The Future of Conference Video …Prepare for a Video Sprint!

15 10 2012

I’ve written about the emerging part I think video has to play in the future of B2B events many times (Here, here, and here amongst a few…).  



I believe it can help promote events, enhance the on-site experience, and extend learning beyond the conference room or exhibition hall into the wider community, all of which helps promote your event.

Through an excellent guest post on the excellent site Conference basics (and @gchicco) by Gabriel Shalom, founder of the KS12 Creative Studio I just had an insight into what that future might look like. You can read all about here:  (including some great examples) or better still visit this post on Conference Basics and here Gabriel tell you about his business model.

The most interesting aspects of Gabriels model is the image above (I also liked how there wasn’t any shots of a speaker podium or power points, or people entering and leaving the conference hall but I digress). Gabriel outlines how video can help extend the conversation, the sharing, the learning and the networking both at the event, into the hallways, the online back channels, and after the event into the wider business community by leveraging social media. The future of conference marketing involves video, but like all tools, it will be how you wield it that will make the difference.

A New Marketing “Train” map

29 07 2010

B2B Contact Marketing in the UK created this great marketing map using the London underground as the inspiration. It’s a great way to map out the modern landscape of marketing; even though it uses trains, it’s exceptionally well done and gives anyone from expert to novice great insight into the challenges and opportunities for modern marketers.

The main lines on the map:

Advertising – For me this is the dying channel, maybe that’s why it’s in blood red. It’s a communication “corridor” that’s becoming less and less relevant, it includes a couple of great quotes “Each of us sees over 3,800 advertising messages a day”. People are not passive consumers of marketing messages any more; they are seekers of high quality relevant information, participants in conversations and electors of what they consider to be competent authority. Its these characteristics that are at odds with traditional “interruption” advertising methods. Maybe this is the line that has the constant breakdowns.

Database – I really like that this “line” is a closed loop and central, in a data driven world it has to be at the heart of any effective marketing organization. It also means it touches every other line, modern marketing is even more data driven than before, the measure is moving from traditional DM metrics to include more and more online metrics, but I believe you need to start by measuring everything and then honing on what are the key metrics, all with out taking your eye off the prize – profit (Money in the Bank). There’s also a marked shift away from valuing the sheer size of your database towards the quality and depth of information in it.

Direct – Covers it all really, I think this channel is being overshadowed by some of the more popular trendy digital channels, which are all part of direct marketing in a pull marketing world.

Digital – Talk about being web centric, this line cuts right through the middle of town! I like how it talks about the different digital channels without really focusing on some of the actual sites, facebook, twitter etc, which I am sure over time will change…. Has anyone ever heard of QQ, Xaonei or Kaixin01? I hope this is a hi-speed train line?

Event – Obviously a personal favorite, I’d add an IQPC station. Event marketers take note – this line crosses digital and database lines twice, begins its journey by moving away from advertising and finishes with a second crossing of the relationship line. There’s a message about how you fit and where your focus should be!

Relationship – A black line for the dark arts, most of the things on this line have two things in common. They are becoming ever more important parts of the B2B space and they very difficult to accurately measure or gauge their true impact. I like how conferences, social media and networking are all so close. Measuring awareness is becoming an increasing challenge.

Anything missing? Not much…

My only real criticism would be where are the customers? I would have made the customer or audience central to the whole thing, maybe the hub in the middle between Google, Social Media and Blogging. I think before you do anything you need to have well defined buyer personas, and a solid message that matches your audiences world view (step 1). Maybe “customers” should be the main hub on the relationship line or the direct line, it’s in there, the demographics stop is in there, I would have just made it more defined.

Content marketing? Maybe change the contract publishing station on the Advertising line or drop it into digital… But for me it’s really all about the intersections, and particularly for conferences, I think the intersections are crucial to your events integrated multi channel marketing plan.

But just for fun and in honor of being in NY for the summer, I decided to apply the same thing to NY Subway system, here’s my poor mans effort:

Grand Central Station = The internet, the heart of all modern marketing. This is a web centric train map.

 Social Media is the N, Q, R and W line, crossing the whole island…

 The A, C, E line is my Event line crossing with other multiple stops. Making it fully integrated into the marketing mix.

The 4,5 and 6 Train are the digital lines. Connecting grand central and most of the other lines.

The 1, 2 and 3 train is the Advertising line, cutting right through Times Square Station, renamed Advertising Central or Billboard Station.

Path Train or the LIRR = Direct Mail line… It’s a separate system, kind of connected, and kind of old, slow, rusty etc, it still works but we all know we won’t be riding the train for much longer.

Great map, there must have been some great debates whilst putting it together – Thanks to B2B Contact Marketing for creating and sharing it. The modern landscape is difficult to navigate – Anyone got another map?

(Special thanks to Emma, unofficial Nomad Editor, for some big contributions to this post!)

Content Marketing – The only marketing?

7 06 2010

As a company IQPC is in the business of sharing highly practical, case study driven information created by leading business executives at the cutting edge of their industries. As part of that service we also provide face to face networking opportunities and allow sponsors some access to the interaction.  I like to think of IQPC as an information intermediary, it’s just that our chosen form of delivery to date has been conferences, seminars and exhibitions. But our recent launch of online industry communities has changed that and planted us firmly in the content marketing camp.

It’s a natural fit for our business, we capture so much first person research during the development of the event, and have so much content at our events, we simply need to find effective ways to capture and leverage it to grow our niche communities. We charge a premium for the live events, that’s the head of the tail, where all the immediate, urgent value is, but what is live content worth tomorrow or the next day….how can it help add more value and build our brand?  

There’s been a lot written about content marketing, and most of it under lots of different names, but I like this definition from best:

Content Marketing is a broad term that relates to creating and freely sharing informative content as a means of converting prospects into customers and customers into repeat buyers.

Whilst it appears simple, like the rest of this business the devil is in the detail. Some marketers get confused on what they can and can’t do, what is acceptable and what is not, what is valuable and what is not. So here are my tenets of content marketing:

You must add value – Your community should be better off for spending the time it took to read, listen to or devour your content.

You must be authentic – Don’t hide behind the content; let the value of the content speak for itself.  

You must be unique – There’s little to no point in re-using existing content unless you are providing a unique spin or syndication service, helping great content spread is fine, if it adds value.

You must be relevant –It must highly relevant to the target audience, resonate with their world view and be of immediate help.

You must be aligned – The content must be very much aligned to the problems the event is looking to solve or the skills it is looking to develop.  This alignment is critical if you hope to convert the content users from strangers to customers.

You must leverage your content – A small snippet or introduction or insight to the content must be promoted via your partners, social media sites and well written press releases. This will ensure you have maximized your effort beyond your internal database.

You must be remarkable – You don’t have to win the Pulitzer Prize but you do want people to remark, you want them to forward your content.

And it’s OK to sell, not in the content, but it should be implicit what the customer or prospective customer is getting into, you should not hide behind the content. If you are going to call the prospect, they need to remember that you provided them with that valuable piece of content and that should lead the way to a more valuable conversation.  If you are going to go to all that trouble to create valuable, unique, relevant and remarkable content you want the association or alignment of the content and your brand to be implicit, loud and clear, no confusion.

I strongly believe that content marketing is the only type of marketing we have left, but it must be aligned with the overall campaign message and goals, we all have to pay the bills. Your content marketing strategy must be integrated into your entire marketing plan; it must feature in every drop, in every campaign online and offline, and be visibly associated with your brand. Most importantly online, you must focus on the content, as this will help pull people in via search, social media and your online partners. If you succeed in capturing their attention you must know what to do to convert that attention so you also need to make sure the sales channel is fully briefed and understands the value of content and where they can take the conversation.

By providing this valuable content you are trying to shift brand perception beyond the actual day of your event, add value and build your advocacy ladder, helping customers find you.