Top PR tips for agrimarketing event organizers
5. Listen to – and engage with – potential attendees, in a meaningful way, online.
As you see who registers for your event, see if they are active online. If so, follow what they are talking about on a daily basis. Find ways to engage with them. Think about how your conference is addressing their day-to-day concerns if they are posting about their professional lives regularly. To take it a step further, put searches in place to find out what people are saying in real-time about some of the biggest hot-button issues that are going to be addressed at your event. This will give you clear avenues for engagement and point toward meaningful content you can share with potential attendees. But it also gives you insights that might help you better shape your programming—and your communication about the event—in a way that ensures it best serves the audience you’re seeking to serve. For example:
- Use Twitter to connect with prospective attendees talking about your event, using the hashtag to create a sense of community – something that has been very effective in building attendance at many of today’s conferences.
- Start discussion threads pre-show on LinkedIn or on the event website to engage people in the conversation and help them see the quality of conversations that will take place at the show, and ultimately, the benefit of attending.
- Promote various registration deadlines, show previews, news, incentives, etc. via social media channels, targeting specific attendees you want to invite.
- Ask attendees to provide their Twitter handles, blogs, and other social media contact information upon registration and begin listening regularly to the conversations they are sharing and the issues they are discussing. It’s equally important to keep people engaged AFTER the event through social media channels so that they become easily excited about the next year’s event when it rolls around.
Bonus tip: Repeat: Remember to monitor and adjust based on what works. For many clients, we closely monitor the link between a story placement or social media activity and sales. When something causes a spike, we do more of the same, with appropriate adjustments. And if a particular message isn’t resonating in the form of sales, we regroup and refocus, and quickly adjust with new program elements. We suggest you monitor not only numbers but also whether your messages are being picked up and shared. If they aren’t, it may be time to modify to better engage your audiences.
Ann Barlow (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a partner and president of Peppercomm's West Coast operations. Courtney Ellul (email@example.com) is a director at the firm and divides her time between New York and London. Both Ann and Courtney are focused on helping their clients, many of which are Ag companies, grow and thrive through integrated marketing programs. For more information, visit www.peppercomm.com.
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