A Conference Marketers Mindset

31 05 2011

A colleague recently forwarded me this great blog post from Future Buzz which happened to be commenting on another blog post at Six Pixels of Separation, both posts are on how the modern marketer needs to think like a publisher, essentially they need to have a Publishers mindset.

I agree, wholeheartedly, but I prefer “Movie Producer Mindset”, a movie producer is more aligned to event marketing than publishing. A movie, might have a sequel or it might not, like a conference. It should also have star power, like a conference. It should also have a strong story to share that’s relevant to a particular audience, like a conference. So you need the same mind set as Peter Jackson, Quentin Tarantino or Steven Spielberg! Lights, Cameras, Action!

The traditional mindset of an event marketer is to find the audience and push your message out, through efficient use of direct mail, email and other channels. But in order to be successful in cutting through the noise and the range of information and networking opportunities out there today, event marketers need to have a different mindset. I would characterize this mind set with these main qualities:

A block buster mentality – Why will this event be huge? what’s different? when did it become different? who’d driving the change? how do we best capture this change? what will capture peoples attention and how will we keep them engaged.

Agile Communicators – We need to communicate frequently, both internally and externally. We need to create remarkable content that will spread and also create immediacy.

We can think like the customer – We are constantly thinking about “ways in”, how are new and old customer going to find a way into this new event, what’s the best way to give them insight into the event without them being there.  What part of the event is most relevant to them.

A story teller’s mind set – There needs to be a beginning, middle and an end. Preferably there is also some twist, some notion of improvement post event.

Consistency – We must have consistency in our messaging across all of our channels. We also need to consistently produce quality events that resonate with the market. (All said whilst being guilty of not being the most consistent publisher with this blog….Irony will be left for another post).

Sharing – We act as aggregators of niche content from multiple sources, creating an opportunity for people who can and can’t attend the event to benefit. We also incorporate others in the messaging, finding the influencers.

I think we also like the project management aspect of the role, starting and finishing something quickly, learning from the results and doing it better next time, refining the craft and art of conference marketing as we go. We ship, but we learn as much from the failures as the success. Ultimately a conference marketers mindset is not about budget, it’s about passion, and adding more value than you can capture!

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One response

31 05 2011
Bill Kutik

Great minds in the same gutter, Jason. Been doing it that way — even referring to individual conference sessions as “little movies” that need to be developed — for years. But in 14 years, I’ve never been generous enough to tell other people about it!

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