Podcasts and content related to Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition is an exclusive IAEE member benefit. For more in-depth tips and tactics, listen to the official Expo! Expo! 2017 podcasts here. Special thank you to GES for being the Expo! Expo! Education Title Sponsor.
Nearly all organizers experience the same event activity cycles (website visits, social mentions, and searches) starting about 10 weeks in advance and steadily picking-up speed with a spike a few days before and during the event. Then it drops and after one-week, the activity flat-lines. A tremendous amount of content is produced at every event – conference sessions, featured speakers, vendor displays, product launches, networking parties, special events – and attendees can’t be everywhere at once so repackaging and serving content delivers additional benefit to the audience, keeps the event top-of-mind with the attendee and produces a steady heartbeat of activity for the event.
Speakers for the session included:
- Lori Schwartz – Principal, The Tech Cat, StoryTech
- Paul Treanor – Senior Manager, Content and Community, Informa
- Aquia Francisco – Associate Strategist, FreemanXP
Humans are naturally drawn to listening to, reading or watching a compelling story. So, how can you take storytelling on the trade show floor and make it content? Lori Schwartz shared how StoryTech was born on the trade show floor at The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Schwartz led executive VIP tours around the show floor and gave a story of each aspect of the floor. She utilized storytelling to her advantage to explain why one was on the show floor and what services and products were being offered.
Storytelling allows communication with the attendees on the value of coming to your show and why they’re there. As event professionals know, attendees can’t be everywhere during the event so parts of the experience are lost to the attendees. Schwartz provided the following tools to capture those lost moments:
- Live streaming
- Fireside chats
- Demo Areas
With events, it’s all about the experience. With great experiences, comes great content that can be used throughout the year.
Transform Your Content
In his 20th year of producing trade shows, Paul Treanor with Informa explained how event professionals can use the content from the show to their advantage after the event. The “ahhh” moment happened when Treanor said that there’s “not a whole lot that’s revolutionizing” when it comes to gathering content, but how the content is being presented “is being transformed.”
For example, a blog post typically is written by the organization to give readers an answer to their question. Blogs continue to be incredibly effective when it comes to delivering information. Treanor suggests that attendees contribute to the blogs. What better way to capture your show culture and feel than having your attendees share their experiences. As a show organizer, you can’t be everywhere all at once, so having your attendees contribute on the spot for a blog can speak volumes to those who were not able to make your event.
Grabbing the audience’s attention is only half the battle. It’s also about keeping your audience engaged year after year. Treanor gave the following suggestions to engage your audience about your event:
- Twitter chats
- Newsletter subscriptions
- 80% of the newsletter is something that has already been said and 20% of newsletter consists of new news
- Current events are opportunities to point back to content already mentioned at your event
The content gathered from your show can be utilized in a variety of ways and can be shaped into different formats. Think outside the box on how the content can be repurposed.
Event professionals are constantly trying to create something new to grab and engage their audience. Why go through that stress of creating when all that needs to be done is repurposing the content? Strategist Aquia Francisco shared successful tactics show organizers can use at their show to keep it relevant 365 days a year.
A strategy that worked for TEDMED, the medical sect of the famous TEDTalks, was that they do not release their videos all at once. Instead of purging their content, TEDMED keeps their audience engaged by implementing a trickle effect. They shared videos a little at a time, which created a constant flow and year-long engagement.
Your show is a breeding ground for different kinds of content and it may seem tempting to share it all at the same time. However, you want your audience to keep your show in mind throughout the year. Pique your audience’s interest by releasing content regularly before, during and after your show. Content that caught Francisco’s attention that can be utilized by anyone are:
- Going live at the event
- Behind the Scenes live interviews with speakers
- Webinar recap over the event
- Polling questions at event where the answers turned into future infographics
An important note that Francisco hit on content was “repurpose if you can, don’t if you can’t.” Content is only relevant for a specific amount of time. You want to keep your event relevant, but use content that is relevant and timely as well.
The show needs to live beyond the show days. Content produced at the show can be used throughout the year to inform and excite your audience to attend your event. Show organizers have the content – they just need to strategize how and when to present the content to their audience.
Podcasts and content related to Expo! Expo! is an exclusive IAEE member benefit. For more in-depth tips and tactics, listen to the official Expo! Expo! 2017 podcasts here. Special thank you to GES for being the Expo! Expo! Education Title Sponsor.