3 ways PR pros can boost event marketing opportunities

Producing conferences and other industry happenings can provide you with a plethora of content, opportunities to boost your brand and more. Consider these tips.

A lot goes into successful event marketing.

It can be easy to get so wrapped up in the details of a successful event that you miss the PR benefits. Inviting journalists and providing exclusive executive access are essential to benefitting from an event marketing plan.

Here are three often-overlooked ways to extend the PR shelf life of your next event marketing plan:

1. Invite “micro-influencers.”

Your executive team might focus on getting top-tier journalists to attend your event, but chances are they won’t. They’re typically there to gain access to your customers, or conduct background information gathering on your organization.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invite them, but you must set expectations regarding possible outcomes of their attendance.

In comparison, “micro-influencers“—social media users with smaller, more focused followers—can provide a significant opportunity for sharing your story and spreading the word about your event. They’re significantly more likely to share their behind-the-scenes access. The content they create will be shared with an engaged audience who trusts their opinions.

Find out who your customers look to for advice and insights before they purchased from your organization. These are the social media heavyweights to include in your event marketing plan and provide special networking opportunities.

2. Plan “Instagrammable” moments.

If you’ve been to Disneyland, you’re familiar with the Kodak moment signs around the park that alert guests to the perfect photo opportunity. Today, conferences such as Dreamforce and Social Media Marketing World have this down to a science.

Combine a ubiquitous hashtag with some backdrops, props, or a mascot, and you’re guaranteed user-generated content. If it’s especially clever or engages your biggest-name attendees, it may even garner a round-up article in a key industry publication.

At a minimum, attendees are likely to ham it up in the photo booth and post the photos to social platforms. They might even put them up on their desk back at the office, where they can become a conversation starter.

3. Co-create customer content.

How often do you have a big group of your customers under one roof for a few days? Make the most of it through pre-scheduling customer interviews.

Hire a video crew and set aside a conference room or suite for 30-minute video interviews. Gather customer insights on the needs your product or services solve and how their day-to-day life has improved because of it. You can also tap your collective customer brain trust to weigh in on key industry discussions, and create your own collective think piece.

Not only does this type of content become a valuable asset for your brand, it helps put your customers center-stage. It helps your customers add to their industry influence and standing.

If you lack the resources for professional video content creation, there are plenty of ways to get extra mileage out of attendees’ participation:

  • Curate the best social media content during the event and turn into a video or a SlideShare presentation.
  • Design customer quote cards and share on social platforms with the event hashtag.
  • Conduct live social media polls at the event.
  • Livestream your keynote or parts of your event and tag your customers and their organizations.

Live events can be a unique opportunity to combine relationship-building with long-lasting PR afterglow. To make this possibility a reality, make sure the PR team plays a part in more than just the on-site shepherding of journalists.

You’ll be glad you did.

Gini Dietrich is the founder and chief executive of Arment Dietrich and lead blogger at Spin Sucks. A version of this article originally appeared on Spin Sucks.

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