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Kiera Wiatrak

The Content Marketer’s Guide to Hype-Driving Events

CES is in full swing, flooding Las Vegas with the latest and greatest in tech innovation. As product launches wow audiences under the bright lights, seasoned marketers know a successful showcase requires more than an eye-catching booth or choice speaking slot during the hype. Comprehensive experiences integrate layered, exciting content before, during and after to maximize impact.

You should break down your content strategy into three key stages: Building pre-event hype, immersing attendees onsite, and sustaining post-event connections for latent sales. With the right strategies applied at the right times, you can spark organic buzz and line up lasting relationships surrounding your next conference, tradeshow, or hosted retreat.

Build Pre-Event Excitement

Get on attendee radar early, about one month out, by strategically promoting event specifics and featured speakers. Building baseline familiarity as people anticipate the event establishes your brand as one to watch when onsite activity begins.

Promote on Social Media

Let all your followers on every channel know that you’ll be in attendance to garner wide organic reach. Polls surveying which speaking sessions and topics your followers are buzzing about can spark conversational shares. Go a step further with promoted ads to further amplify preview content to relevant demographics.

Send Email Invitations and Reminders

Distribute official event invitations in the weeks leading up to the event, when people are more likely to commit. Follow up with reminder emails recapping logistics as the date nears to solidify attendance. Build anticipation by pulling out intriguing speaker stats or testimonials.

Conduct Pre-Event Interviews

Establish valuable in-the-know authority by publishing exclusive Q&As with soon-to-be speakers on your blog. Summarize juicy details with social posts afterwards to make followers hungry for more insider access at the main event.

Tease With Speaker & Session Previews

Stir up curiosity even further by previewing presentation topics or special appearances in short video clips. These intrigue-sparking teasers are easy to share across digital platforms, so you can share them far and wide. For example, record a featured guest answering “The 3 most common questions I get are…” The more meaty hints you reveal about their upcoming talk, the more shares and tags you’ll drive.

Craft “What to Expect” Blog Content

Boost your search visibility with relevant keywords while briefing fans on everything they should anticipate at the big event. Ensure useful details like updated venue maps, vendor listings or session schedules shine in “Ultimate Conference Guides.” And if you’ll be at the event in the flesh, make sure people know where to find you!

Immerse Attendees Onsite

Suddenly the event date arrives. It’s time to capitalize on having a captive audience by immersing visitors in branded touchpoints centered around showcasing expertise.

Make Strong First Impressions

Distribute useful branded freebies visitors will utilize during sessions, like notebooks, printed schedules or portable chargers. Rather than logo slapping trinkets, offer functional items enhancing their onsite experience.

Engage Through Interactive Demos

Demonstrate your solution’s value through immersive assessments, games or activities. In-person events give you unparalleled opportunity to gather data insights through quick polls providing personalized recommendations to better meet their needs. Using gamification to make these activities fun is a surefire way to stick in their memories.

Distribute Custom Assets

Print takeaway explainers, eBooks or flyers summarizing key session learnings visitors can reference later. Embed QR codes linking to online assets for sustaining digital connections post-event.

Generate Buzz with Creative Photo Ops

Add an element of fun with themed photo booths or prop stations between sessions. For example, a home appliance company could build a booth featuring iconic kitchens from popular sitcoms. The more shareable the images, the more visibility you gain. And bonus: you collect a whole lot of UGC for future social posts.

Set the Vibe With Sensory Branding

Make your booth stand out through on-brand multi-sensory environmental reinforcements. Think consistent messaging across hanging banners, ambient audio, and intriguing textures immerging visitors into your branded world.

Sustain Post-Event Connections

In-person events offer unmatched opportunities to build lasting relationships. But post-event, it’s imperative to nurture these budding connections into conversions through targeted reinforcement touchpoints.

Personally Follow Up

Send personalized email recaps of promising discussions while things are fresh. Include links to relevant gated assets brought up conversationally to guide people into next steps.

Chronicle With Photo Albums

Post photo albums to show off must-see moments. Widely tag participating sponsors to expand visibility as nostalgia builds. Long term, you can compile and post the best moments from previous years in the weeks leading up to the event.

Recap Learnings in Blogs

Memorialize teachings, launches, and session highlights in an in-depth blog summary. These published retrospectives boost SEO rankings while allowing non-attendees to soak up shared lessons.

Amplify Authentic Video Reviews

Collect and promote short video testimonials while firsthand accounts remain fresh. Prompt attendees to share key takeaways, memorable interactions, and overall event perceptions.

Send Highlight & Milestone Emails

Continue engaging beyond the requisite “Thanks for coming!” note. Craft a series spotlighting different compelling keynote moments they may have missed or summarizing themes across multi-day events. These can be incorporated into your newsletter in the weeks after the event.

Final Thoughts

Pre-event anticipation sparks initial brand discovery. Onsite immersion exposes visitors to your brand’s potential. Post-event reinforcements steward connections. By integrating content across these stages, you can maximize engagement both with attendees and wistful digital participants.

Strategizing for how to leave a lasting impression before, during, and after events will drive conversions and build valuable relationships that help your brand thrive.

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