Some show organizers have found that community connections are best built on year-round interaction. Here, Nicole Anderson, senior coordinator for education and learning services at Smith Bucklin and noted speaker at Expo’s Tradeshow 365 Marketing Summit Nov. 21 in Chicago, talks to Expo Associate Editor Arti Patel about creating information pipelines and leveraging event content to build show buzz.
Expo: How do you leverage the content that you make available between shows to help drive potential attendees to your events?
Nicole Anderson: One of the easiest ways is to have speaker “sneak peeks.” This is content they’re not presenting at the event [but], you’re highlighting them and encouraging people to come to the actual conference. We do something similar to a slow release of conference recordings. We release them over the 12 months between annual shows to keep the energy high about the content that was at the event.
We can re-bundle the content throughout the year. We can do a virtual program that builds to the conference or is held after the conference but, if you’re new to the field, we’ll have four or five module programs before.
Expo: You provide content outside of the events. How do you ensure that this practice doesn't discourage people from attending the shows?
Anderson: In our marketing we emphasize what they’re not getting by not coming. We like to offer virtual content because some people just can’t come to the event. Remind all of your membership that your conference is the place to be. If you’re not there, you’re missing out.
Make content available, but not all of it. If you have a conference that has multiple tracks, choose one session of each track to publish as a sneak peek. You can make virtual content a benefit to those who attended—offer a discounted rate for companies who have people attending.
Expo: Looking ahead, do you have any plans in the works for new or revamped content distribution platforms for your association members?
Anderson: We do have a couple learning management systems. I’ve got two clients, one using a learning management system and the other a simple file library. Instead of labeling the content per what the content it, label it as what’s best for [association members’] needs.