables and tag the conference.
Remember to keep it simple when using shareables – make it short with one key point or quote. Interject some humor too! It can be as simple as: “We’re giving out bacon in our booth! We know you want some ;). Visit us at booth 386 xxx company.”
Make their friends your friends: Reach out to complimentary vendors and sponsors. Is there something you can do together to promote both businesses? How about cross-promoting blogs or articles about each other? What about a fun contest between the two of you?
The Work Creative Group is all about contest with other vendors. At one conference we created a scavenger hunt with five other vendors and promoted a prize for attending all booths. We didn’t get all the vendors involved – just a few who also saw the value in it. It worked! We saw their friends and they saw ours, plus we promoted this ahead of time as a unique element to add to the event. The attendees were happy, and our clients were thrilled too!
Hit the airwaves: Is there a topic you can speak to that would be appealing to the typical audience that may be attending the conference? Speaking builds credibility and you’ll want to take advantage of this opportunity if it’s on the table.
(Pssssst, if you hate public speaking the founder of The Work Creative Group, Coach Jenn Lee, is a rockstar when it comes to that. She can speak on behalf of your company and turn listeners into bees comin’ after your honey – shameless plug, we know – but seriously, she is that good.)
Here’s a good example. Let’s say there is a social media conference for HR professionals. Find out if there is an HR podcast show that is promoting the conference. If you are following the leader as in Tip #1 you’ll know this.
Local Media: We worked on a project for a client where a good portion of the attendees would be coming from the local market. We pitched the local media to have our client on three days before the event started…local media is always looking for relevant topics and if a big conference is coming to town, it shows they are supporting the event.
Again, back to Tip #1 – look at the conference’s local media sponsors. Call them and tell them you want to cross promote the event. If it’s a smart win-win, they’ll listen to you. Don’t forget to check out our “how to pitch the media” blog before you get started!
Depending on the size and importance of the conference dictates how much you want to invest in these tactics. If you don’t have time implement the above but still want to reap the rewards, give us a call!
We partner with businesses before, during and after conferences so they can get the biggest bang out of their buck without all the added stress. Plus our sweet jingle we’ve composed, “Gettin’ butts in da booths”, will have you dancing all the way to the bank!