Preconference use (continued)
Information about the host city. This is a great way to get the community behind you. In the weeks prior to the conference, feature local restaurants, shops and hotels and let the venues know that you will be doing this, ask them to contribute an article. They will love the exposure. You may ask these local vendors to offer a discount and you can put the code in your blog.
Video from past conferences. This is a great place to highlight snips from past events and talk about them. If someone did a crazy crowd sourced jig and someone posted it to YouTube, embed it in your blog. This builds excitement and makes people want to attend.
Post conference use
Surveys for venue, speaker feedback could be hosted on the blog. Calendaring for the next event could be hosted. Attendees could tell their friends about the value they created at the event to entice others to attend the next event.
Write recap articles, post video (or highlights with links to your video pages) and thank your sponsors and attendees. Spread this out over a few weeks, you can get a lot of mileage out of this tactic.
The Rest of the Year
Feature sponsor press releases throughout the year, if XYZ company has a new product and they have a press release, post it (and then send the link to the sponsor). They will love this because not very many events care about them beyond their sponsor dollars. This is a great way to show that you value them.
The same can be said for speakers. Let the world know what they are up too since they presented at your conference. If a speaker went on to become President or a Nobel Prize winner, this gives your conference or event added credibility. Ask speakers to provide articles on the industry.
You can also do something that almost no show does and will truly set you apart from the crowd. Feature some of your attendees in the months between events. Pick some attendees from your list and call them and interview them. Ask them what they learned at your event, why they loved it and how this learning has impacted their daily lives. Ask them why they would return and use this as an extended testimonial. A WARNING – Make sure that the focus is on the attendee, not the event or conference. People love to get kudos and be mentioned, it helps them in their career and it helps them with the boss. Talk more about their accomplishments than the events. This is loyalty that money cannot buy…. Again, do not cut corners, you may be tempted to have a testimonial part of your website which is critical but if you do not do longer pieces in blog format, you are missing an amazing opportunity.