How to Promote a Conference Using Video — A Guide for Trade Associations

All conference promoters and organizers hope that attendees leave their conference satisfied with what they’ve learned and the people they’ve met. Organizers also hope their guests are eagerly anticipating next year’s event.

Besides stellar speakers and content, conference organizers can build interest, increase registration numbers, and ramp up a conference’s success by putting video into the mix — before, during, and after the conference.

Here’s how.

Before the Conference

Pre-conference, your videos build interest and show attendees that this event is worth their time and money.

Share Videos of Keynote & Session Speakers

Gather video content from your keynote speakers to start creating buzz. Ask them to provide a sneak peek of their sessions, or encourage them to talk about why they’re ready to take the stage at your event.

Videos like this can:

  • Increase attendance. People love to hear more about what they can learn when they sign up.
  • Enhance SEO. People searching for your speakers or their topics can find your videos.
  • Build excitement. People already registered might enjoy hearing more about what’s in store at your event.

Collect Video from Early-Registrant Attendees Before the Conference

Reach out to those early buyers and draw them into your marketing plan. Ask them to describe the sessions and speakers they’re looking forward to. Ask them how often they’ve come to your conference and why they think it’s a good investment.

In the short term, videos like this can help you sell tickets. But in the long term, these are valuable pieces for future marketing initiatives.

Get Video Congratulations for Award Winners

Not everyone can attend a conference, and attendees sometimes have to leave early and miss out on awards ceremonies. Ask peers, mentors, and stakeholders to recognize and congratulate award winners in brief videos, and help those winners feel special.

Videos like this do double duty. They ensure people receive proper recognition, and they create a buzz for your conference. The people making the videos also feel valuable and included.

Find Exceptional Volunteers

Conferences are labor intensive, and if you don’t have the employee power to do all the work, volunteers are critical. Video can help.

Pull together some of the best moments from last year’s event, and pepper the video with text about how your volunteers help. End that video with clear instructions people can follow to become a volunteer and share in the fun.

Share the Videos

You’ve created your videos, and now it’s time to ensure they are seen by the right people at the right time. What should your strategy look like?

Share your videos via:

  • Email. Pull up last year’s list of registrations, and tag everyone who attended with a blast about what you have planned. Segment your audiences by registration this year. If they haven’t signed up yet, they deserve a heavier push in a second message. Choose your very best video and send that along.
  • Your website. Make sure your videos show up on your registration page on your website. You just might entice someone to sign up before clicking away.
  • Social media. Share at least one video per week with your audience on all of your social channels. Don’t forget to include a link to your registration page for maximum signups.

During the Conference

During the conference, people want to share their stories. They are ready to tell the world about whom they’ve been listening to and what they have learned.

Make It Easy for Attendees to Tell Their Stories

Conferences are all about storytelling, and the best stories are shared by attendees. Some have attended the same conference for 10+ years and are considered influential. They want to share their wisdom — imagine capturing and sharing their war stories, experiences, and advice.

For others, it’s their first conference. They’re pumped to be there and excited about all the opportunities they’re seeing. Some want to share how they have grown professionally because of attending or being part of the association.

All of these authentic stories are pure gold for associations, so capture them!

Boost Your Stories

Registration for this year’s conference is closed (obviously). But the fear of missing out remains. Tap into that #FOMO by sharing your videos with people outside of your conference.

Share your story via:

  • Email messaging. Remember that segmented list that highlights people who didn’t buy a ticket? Tap them again with a video that shares one of the best sessions at your conference.
  • Your website. Consider sharing a recap of the day’s event on your company website as a video blog. That page helps people see what’s happening right now, and it works as a teaser for next year’s fun.
  • Social media. Take live footage of some of the best conference moments. Ask your community for candid videos that highlight the fun they’re having, and brighten your social pages with those snaps.

After the Conference

Following the conference, use testimonials to promote your next event. Wrap-ups, recaps, and concrete examples rule the day.

Talk to Attendees

The best way to get people to participate in a course or conference is to share an alumnus’s success. This type of story, case study, or testimonial ties theoretical ideas to real-world examples of success. Nothing is more powerful.

Ask attendees to share the top lesson they learned at the conference. Or reach out a week later, and ask attendees to share something they’re doing at work now that they learned at your conference.

Reach Out to Everyone

Vendors and sponsors might capture video about the event. Ask for access! If they didn’t get video of the conference, ask them to tell you how terrific this year’s event was and how excited they are to attend the next event.

Their reflections and enthusiasm will increase engagement and attendance for next year’s conference. You might even pick up a new vendor or two.

Keep Sharing Your Videos

Remember to share those videos on your website and social channels. Encourage your viewers to start planning ahead for the fun they’ll have when the next event starts.

Get Started Today

Put video into your conference marketing mix and you should start seeing solid results in increased video content, engagement, and attendance numbers.

The Gather Voices-One Platform provides an easy and foolproof way for registrants, attendees, speakers, and satisfied customers to promote your conference and sing its praises, before, during, and after the event. These stories will live beyond your conference, helping to make the next one even more successful.

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