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Get people talking about your conference

Here’s the secret to promoting a conference/event/trade show/webinar:

Give the participants a reason to talk about it. 

If you don’t, then you’ve got to do a ton of expensive advertising and direct mail, because you’re the only one who has an interest in selling tickets. 

But conferences have a LOT of stakeholders, each with their own reasons to promote your event:

  • Speakers who want a bigger crowd.
  • Sponsors who want to leverage their investment
  • Exhibitors who want to maximize traffic
  • Attendees who want to make sure all the right people are there

So make it easy and rewarding for them to promote. Examples:

  1. Give them banners for their web site
  2. Give them email text to forward
  3. Blog about each speaker so each speaker promotes the blog post
  4. Give awards
  5. Have a private party that requires getting an invitation from a friend in adavance
  6. Best ever: South by Southwest make potential speakers get votes to get their panels on the program.  Hundreds of wannabe speakers are blogging, lobbying, and begging their friends for votes, resulting in massive word of mouth. Check this out:

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  1. Tim Jahn September 5, 2008 at 9:41 am #

    I think the South by Southwest approach is an excellent one that benefits everybody in the long run.

  2. Marlene Gavens September 6, 2008 at 10:52 am #

    This couldn’t have come at a better time!
    I’m helping to organize a conference for eBay buyer and sellers in Hays, KS next month ( and am definitely going to implement your suggestions.
    Thanks so much!

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