Market the conference
Create a conference website and promote it to attract attendees. This site is different from the registration site created in Aventri. See suggested items for this site:
- Conference name, date and location, ASU and/or organizational logo.
- Summary of the goals for the conference and benefits for attendees to participate.
- Link to the Aventri registration site — make this very prominent and easy to find.
- List of sponsors.
- Important deadlines such as early bird registration, final registration date and submissions of papers or posters.
- Include a link to sign up to your conference mailing list for those who have not yet registered.
- Social media links.
- Speakers and topics
- List of keynote speakers including bios and photos as well as topics they are presenting.
- List of special sessions, breakouts and/or panels.
- Call for papers
- List the criteria and selection process for papers as well as the deadline for submission.
- Guidelines on how to submit, as well as a link to the submission form if it is not on the registration form.
- Poster submission
- List topics sought for the poster session, the deadline for submitting posters, the size of posters and other requirements.
- Include a link to the submission form if it is not on the registration site.
- Trade show or exhibits
- List topics for the conference, the deadline for reserving exhibit space, the size of booths and what is included.
- Include a link to the reservation form if it is not on the registration site.
- Additional events and tours
- Include information on the welcome ceremony, off-site dinners, tours or spousal program that attendees can attend while at the conference.
- Travel and accommodation
- Information on the nearest airport, public transportation and hotel accommodation.
- Local information
- Information on the area where the conference is located with links to tourism offices and pictures of the area.
- Possible list of interesting places to visit while in the area.
- Visa information
- Any information international delegates will need, plus the visa invitation letter request process.
- List of the conference sponsors and/or sponsor opportunities as well as the sponsorship packages.
- An introduction to your committee, including bios and photos.
- Previous conferences
- Include links to previous conferences and testimonials from prior attendees.
- Registration links
- Add registration links on every page where it is appropriate so the attendees have easy access whenever they are interested in attending the conference.
- On every page include a list of contacts readers can reach out to with questions before registering for the conference.
The event website must be optimized for search engines so it can easily be found online, can handle increased traffic and is optimized for mobile viewing.
Reaching the target audience
Come up with a marketing strategy that includes a detailed plan on how you are going to reach attendees and get the word out about the conference. This should include brand recognition, demographics of your target audience, a social media strategy and how you are going to reach the target audience. This can be through email, industry, the ASU communications team, social media and other mediums.
Create or update the email list to recruit attendees to the conference. If the conference is recurring or a part of a national organization, there should already be an existing list of potential attendees that can be reached through email. Create an email subject line that is worth opening and highlights the benefits for attending the events for the attendees.
Other ways to reach people
- Advertise or send a media release to national publications.
- Contact industry or universities that may have interest in the subjects.
- Ask other conferences preceding yours to promote it.
- Use social media such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as well as blogs and school websites.
- Generate buzz with hashtags.
- Research and reach out to influencers that are interested in the conference subject.
- Send a request to the Fulton Schools Strategic Marketing and Communications team to publish information in newsletters, social media or websites.
Other ways to utilize technology at the conference include but are not limited to:
- Allow attendees to import their LinkedIn profiles instead of needing to create an event-specific profile. Let people mark their interests and specialties and display other users interested in the same topics or attending the same sessions.
- Design a conference app and use it to increase attendee engagement. Attendees can use the app to participate in online discussion, connect with others or reserve space at optional events. Conference planners can use it to send notifications on changes or updates, for live audience interaction and tracking attendance interests and satisfaction.
- Use RFID (radio frequency identification) technology in the name tags or wristbands of attendees. This makes it fast and easy to collect attendee data.
- Utilize facial recognition technology for check-in, security, attendee experience, traffic control and profiling.
Event collateral and promotional items
Having event collateral and promotional items is a great way to advertise the conference and leave a lasting impression. Consider skipping the physical program and go with a digital one that you can email to attendees ahead of time, or have the program be an interactive app attendees can download on their phones by scanning a QR code at registration upon arrival. The app could include everything your website includes plus maps, room locations, lunch and dinner menus, restroom locations and who to contact for help, etc.
When choosing promotional items, make sure it is something that is useful and does not take up a lot of room or weight for when attendees travel back home. Consider unique gifts for speakers and volunteers as well. Local gifts are always appreciated and help remind attendees of the conference.
Plan early as it takes a while to produce graphic and promotional items. If you need help on brainstorming some swag ideas or any event collateral, we have a great communications team that can help. Start by submitting a project request and someone from the Fulton Schools Strategic Marketing and Communications team will reach out. Keep in mind the ASU branding policies and regulations when determining these items.