Thousands of cybersecurity professionals recently rendezvoused in Las Vegas to show off the latest hack attacks, vulnerabilities, and cyber defenses at Black Hat and DEFCON. Massive annual events such as these present a great opportunity for media and marketers alike to maximize their brand presence. It’s never too early to begin preparing for the next event, and cybersecurity marketing and public relations professionals should consider the following tips and trends for making the most of the next event marketing opportunity.
Social media is an integral component to successful PR strategies. The majority of conferences and events have specific hashtags created to curate content surrounding the show. Make sure to follow the official event Twitter feed (e.g. @rsaconference) and include the show hashtag on all social media posts. Keep up with tagged posts during show hours especially and look for opportunities to schedule last-minute meetings by following the hashtag.
2. Social Media Graphics
Social media stats have consistently proven that posts are more effective when an image is included. Create custom graphics for social media to promote brand presence leading up to the event. Industry event graphics should include:
· Event name
· Event hashtag
· Company booth location
· Event Dates
· Event location
· Company website
When posting industry event graphics to social media, be sure to include the event hashtag and tag the actual event social account (@blackhatevents, @ces, etc.).
3. Temporary Profile Names
Another way social media is shaping event experiences is the advent of the temporary Twitter profile name to indicate plans to attend. For example, John Doe might change the name in his profile to John Doe@BSIDES so that his followers know to expect him at BSIDES. Temporary profile names also serve as a reminder to lurking PR pros that it may not be the best time to pitch story ideas that are not specific to the conference the reporter is currently attending.
4. Registered Press Lists
Many event organizers maintain a list of journalists who have registered to attend. The lists often are available to sponsors and exhibitors by request or through an online portal. Contact show organizers to obtain the event press list in the months ahead of the conference and reach out to registered media to schedule press and analyst meetings.
5. Event Speaking & Award Programs
Research the show website in the months leading up to the event to determine if there’s an opportunity to participate as a session speaker. Some events also include an award program element to honor industry leaders. If a speaking or award program is in place, then the next step is to determine the requirements and costs associated before making a decision on whether or not to pursue. Award recognitions present a solid ROI opportunity that impacts everything from company branding to the buyer process. Speaking opportunities reinforce thought leadership.
6. Event Sponsorships
Marketing and PR veterans are well familiar with the willingness of conference organizers to make sponsorship details available. Sponsorship elements can range from floor decals and t-shirts to phone charger stations and digital media. Virtually all events today have sponsorship opportunities, but don’t wait until only days before the show to investigate sponsorship opportunities.
7. Booth Awareness
With thousands of attendees shuffling around show floors at RSA and CES, exhibitors should be careful to remember that someone is always watching. Balancing an approachable yet professional booth image is critical to generating leads. Try to avoid sitting, eating, taking calls, and catching up on work while in the booth space during show hours. Booth attire also makes an impact – a uniform booth crew appears polished and consistent when compared to a mix of people in jeans and sneakers. Don’t give prospective customers or partners an excuse to not come make an introduction.
8. Branded Giveaways
Branded giveaways like keychains, stress balls, widgets, and gizmos have long been tools for generating booth traffic. However, questions about the ROI have driven down demand for and confidence in the effectiveness of branded promotional items. Purchasing agents are looking for more than a free pair of socks when making buying decisions. Consider instead a booth activity to draw attention and interest from attendees exploring the show floor.
By taking the above tips and trends into account when planning event marketing, brands can boost event marketing results with few added costs. Social media strategies require no added investment to implement, other than the time it takes to create and share a post. Research registered press, speaking opportunities, and event award programs to customize a balanced event marketing program. Make a positive impression on the show floor and then look for more opportunities to improve before the next event.
Contact Zintel PR today for more answers to frequently asked questions about event marketing.