A colleague recently forwarded me this great article by Ron Ashkenas on HBR, entitled “When Managing Complexity – Less is More”. I believe that with the help of social media revolution (and the internet) we have entered a new age of complexity (or just lack of control) in conference marketing. Gone are the days of sending brochures to 10,000 people, finding out which lists work and sending more brochures to these list again, then repeating again and again and again. We now have twitter, facebook, linkedin, you tube, online PR, web analytics, email (and more email), SEO, PPC SEM, PPC advertising, banner advertising, bloggers and multiple other new forms of communication to get our message out. All of which we have embraced, and in most cases, all of which have their own unique form of measurement (or mystery) which is often only loosely tied back to a meaningful impact on our events.
As Ron articulately points out that “The reality is that without ruthless prioritization, smart workers will always identify new opportunities, therefore perpetuating a cycle of increasing activity that is difficult to break”. That’s what all these very smart event marketers are doing! We live (& market) in interesting times and we are in desperate need of ruthless prioritization, as Ron points out we need to do less, not more.
For event marketers, I think ruthless prioritization involves:
- Developing ‘purple cow’ events
- Focusing on ‘remarkable’ content tailored to delegates needs and different levels of the advocacy ladder, customer funnel or product life cycle to drive inbound enquiries
- Developing one delegate acquisition (DA) strategy coordinating all activities and a separate sponsor acquisition strategy
- Owning our keywords – We have to own our keywords and give great directions to our websites
- We have to get the entire event team to be more active on social networks
- Test, Test, Test – Continue what works and abandon what doesn’t
- Measuring absolutely everything we do!
According to Ron “the number one problem facing managers today is complexity”, how much time do you spend working out what you can stop doing?