Last week, Write2Market helped law firm Baker Donelson successfully launch their first-of-its-kind catalyst event in cybersecurity. The Cybersecurity Forum with Israel and the American South provided attendees with thought leadership from lawmakers, regulators, business leaders and more on the current state of cybersecurity and the impact it has on technology, advanced manufacturing, logistics, healthcare and energy. Over the two-day event, more than 150 attendees, including 30+ representatives from government and academic institutions, gathered to discuss cybersecurity issues.
To receive this kind of success, it took a lot of planning and strategizing from both Write2Market and Baker Donelson to target the appropriate attendees for this conference.
Here are 5 tips you can implement to attract the right attendees while event marketing:
1. Choose the Right Sponsors/Speakers
Based on the goal of your event, it’s important to ensure you have the perfect lineup of sponsors and keynote speakers to encourage greater attendance. “Getting the right spokespeople and brand ambassadors is a critical first step,” said Lisa Calhoun, Chief Strategy Officer at Write2Market. “In pulling together the keynote panel, I reached out to Ionic, NexDefense and met with Bastille. Making sure panelists not only appeared but were also present during the marketing helped us attract the right attendees through social platforms and email.”
2. Build Your Target List
One of the key practices we found to be successful in ramping up attendance at the Cybersecurity forum was using LinkedIn groups in concert with Salesloft to proactively reach out to the CIOs and CEOs we wanted to attend. It may seem like common sense but it’s important to consider the types of attendees you want at your conference and build out a list that reflects your needs. By prospecting within relevant social groups, we were able to build out our attendee list with the title and industry specifications we were looking for.
3. Execute on Social Media
Executing a Twitter campaign around your event can bring huge growth in your attendee numbers. Using appropriate hashtags as well as the handles of key influencers can broaden your event’s reach to an untouched audience.
During the week of the Cybersecurity forum, the #cybercon15 hashtag reached over 170K users with 427K+ impressions. Consider creating a hashtag specific to your event and incorporate it as often as possible on social media to generate more buzz. Encourage your sponsors, speakers and influencers to promote your event on social as well.
4. Support Efforts with Content Development
The Cybersecurity Forum blog became our main source to curate original content for LinkedIn and Twitter social posting for the conference, from high-level posts about why you should attend the forum to in-depth listicles on how to bolster trade and investment opportunities in the southeast. I suggest writing a weekly blog for 3 months prior to the conference where you can build your content and utilize your conference speakers, sponsors and key influencers as expert sources.
5. Utilize Email Marketing Programs
For your next event, develop and execute an email marketing campaign with programs such as MailChimp or Pardot to cast a net of awareness for your targeted event attendees. Email is a fantastic avenue for reaching potential attendees in an easy, inexpensive way, with email marketing being one of the most effective ways to build event participation. For the Cybersecurity forum, we prospected potential attendees via LinkedIn and Salesloft and crafted targeted messages on segments specific to their title and sent them via MailChimp. Make sure you take time to build out a mailing list and tailor your email content based on your targeted attendees for a more effective campaign.
Attendance can make or break the success of your event. “Write2Market played a big part in the success of the Cybersecurity Forum largely because of the deep understanding of our target attendee – executives concerned with cybersecurity and emerging technologies,” said Justin Daniels, Baker Donelson shareholder and Atlanta Office Leader of the Emerging Companies Group and Global Business Team. “They were able to use that knowledge to create compelling content across multiple online mediums that helped drive attendance and awareness about this event and our Global Initiatives program.” Make sure you have the event goals and best practices set in place in order to appropriately target the right audience. Implement these 5 tips before your next event and watch the attendee numbers grow.