Getting Your Speakers to Play a Big Role in Your Event Promotions

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Editorial Projects in Education, Inc., won a 2016 SIPAward for Best Use of Video for promotion of their Leaders to Learn From conference . One of those videos featured Carol Dweck, renowned psychologist and author, who also happened to be a keynote speaker at that conference.

"What do I hope people at the conference will take away from my keynote?" she asks. "How supervisors and superintendents and leaders can help create an atmosphere where teachers can take that journey back to a growth mindset, back to what they became teachers fro and give that gift of a love of learning, an ability to persevere to their students."

Their new, video-centric approach helped boost year-over-year attendee revenue by 77% and live attendance by 75%. Dweck's video is powerful, and it also would fit quite snugly in an excellent article on EventMobi titled 7 Tips for Leveraging Your Speakers as Event Advocates.

(By the way, you can now see all the categories on the 2017 SIPAwards site—there are a few new ones—and how to enter. We wouldn't know about these great initiatives, and be able to honor you, unless you tell us.)

Let's run down some of the tips in the article and a couple others:

  • Guest posts. As I wrote about on Monday, these make a lot of sense in driving traffic and can often be win-win propositions, either for someone on your team to post on another site, or an event speaker to post on yours. You're getting a whole other audience to your content. "Many keynote speakers and facilitators have their own blogs," the article says. "Likely they already have existing material that they can easily customize."
  • Video interviews. SIIA's PR team did a very good job of accomplishing these before our BIMS event in November. There are now 21 on the site including Adam Manson, BVR's manager of financial research. The site drew a lot of traffic, and because it's real content—what's influencing your business, what's the greatest opportunity?—it's still quite valuable. The trick is making sure to steer people to that page both before and after. The aforementioned EPE interview with Dweck resides on a page with videos of six other leaders of their organization. I don't think all of them spoke at the conference, but their testimonials served a similar purpose. 

  • Ways to share. "Share the video both on and off-line," EventMobi urges. "Vimeo, YouTube and Facebook are just a few possibilities. YouTube offers targeted pre-roll: short clips that run before viewers access the content they have requested. Once you have videos, definitely tweet them. Don't forget to post them on LinkedIn where videos are underutilized but highly visible." They also include a link to a group—Global Business Travel Association—that showcases three videos from last year's conference keynotes to promote this year's. Again, it's strong content that should not be washed away by a new year.
  • Gamification. Use quizzes that involve the speakers. I like how Jeopardy now has famous guests giving clues in short videos. You can do this with your event speakers. That would be an awesome quiz—10 questions with the answers being delivered in a video clip from 10 different speakers. They might like this more than you think. Tom Hanks guest-hosted the public radio show Wait Wait Don't Tell Me last week, and it sounded like he had a blast. (So did I listening.) 

  • Twitter chats. "Create a customized hashtag for your organization or event. Use it to share content on Twitter and host Twitter chats regularly. Even if your chats are just once a month, you can attract a following and switch to weekly chats with speakers and facilitators when event marketing kicks into high gear."
  • Facebook Live. This got a little more publicity this week when Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers aired his team's locker-room victory celebration live, catching the head coach's R-rated talk. But Donna Jefferson of Jefferson Communications had G-rated success with a Facebook Live event a couple months ago so it can translate to an event speaker. (See my article here about her success.) It will probably work best if you and the speaker can be in the same room.

Above all, definitely make use of your speakers' contacts, emails lists, Facebook friends, etc. It benefits both of you to get the biggest audience for their talks or sessions at your events. And again, consider entering the 2017 SIPAwards! Why not get more credit for your successes? 

Ronn Are you subscribed to the SIPAlert Daily?
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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…