In the previous post, we discussed the 4 Tips To Promoting Your Personal Brand Through Events. Events are a fabulous way to raise your profile in your field and establish yourself as a thought leader. They can help you be more visible, connect face to face with your target audience and build industry connections.
How you do make your event rock?
After running 15 events in the last 15 months (as of Sept 2017), I learned that the key to an ultra successful event is to bring in the right people: guest speakers, sponsors and members of the press. Running an event is hard, so by inviting the right people, you can rest assured your hard work will pay dividends and continue to generate value long after it’s over.
Contact Speakers Who Bring Value
Inviting guest speakers to your event is hugely beneficial. Not only do they bring value to the event itself but also help you publicize the event. Choose your speakers wisely – look for motivational speakers, people who have experience addressing large crowds, professionals that can speak about the topics you are addressing at your event and have a great fan-following. Everything about your speaker should complement the theme of your event. Their character should connect with the audience. An article, How to choose the right speaker for your event, states “Forthright and brass tax? Humorous? Content Heavy? Inspirational and motivational? Consider the ‘personality and chemistry’ of your own people to ensure the right ‘fit’ between audience and speaker” (Spencer 2017).
Prior to the event, ask the guest speakers to publicize the event on their social media, website and email newsletter. Make sure you repost/ retweet / share any posts your guest speakers write about your event. You can also interview the guest speaker prior to the event as a sneak preview. This interview can be done in the format of a blog post, social media post, video, or even live video. The bottom line is to use their personal brand to generate as much interest and publicity about your event as possible.
Bring in the Right Sponsors
You will need sponsors for your event for several reasons, and reducing your costs is one of them. There are different sponsorship categories and you have to pick the one that best fulfills your requirements. You can go for relationship based sponsors, cost-reducing sponsors, and cash sponsors. To get sponsors for your event you will have to offer them something. Maybe insert their leaflets in the packets you distribute at the event or offer their beverages or food items. However, they will only agree to sponsor your event when they consider you worthwhile for their brand exposure.
Thus, you should focus your efforts on attracting sponsors whose target audience matches yours, but do not offer competitive services or products. The best sponsors are ones that attract a bigger (or more targeted) audience while delivering value such as publicity, free event spacing, monetary rewards etc. I recommend looking for sponsors as soon as you have a preliminary date, location and theme ready. Often, bigger brands require a few month’s time to plan their sponsorships.
Get Media Attention
The more you publicize your event through social media, affiliate marketing, etc. the more chances there will be of media noticing you. Your event description plays a huge role in getting media attention. Keep in mind that media does not want to cover events; they want to cover news/stories. You have to offer them something that really gets their attention. It is highly recommended that you tell a visual story in your invitation to the media. Journalists love it when you let them bring a friend, but they hate it when they have to manually RSVP rather than replying to the person that sent them the invitation.
If you are unable to get the press to attend your event, don’t worry, keep inviting them to your next thing. You should also get a photographer and videography to document your event and send out a press release to any relevant media for coverage. As long as you are telling a compelling story, the publicity will come.
The biggest mistake you can ever make is not following up after the event. People tend to forget things quickly in this fast paced world no matter how striking they are. Do not restrict yourself to a verbal thank you. A thank you letter with a small item such as a pen is great. Send follow-up emails, but never make your first emails “sales pitches”. Use the first emails to reintroduce yourself. Once you move on to the sales part, make your attendees feel special by including a promotional offer in the email. Whatever you do, you must deliver exceptional value multiple times before you can expect your audience to purchase something from you. Lastly, don’t forget to invite them along to your future events.
The Bottom Line
Running events is undoubtedly a great way to promote your personal brand, but by now you must have realized that there are true effort and finances involved in holding an event. This is why you should invite guest speakers, sponsors, and the press to attend your event.
Do you have any experience running events? Share with us in the comments below.
Spencer, Nina. “How to Choose the Right Speaker for Your Event” http://ninaspencer.com/articles-keynote-speaker-nina-spencer/choose-speaker-event/ , http://ninaspencer.com/ 19 August, 2017
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