If you’ve been in PR long enough, you have your conference story. You know the work, sweat and energy that is needed for preparing for a large-scale event – not to mention the exact type of shoes. Whether it be participating in the industry-musts or hosting your own, there’s no better achievement than after the work is done, the results are in and you’ve crossed the finish line, in comfortable but stylish footwear.
There are many major B2B tech and healthcare events taking place in the upcoming year. These conferences serve as a platform for leaders and experts to come together from across the globe to share ideas and connect on what’s facing their respective industries. It is important for brands to participate in industry events not only to gain critical awareness, but share the expertise that can be instrumental in driving change and innovation.
As an integrated marketing and public relations agency, we work closely with clients to get involved in events throughout the year, providing strategy, arranging briefings with reporters, managing social channels and contests as well as developing content pre, during and post-event. We advise them on the right tools and technology to leverage to make the most out of the event.There is also the great work from our PAN Creative team to create everything from stickers to booth designs!
As we kick off the new year, we’re already thinking of best practices for building an effective events strategy. Here are a few:
Even if you think you’re early, start earlier! There is a huge advantage to beginning the brainstorming early, building the plans and creating a dream list of what your presence will look like. Ask yourself when you start, what do you deem as success this year?
After you answered the success question, take another step to challenge yourself. It’s easy to repeat last year’s strategy but annual events are a great opportunity but think outside the box during a busy time. Is it kicking off an influencer program where the activations can happen onsite? Or maybe finally recording a live podcast panel with all the industry experts? What will benefit you the most with the time you have onsite?
Brainstorms and big ideas are great, but it all boils down to the execution. How will each idea be executed on in the weeks, months and days coming up to the conference? What does your team have the bandwidth and resources to achieve? Setting a solid strategy will help to ensure those big ideas are executed on and the results are met.
One of the biggest tips is the importance on organization. You should be prepared for the unexpected, while having all your plans and deliverables in order and ready to go. With many stakeholders involved, it’s imperative to be organized while maintaining communication between teams, spokespeople, media and influencers as well as activities, locations and logistics. No one wants to be scrambling the night before. Also, it never hurts to bring an extra battery charger!
Events don’t just happen in the conference center silo anymore. There is an active audience following hashtags, watching the live streams and the corresponding news. How can you capitalize on that and expand your reach? Make sure your plans include a way to address and engage those watching the conference from afar.
Whether you’re attending for the first time or the 20th, every event provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the latest industry trends – learning what’s on the thought leaders’ agenda while mingling with the best in the space. Keynotes and well-attended sessions can help fuel your ideas for your audience for the rest of the year.
When it comes to planning and strategizing for events, we like to practice what we preach. Here is an example of as event that PAN supports our client, CloudBees, on each year.
Hosted at the Moscone this year, DevOps World | Jenkins World 2019, sponsored by CloudBees, attracted 2,000+ on-site attendees – making it the biggest show yet! Leading up to the DevOps World | Jenkins World, PAN and CloudBees looked to drive greater awareness around for both the brand and the event itself.
With a multi-pronged PR and integrated marketing strategy, this year’s event included an enhanced program of news, content curation across media sponsors, kicking off a new influencer relations program, proactive media relations, hosting DevOps Radio podcast recordings, social media activity and hosting an on-site media event. One week to showcase months of work across many teams and programs.
There was no shortage of results from the show floor! With 60+ pieces of coverage, 20+ interviews, an all-star media event, new influencer relations activations, 10 new DevOps Radio podcasts recordings, creative images all around the show and almost 500K total social impressions— we were able to hit the goal for each plan and have one of the most successful DevOps World to date!
Now that you’ve read some of our best practices and event strategies, let’s take a look at some of the events you can get your brand involved in in the new year.
If you’re a B2B tech or healthcare marketer looking to get your brand more involved in events in 2020, look no further. Here are some of next year’s top events across the globe that PAN is working closely with our clients on:
See you in Vegas at DevOps World 2020!