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Event Marketing: 3 tips to set your speakers up for success

May 6th, 2014
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I’ve discovered firsthand in my role as Event Content Specialist at MarketingSherpa that creating content for your events can be a daunting task given all the factors that weigh in on making them a success.

However, as the cliché goes, “the show must go on.”

As we prepare for Web Optimization Summit in New York City held May 21-23, I decided to put together a few quick tips that can help you on your event planning journey.

 

Tip #1. Make sure speakers are relevant to your audience

There’s a bit of a dilemma during the early stages of planning: How do you select the right speakers for your event?

Oftentimes, while skimming through applications from speakers, a tempting brand name or title seems to pop out and yell “CHOOSE ME!” but realistically, not every brand or C-suite exec is going to be a good fit into your overall agenda.

For example, if you book the CEO of Puppies Inc. for a keynote at Kitten World 2014, you may have a tough time ahead with your audience on the mismatch.

When vetting the speaking applications, it’s important to make sure that their content applies to the overall event. Speakers that are a good fit will not only keep your audience engaged, but they will also deliver comfortably on stage, instead of working hard to adapt their content on the fly to fit the audience.

For the case study sessions at our Summits, finding speakers that our audience can relate to is a cornerstone in our process. Relevance is even a part of our own value proposition, as we love to feature brand-side marketers as speakers for an audience of marketers who are also in the marketing trenches every day.

 

Tip #2. Create outlines and templates for external speakers

Each speaker has his or her own style of presenting.

Some people love to use a lot of slides and pictures, while others prefer a wall of text. I’ve seen beautiful PowerPoint decks with wonderful builds – however, I’ve also seen presentations that need a little improvement.

To help keep the content at your events to a fixed standard, try encouraging speakers to use a written outline before any slides are built. This can help provide them with a framework for building out their presentation and it can also help identify any gaps in the content.

Also, creating a PowerPoint (or whichever platform is your preference) template for speakers to use is a great way that event planners can also ensure brand standards are maintained.

 

Tip #3. Use moderators to help your speakers deliver with confidence

At Summits, with the exception of keynotes, our guest speakers are not professional speakers. They’re marketers who have discovered what works – and what has not worked – and they want to share their findings with their peers.

As you would expect, being in front of a packed house to speak is not easy for everyone. To help our speakers feel a little more comfortable and confident in their public speaking skills, we use moderators.

Moderators take the stage with our speakers and tee them up for success by walking with them through the challenges, key points and discoveries. By assigning speakers a moderator, he or she acts as a liaison for the speaker through the entire process.

They work on the presentation together and build a relationship over the course of the project that really makes a big difference when it’s show time.

  Read more…

MarketingSherpa Summits: Pick a city for a chance to win a ticket

August 19th, 2011
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Location, location, location. No, I’m not talking about real estate, I’m talking about event marketing.

The location of conferences, summits, conventions and user groups is critical to their success. People don’t just go to events to network and learn how to do their jobs better, they want to go to a city they would really want to visit on vacation, like Orlando, or Denver, or Washington, D.C.

Or at least that’s how it used to be. Now, everything has changed. Event attendees are no longer looking for flashy cities, they’re looking for budget-friendly destinations. Reasonable flights. Inexpensive hotel rooms. Goodbye New York City, professionals want to head to cities like St. Louis and Nashville for their industry events.

Here’s the thing. I don’t know which of the above statements is true. We were debating this very challenge, perhaps a similar challenge you’ve faced when planning your own events, in our latest event team meeting.

Share your opinion for a chance to win a $1,695 marketing summit ticket

So, we thought we’d start with a little unscientific, qualitative research. Simply put, which city or cities would be most appealing to you for a future marketing event? Let us know from the list below for your chance to win a ticket to a future MarketingSherpa Summit, such as B2B Summit in San Francisco or Boston, Email Summit in Las Vegas, or, well, you tell us….

(and if there are any cities we’re missing, feel free to let us know in the comments section below)

***UPDATE***

Congratulations to  Carol Reid, Owner/Marketing Consultant, Carol Reid Marketing, winner of a free ticket to a MECLABS summit. She has chosen the upcoming B2B Summit in San Francisco.

Related Resources:

Event Marketing: Regional customer forums improve field events attendance rate by 150%

Never Pull Sofa Duty Again: Stop guessing what your audience wants and start asking

Marketing Intelligence: 3 ways to better serve your customers (and your bottom line)

The Indefensible Blog Post: Actually, the old rules of marketing are pretty good