With hundreds of conferences in the HR/recruiting/benefits marketplace, it can seem impossible to hone in on the best events for your company.
After all, who has the time to poke through dozens of conference websites and prospectuses? Plus, even if you do take the time to review websites and prospectuses, many don’t have the information you need to make decisions.
Given these realities, a lot of companies end up making the same decision: to exhibit at the same couple of large conferences every year. However, that might not be the best approach for a variety of reasons, a couple of which are:
- Smaller, niche events might be more effective for some companies (less expensive, more targeted)
- Many companies might benefit from investing in additional events
The good news is there actually are some quick ways to be strategic when selecting conferences. In this blog post, we’ll examine six of them, and show how HRmarketer software can help.
1. Investigate the Attendees
If you’re going to exhibit at or sponsor a conference, it better have the right attendees, right? If not, it’s a big waste of your time and marketing dollars.
Generally speaking, the first step to make a strategic decision about whether to exhibit at or sponsor a conference is to consider the attendees. Many conference websites and prospectuses have demographics on attendees, and be sure to pay close attention to them.
The challenge is perusing conference websites for attendee demographics takes a lot of time and effort, and many conferences either don’t have or don’t share demographics.
HRmarketer’s conference profile can rapidly speed up the process. Each profile includes a visual listing of the people who have engaged with the event’s hashtag. For hundreds of events, you can get a quick look at the people engaged with the conference, which can help you make decisions about which events might be right for you.
2. See which events your competitors and key influencers have engaged with
Another great way to be strategic in selecting conferences is to be aware of the events that your competitors and key influencers are engaging with. Chances are, if they’re engaged with an event, your company should be too.
HRmarketer can also help here. For any Twitter ID (e.g., for a competitor or influencer), you can view all the conferences it’s engaged with over the last 12 months.
One to-do with this information: visit the website for each conference on the list, and see how competitors and influencers are participating. For competitors, are they exhibiting or sponsoring? If they are, perhaps you should, too. For influencers, are they speaking or on the blogger list? If so, you know they’ll be attending —maybe you can arrange a meeting at the conference to grow your relationship with them.
3. Find Related Events to Conferences You Love
If there are conferences you love, take the time to find similar conferences.
One method is to do Google searches for keywords or speakers, and to look at events by the same conference organizer.
But the better method is to follow the attendees, and find out which other conferences they are also interested in. HRmarketer’s “related events” listings inside each conference profile follow this logic. It looks at the people who engaged with the profiled conference, and displays other events that those people have also engaged with. It’s a useful tool for identifying new events that are popular among your target audience, and which your competitors might not know about.
4. Use Conference Tweet Intelligence
Tweets about conferences can reveal a lot of strategic information, including the topics that are discussed, the top insights from speakers, the companies that are making news and the top influencers.
With so many events and so many tweets, the challenge is making sense of them all.
HRmarketer does this for you, as it analyzes millions of tweets from HR and related conferences around the globe, and makes them searchable. Discover the events that a company was mentioned at, the events that a person spoke at, and the events at which particular topics are most mentioned, among other key insights.
5. Take Advantage of Conferences in Your Area
Ever find out about a great conference in your area when it was too late? Frustrating, isn’t it. Not having to deal with the time and expense of travel can make a big difference in whether a conference makes business sense. To help with this, HRmarketer now has search functionality that allows you to find all the conferences in a state, region or country. You can click a region on a map or use the text location search.
6. Speak at Conferences
Speaking might be the most underused conference marketing strategy. You have attendees’ full attention, and can establish your company as a thought leader. Many companies whose experts speak at events rave to us about the results, which often include new business and the development of key relationships.
The challenge is competition is fierce for speaking slots at national and international events. But state and regional events are often looking for speakers, and serve as stepping stones to bigger opportunities. Find them using HRmarketer, which tracks the speaking deadlines for hundreds of industry events and sends a weekly email that lists all the current open speaking opportunities — with links directly to the speaking application form.
It can seem overwhelming to be strategic with conferences, but as the tips above show, it’s not necessarily as difficult as you might think. The key to being more strategic and achieving better conference marketing results is getting started. We’d love to show you how HRmarketer can help. Schedule a demo here.
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