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Organising an event, of any kind, takes a significant amount of time, money and hard work. To get maximum return on investment, savvy companies look beyond the ticket sales and other on-the-day revenue streams, for ways the event can continue to benefit them long after the doors have closed.
To do this, they harvest content such as recorded sessions and interviews, photographs, delegate testimonials and social media chatter, to use across their other marketing channels.
Company blogs, newsletters and social media accounts are like hungry fledglings, mouths constantly open; looking for food, and content derived from live events makes the perfect fodder.
Follow these 4 steps to curate your event’s content to be reused, recycled and ultimately reabsorbed by your audience.
- Squeeze every bit of juice from your sessions
A session takes place and then it’s over. End of story, right? Of course not! A single session is a veritable treasure trove of content. Given that most events have more than one session, you’re laughing all the way to the content bank.
Here’s the content you can curate from each session:
- Video – film the session and offer it as part of a paid-for virtual attendance package or pop it up on Youtube and use it as a marketing tool for next year’s conference
- Podcast – use the audio from the session to create a downloadable podcast
- Transcribe – make a transcript of the session available on your website for extra SEO brownie points
- Highlight – boil down the session highlights and produce a press release or an article for your newsletter. You can also release these as snippets on social media
- Presentation – if the session involved the use of a PowerPoint presentation or other AV make this available for download
- Photos – images of animated speakers and an engaged audience are great for social media, releasing to the press and for use in promotional materials
- Blog – Blogging on the topic covered by the session enables you to further explore the subject matter
Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, gives a great example of how they squeezed maximum value out of the closing keynote session at Content Marketing World:
“We had Kevin Spacey as our closing keynote this year – so that’s great, you got to see him live but then what else do we do with that? We had an interview in our magazine that also went up online in the blog.
“Then we took his 35 minute presentation and we boiled that into a 5 minute highlight, and that thing has been spread all over the web in order to promote the event.
“Now it doesn’t say come to Content Marketing World, you just know it’s from Content Marketing World and then people are like “oh, what’s this? It’s interesting” and it’s just Kevin Spacey talking about story telling. It’s an amazing piece of really valuable content but it’s a promotional tool for us as well.”
- Create exclusive content
In addition to taking raw content from the sessions for repurposing, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to secure extra, exclusive content. This can be as simple as grabbing a speaker after a session for a quick five minute Q&A or voxpopping delegates on a hot topic.
Aim to gather any useful, interesting or fun content that was not explicitly on offer to delegates on the day. This might be interviews with other, high profile, attendees, behind the scenes insight, or stories from exhibitors.
This sort of ‘unseen footage’ should be of particular interest to those who attended, while also hopefully piquing the interest of those who didn’t.
- Make meaningful relationships with your speakers
You’ve gone through the trouble of wooing the perfect speakers that you know your audience will love, so make sure your relationship is more than a one-session thing.
You should endeavour to make them part of your community, asking them for guest blogs, podcasts and expert commentary in the months following the event. Of course, you can even get them contributing prior to the event, introducing them to your audience and building a relationship in advance.
- Encourage and capture conversation among delegates
Delegates = content. The more they tweet, take pictures, blog and post, the more content for you to play with. What’s more, it’s completely free of charge and requires very little effort on your part.
However, you will have to be proactive in both encouraging delegate interaction and capturing it. The first step is to create a unique hashtag, which will get the conversation started and make it easy to curate everything in one place. Read more about setting up a successful hashtag here.
Other ways to generate content from your delegate base include surveys and polls. Don’t forget data is valuable and survey results could form the basis of a paid-for report.
Meanwhile, asking delegates their opinions on hot topics can provide fuel for future blog posts, as well as helping shape the content of next year’s event.
Naturally, you should also take the opportunity to capture some compelling testimonials. Video attendees at the event talking about why they decided to attend, what they’re learning and the value they are getting. There’s nothing like hearing it from the horse’s mouth!
Your event is so much more than just one day. Adopt a keen eye and you will spot opportunities to mine content that will keep your marketing channels buzzing with activity for months.
For busy marketers, live events really are a godsend. It’s simply a case of being creative and looking for ways to reuse and repurpose the existing content you already have. Remember, when it comes to content, waste not, want not!