Networks of speakers are undervalued assets that event organisers fail to leverage on when it comes to promoting their events. Often times, event organisers assume that with their busy schedules speakers will not be able to help in the promotion of event. They are not wrong – speakers are busy people- but if we keep this in mind and make the process of promoting the event easy and intuitive, they are more likely to share your event!
1. Give them a unique promocode
Influential speakers maintain a strong following on social media platforms like twitter, LinkedIn, or their own email list. Their followers are potential audience who would be willing to attend the events that would feature the speakers. Provide the speakers with unique promocodes that they can share with these audiences.
Both speakers and their followers benefit from this move; speakers are seen as influential and generous and their followers are able to receive discounts that would save them money when they buy tickets.
2. Start a social media buzz
Don’t wait till the day of the event to start a conversation on the main topic! Seize the opportunity to create a buzz around the topic, and by extension the event, by starting conversations on social media way before the event date itself.
Start conversations on the social media channels of the speakers ; twitter chats, Facebook giveaways, Instagram videos! Of course, trying to be present on all social media platforms may not be a feasible solution. So focus on the platform that has proven to convert your audience to paying consumers and actively engage the speakers to start conversations on that network.
3. Show off your speakers as thought leaders
Today information is just a touch screen away, so why should people attend your event to hear the same thing they can receive for free on their phones or laptops? This is why event organisers have to establish the relevance of the topic and speakers before the event; potential attendees need to recognise the value of attending the event (that they have more to gain by attending it and how much they will miss out from learning something by not attending!).
You can choose to be as creative as you wish when you present these value propositions but the principle of the idea remains the same; establish your speakers as thought leaders in their respective field. You can share a write up on their stellar background, what makes them unique and sought after in their industry, and a teaser on the exclusive information they will discuss at the event. Remember to have a content sharing strategy so that these productions (ex: articles, videos, podcasts, infographics) are seen by prospective attendees before the event.
4. Guest-curate social media accounts
If you have a very engaged social media platform such as twitter, snapchat, instagram, then consider having popular speakers take over your account for a few hours or even a day! This trend is very popular in the lifestyle event industry where famous bloggers, models, reality stars, and even actors take over an account for a fixed period of time. This usually leads to a spike in the number of followers to that account and organisers can promote their event on the channel accordingly. Event organisers can channel this strategy by getting speakers to take over their social media account!
When discussing an account takeover with your speaker, run through with them guidelines on what can and cannot be posted to ensure the integrity of your brand is not lost in the process. The key to a successful account takeover is when the guests engage with the followers, reveal details about themselves that they haven’t before, and when other influencers also get into the game by interacting with the guests.
5. Spoil them with Instagram-worthy freebies
Demonstrate appreciation for your speakers with freebies they will find useful to spur them into taking a picture and posting it up to social media – this works particularly well with photogenic gifts or gifts with an element of surprise.
But if budget is an issue and you are not able to send freebies, don’t fret! Be genuine and send your speakers customized e-cards that reflects your appreciation for them taking time to be part of your event. Ensure that these e-cards can be easily shared on social media so that they can share this on their channels. Your event gets shared in a manner that doesn’t come off as being an advertisement and your speakers will feel happy too!
With a little more talent (or budget), speaker caricatures make a great memento for both speakers and attendees! Photo credit: @ericliofficial
So the next time you are organising events with speakers, don’t just look at them as speakers who will be sharing content at your event. Look at them as partners and allies who can promote your event in the community.