Anybody Here With Experience Promoting Live Conference Events?

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by Clint Cora, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. Clint Cora

    Clint Cora
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    Just wondering if anybody here has experience promoting live conference or trade show type of events (open to the general public). What have been the most effective forms of promotion? It seems that newspaper ads are terribly expensive but maybe necessary.
     
  2. Fergal

    Fergal
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    I gained some experience of promoting live events in my past career. The first event I ran had a very low turnout and it was a brutal lesson for me, from that time on I knew that a lot of hard work was required to get "bums on seats". Around the time I ran that event I heard the following quote and it has stuck with me ever since - "How do you fill a 30,000 seat stadium? One seat at a time."

    Any events or programmes that I have been involved with, were small enough that most of the promotion was done via direct marketing, which proved to be very effective. I would constantly be on the look out for people / contacts who might be interested in future events and I would keep their detail on file. When an event was coming up I would either email them or post a flyer and then follow up with a phone call to "sell" the event. This worked very well for me and future events were much more successful than my first one.

    Hopefully that helps a little, but please do let me know if you have any specific questions.
     
  3. Clint Cora

    Clint Cora
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    Fergal, would you say that local newspaper advertising really doesn't result in a good ROI for live events (unless one has really huge advertising budgets)?
     
  4. Fergal

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    I would say that the effectiveness of newspaper ads would depend a lot on the type of events you are running and what other resources you had available to you. For example, if you are running an event in a town where you don't have the contact details of people in your target market, newspaper ads could work very well.

    In my area here in Ireland, local newspapers are popular and they are widely read by the people in the area, plus advertising costs are generally quite reasonable, so obviously they can be effective for targeting that group.

    If members of your target market read the local paper then advertising there could be worth a shot. A useful thing to do is to ask anyone who contacts you about the event where they heard about it. This helps you to keep track of which ads are working and provides valuable data when it comes to advertising next time round.

    Posters, traditional bulletin board ads in supermarkets etc, and leaflet mail drops can also be a great way to reach a local target market.

    Are you asking in relation to promoting one of your own talks?
     
  5. Clint Cora

    Clint Cora
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    I don't think I would promote just an event with myself as a speaker. I would leave those to people who have already been exposed to me. It's too much of a gamble for general public promotion. I would rather promote something in public that would have easy appeal and I think a multi-speaker event with perhaps some entertainment would fit better. This will also have more opportunities for sponsorships - something else I have to learn more about.

    Most of the folks who promote their own seminars seem to be doing them via online ways only. But the bigger events with multiple elements still seem to be advertised in newspapers and fliers.
     
  6. Fergal

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    Another option would be to use an event / speaker promotion company. I previously attended some speaker conferences organised by Horizon Speakers. They do all the organisation and promotion at local level on behalf of the speaker.
     
  7. kpatelseo

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    I suggest to create an Event in Facebook, Add your targeted people as a friend, or join event groups and add more friends and invite them for the event. There is another website called ... or you can add event in meetup.com it have huge potential.
     
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  8. SmashHitDisplays

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    I would also add that Twitter is another effective tool to promote your trade show. Use and follow hash tags that are related to your industry to gain the interest of people who would want to know about the event.
     
  9. Clint Cora

    Clint Cora
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    For Facebook events, I think its use has been abused in some way. For me, I actually ignore the vast majority of Facebook events now. There has been way too many local events promoted on Facebook by folks living somewhere else so their events would not apply to me anyway. This is one of the issues I think on Facebook which is turning many people off.

    I am a member of some Meetup.com groups. I notice that the vast majority of Meetup groups do not thrive that well and most events are not well attended, except for the purely social groups that do tend to do well.
     
  10. Matt Damon

    Matt Damon
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    I would say that the effectiveness of newspaper advertising depends a lot on the type of event you are using and what other resources you have at your disposal. For example, if you use an event in a city where you do not have contact information for people in your audience can newspaper ads work very well.
     
  11. Ayen Mahinay

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    The Newspaper ads is very effective but I thought social activities is best to business promotion. Like a donating school, etc all social activities is best source to business advertisement.
     
  12. faribo

    faribo
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  13. smo9marketing

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    The simplest way is to just collect a HUGE LIST of people who MIGHT want to attend.

    What i do is create a twitter and facebook SEARCH FILTER for people who use keywords that reveal their likelihood for being a target.

    Then, over a few weeks, I get over 10,000 unique user names. I contact them all.

    How to do that without getting flagged is a matter of guerrilla social engineering

    My video about parody accounts for facebook and twitter explains fully if you're interested.
     

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