Knowing where to go with your conference marketing strategy and increasing its reach is always a challenge. Highly specialized areas may have a limited audience from the outset, whereas big organizations have membership in the thousands they can draw from. But whether you’re the American Psychological Association or represent a lesser known area of research, there are still many steps you can take to bring your conference to a wider audience. In this post you’ll find five key ways to take your conference to the next level and get it in front of as many interested researchers as possible.
Choosing the optimal location
Many factors influence the venue and city you choose to host your conference, from previous partnerships to the budget and size of your event. Firstly, finding a place where delegates want to travel is a necessary consideration that can determine your success from the very beginning. A large, cosmopolitan city with opportunities for sight-seeing, dining, and entertainment – in addition to the main attraction – encourages prospective attendees to do all they can to find the time and resources to show up. Venues serve as an additional means to expand outreach, as your conference ends up on their events calendar and other marketing materials. Ideally a venue should have plenty of incentives and benefits that add value to your conference.
Social media and digital strategy
Social media is an indispensable tool for all conference types, academic or otherwise. However, learning how to best use social media channels is imperative to ensure you maximize your results. Setting up your social media strategies well before your conference begins, along with an eye-catching email invitation campaign, will create hype around your event and make attendees grow increasingly excited as the date approaches.
Create a unique hashtag and use it for tweeting out reminders about deadlines and any crucial details about the conference. Delegates will also then be able to jump onto your hashtag when uploading their own abstracts or ePosters. During the actual conference, prominent delegates (and the many researchers who were unable to attend) can stay up-to-date on the daily happenings and presentations throughout, and retweet these to their followers. Building a buzz around your conference can be an effective way to attract new delegates. This will expand awareness of your event as a vital source of research and industry information.
Using the right conference management tool
Finding a comprehensive conference management tool can have a bigger impact on how much attention your conference receives than you might initially think. Many systems are merely organizational tools that can perform the task of collecting submissions and planning events, but do not go beyond these behind-the-scenes functions.
Morressier is the only platform that provides an online home for the posters and abstracts from conferences and makes them discoverable to a wider community before, during, and after the event. The platform facilitates scholarly communication by allowing scientists to interact and share their research using a simple and intuitive interface. Built-in features provide each poster with a unique DOI and make it easy for researchers to distribute their findings through various channels. Employing the proper management software for your event can increase its relevance and take it to a truly global audience of interested researchers.
Inviting influential keynote speakers
Conferences serve as a showcase for many individual researchers to display their work, but often one of the greatest draws is the quality and prestige of the keynote speakers. Speakers bring with them credibility and a history of outstanding research that has already built their reputation and amassed them followers. Their endorsements on social media, and other word-of-mouth networking, quickly multiply your event’s reach in a powerful and organic manner. Moreover, speakers bring with them a hefty amount of institutional and societal affiliations that create still more paths for your event to catch people’s attention.
Forming partnerships and securing sponsors
Sponsors run the gamut from household names that fund scientific research to smaller companies that can benefit from an exhibition at your event. In either case, relevance to your subject area will dictate the success of the partnership. As in the opportunities above, sponsors can generate publicity, sometimes entirely for free depending on your offerings. The bigger the name, the more likely it is that their amount of contacts far outnumbers your own, providing a direct link to thousands of individuals you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
Carefully weighing your options for exposure is an important step of planning a conference. Finding ways to stand out will help land the research you present into the right hands, placing early-stage research in the spotlight and accelerating scientific breakthroughs.