Annual Meeting Marketing and Convention Management: Innovation and Cost Savings Measures

July 16, 2015 11:28 am Published by Leave your thoughts

FOCIS Meeting PictureWith meeting season approaching, there has been a large focus on finding innovative ways to promote and manage an event, without breaking the bank. Although there are many ways in which an individual could market for an event, we’d like to highlight a few creative ideas that you may be able to implement to cut back on expenses and attract new attendees.

Mobile App

This has been a tool that is being used more frequently among our clients, and is recognized as one of the most innovative tools available. Not only is it an innovative way for attendees to access event information and details easily, but it can also act as a cost saver because it can reduce the need for printed handouts. Additionally, the app can be used to generate extra income for clients by allowing exhibitors to pay a fee to feature their information on the app. Another way the app can be an effective marketing tool is by using it to incorporate other social media aspects on it such as Twitter feed or pictures to encourage attendees to engage with the app and event. Furthermore, using the app to conduct contests and giveaways can be a great way to encourage people to download the app and use it. Lastly, if a big enough following is able to be acquired on the app, it can be used to send out push notifications before and after the event, potentially eliminating and cost and time spent on sending emails.

Social Media

Creating an invitation on LinkedIn and encouraging well-known attendees such as speakers to RSVP can be a great way to promote the event because it allows the information about the event to reach those attendees’ connections, promoting the event even further with not additional costs. Next, different social media mediums can be used to spark conversation about the event. Pinterest can be used to allow potential attendees to post about what types of decorations, seating arrangements, and locations they would prefer for the annual meeting. For Instagram and Twitter, posting old pictures from a previous annual conference using the hashtag “Throwback Thursday” and tagging individuals in the picture can be a great way to start a conversation on social media and advertise an upcoming event. Lastly, by using a website called Crystal, association management teams may be able to tap into the language that their audience uses, can use language that caters specifically to that group of people. By knowing how people best like to be communicated with, association management teams will better be able to market to that population.

Strategic Messaging & Cost Saving Techniques

Research shows that the majority of attendees are individuals who live around the event location, therefore placing emphasis on regional markets with direct mailing to those individuals can be a great way to effectively market without blowing a budget. Next, it is important to take advantage of the local convention center and visitor’s bureau for free insight and information about the resources available at the event location. This can be a great way to get an insider’s perspective on what that city has to offer. Additionally, money can be saved when measures are taken to Go Green, through reusing signage and recycling name badges. Lastly, an innovative way to cut hotel attrition costs is to leverage the contract by sending out emails to attendees advertising the hotel spaces available.

Exhibitors & Sponsors

Take a fresh look at the exhibitor prospectus and do not let the exhibitors and sponsors fall through the cracks, since they are event attendees too. Using an email, app, and social media strategy to promote sponsorship can be a great way to allow the sponsors and exhibitors to see value in the organization and be encouraged to sponsor another event. Lastly, it is important to remind the sponsors of their return on investment by providing them with details after the convention. This is also a great way for sponsors to see the value they receive through sponsoring the event.

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This post was written by Elizabeth Schlicht

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