I’m helping a client develop ways he can market an upcoming conference using the Web. Here are some ideas I’ve come up with so far.
Create a detailed Website with seminar descriptions, speaker photos, bios. Give visitors and people who want to help you promote your event something to link to. Consider creating a separate Website for the event.
Create a group blog and get all speakers to contribute articles to it. Also create an RSS feed using a site such as FeedBlitz.com.
Create banner buttons (called blog bling) in different sizes that every registrant, exhibitor, speaker, and volunteer can post on their Website or blog. If you create an affiliate program where members will get paid when people click their link, that’s even better.
Create a TV channel on YouTube.com and have speakers contribute any appropriate videos. Also add video from previous events. In addition to having a TV channel on YouTube, my blog has one that I created at Viddler.com (see the SUITE TV tab above).
Create an online press release to announce the event. Also create separate releases to announce each speaker and sponsor. I pay a flat monthly fee ($14.00) and use FastPitchNetworking.com to create multiple releases that include videos. A free service is PRlog.com. Every time something new happens, send a release.
Also write a press release template so all speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors can send out on their own.
Conduct seminars via the Web with some of your speakers to give just a taste of what attendees can expert. Record everything and publish that too.
Set up a free call on demand for up to 150 people and three hours at www.freeconference.com/reservationless.aspx
Create a radio show for free but please use a professional radio interviewer (free service is www.talkshoe.com or www.blogtalkradio.com).
Twitter. Create a conference Twitter account to keep everyone updated.
Also for Twitter, create a hashtag and encourage everyone to always add it to any tweets when they mention the event. For more information on hashtags, visit http://twitter.pbwiki.com/Hashtags.
To find the tweets that mention your hashtag, go to search.twitter.com and type your tag in the search box. Put the resulting URL on your Website and blog. Also create an RSS feed using a site such as FeedBlitz.com.
Be sure to explain hashtags on your site and at the event. Encourage people to tweet before, during, and after the event.
Communities–Existing. Post your events, start discussions, and relay news on LinkedIn.
Communities-Create. Use various free services to create communities so attendees, speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors can create profiles, post articles/blog posts, and interact with each other (e.g., www.crowdvine.com, Facebook profile group (up to 5,000 people can join), Facebook page, Collectivex). You can also create your own group on LinkedIn.
Advertising – Comcast Cable. Create Comcast cable commercial and air in major markets. (Kim McClure, a former TV producer, can create your commercial if you need one (very economical). Contact her at 770/559- 2361.)
Email Campaign. Create email campaigns with tips from speakers and ads from sponsors. I use iContact for my email campaigns. And I set it up so that every blog post I write can go out via RSS. You can also create autoresponders set up to go out to your subscribers at pre-defined intervals.
I’ll update this list as I develop more ideas. Let me know if you have any other suggestions by leaving a comment below.
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