Get More Impact From Your Annual Conference
How can you get more attention for your conference and your association? Use some of these Power Marketing™ tips and ideas. It won’t cost much. It just takes a creative approach. The payoff can be huge. First, see everything as a marketing opportunity. Second, enlighten all staff and every member to realize their responsibility in marketing the association. Third, read “Secrets of Power Marketing”.
There are many ideas here. If you are already using some – wonderful! Try some new ideas this year.
Contact the local media. Offer the press interviews with your expert members – about the association issues and importance to the local community. Send your media package to the media before you arrive. Include information about your association, your publication, your conference outline, and key contact names for interviews. Ask the local convention bureau to help establish contact. Then follow-up.
Get more value from your speakers. Ask your high profile speakers to donate a speech to a school, charity group, service group, community association or city hall. You might be spending several thousand dollars for their presentation and travel. Ask them for a little bit more. Offer the speaker a token amount to do this additional community work on behalf of your association. Make sure the attendees to this community speech know you are the sponsor. And tell the media.
Ask your speakers to do media interviews. Get a media kit from each. Give them your media contacts and encourage them to contact the media directly. Remind your speakers to talk about your association when they are interviewed.
Connect with the local community. Invite local students from the high schools, college or university to attend (free) portions of your conference. Make contact with teachers, professors, or department heads. Ask your host chapter to arrange this. The teachers might select the students or you might hold a contest to pick the winners.
Arrange an event with a local school, group or charity. Contact the university, college, high schools, Junior achievement, Chamber of Commerce or charity. Ask what you can do for them to help their cause and issues.
During: Send post cards to your members who did not attend. Give every attendee five post cards to mail. Buy local tourist shots or custom print them. “Wish you were here.”
Feed the media. Write a news release each day. Collect advice and quotes from your speakers and attendees and send it to the media each day. Send information to the local radio and TV hosts – all of them – especially the weather announcers – they are always trying to be entertaining. Conduct interviews of the person in the street. What do they think of “members of your association?” Publish these comments in a news release and on your web-site.
Make it easy for the media. Post a “Media check in” sign at the registration table. Assign one or more of your people to help the media when they arrive. Pick up the local papers and magazines. Add the names and addresses of editors and reporters to your media database.
Create a newsworthy event. Plant a tree – plant 100 trees, offer free financial advice to unwed mothers, clean up a park, give a seminar for small business, give advice for the unemployed. Do something in a public place that gets attention. Grant an honorary membership or award to some distinguished member of that community. Get all attendees to sign a gigantic thank you note and present it to the mayor for being such a wonderful host. Think photo opportunity.
Give each of your attendees business cards to distribute that read – “Hello – I am a member of the xxx Association attending our annual conference in your fine city. I gave you this card because your smile, service, attention, helped make my day.”
Make local contact. Arrange for your president and executive director to meet the mayor for lunch or breakfast. Arrange breakfast or lunch between some of your high profile members and prominent members of that community. Visit the President or CEO of local companies who may have or should have members in your association.
Encourage your attendees to call three members who did not attend and tell them what they missed.
Summarize the conference – the highlights and best ideas. And why the location was perfect. Send it to the local media, your members and post on your web-site. Write letters to the editors of the local media. What you loved about the location and people or what you disliked. Encourage your attendees to do the same. Make copies of all media coverage for next year’s media kit. Put in on your web-site. Log all media coverage you received and post on your web site.
Ask the mayor to write a letter of introduction to the mayor of next year’s conference.
And you thought it would be a vacation. It is a marketing opportunity!