Adapt or Fail.
A plan for survival.
Under attended. Under funded. Under staffed.
Does that describe your last conference?
It’s time to adapt, or your conference will be 6 feet under…..along with your job. History has taught us that the inability to adapt to change, will result in extinction. “Survival of the fittest” is not just a theory for the animal kingdom, it also applies to businesses, organizations and even annual conferences.
The first conference I helped promote was way back in 1988 for the United Way of American. Amazingly, we see associations using the same approach to conference marketing today. The same preliminary offers and save-the-date postcards that were being used 21 years ago, are staples in many organization marketing efforts today. But, there have been drastic changes in communication and lifestyle. Therefore, can this still be the best way to market a conference?!
Adapting for survival, and success.
In previous editions of White Space, we have given you plenty of tips on effective conference marketing.
- We’ve covered the importance of positioning your conference as a unique offering.
- We’ve climbed onto our soapbox many times to stress value over venue.
- Like a newsboy standing on the corner yelling the day’s headlines, we’ve harped about changes in communication and social networking.
- We’ve written do’s and don’ts about marketing to younger members and integrating offline and online communications.
- And, we’ve warned you of deadly myths, like the misconception that late conference registration is just a trend of 2009.
You are now equipped with some of the best ideas in the industry about conference marketing. These ingredients can be combined to help you adapt and achieve attendance success. But, are you still missing one thing?
Even with all the ingredients, you can’t make a delicious cake without the directions. You can try winging it, but without the recipe you won’t know how much of each ingredient to include, the order, the purpose or the timing.
The same is true for conference marketing. You can read our newsletters and blog posts to learn about the strategies and activities that are resulting in sold-out conferences, but without a conference marketing plan, you won’t get it right, especially with the constant changes in communication and the economy.
- Do you develop a new plan each year based on last year’s event?
- What method or role does research have on your planning?
- Does your marketing strategy stress value over venue?
- Does your marketing plan take into account the ever-changing way your members want to receive and access information?
Filling empty seats.
There is one thing that will fill those empty seats, and that is a marketing plan that is a schedule of strategic activities designed to guide behavior.
Let me reiterate, the only way to fill the empty seats is to follow a strategic marketing plan based on research, the audience’s needs and the organization’s mission.
We’ve told you about the ingredients, and now we’re going to give you the recipe. For the first time, we are going to offer a special package for organizations who want to adapt for survival and success.
A one-day, on site hands-on marketing planning session, followed by 4 weeks of remote support that will provide your team with a plan on how to fill empty seats at your next conference.
This special offer is only available for the first quarter of 2010, call or email for details and to reserve your spot.
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