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Event marketing | 9 February 2017

Event Planning Advice For Publishers & Media Outlets

Brandon Rafalson

Although certain truths hold for all events, publishing events come with their own unique characteristics that set them apart from the rest. At Bizzabo we work with a number of industry leaders including Cult, Rakuten Marketing, The Drum, Univision, and more. Throughout our time spent working with these rockstar agencies, publishers, and media outlets, we’ve learned a thing or two about what it takes to put on a successful publisher event.

I recently spoke with several Bizzaboers who have spent a lot of time working closely with our publishing and media clients. This is what they had to say.

Rachel_Circle.gifRachel Ruggieri, Customer Success Director 

Present your content in a way that mirrors its value.

Content publishers are used to relying only on their content for engagement, but a lot of them have not-so-good-looking websites. There’s now an explosion of online publishers and so a key differentiator is the look and feel of their websites. Find an event management solution that helps you make awesome event websites, easily.

You’re sharing important information. Make it accessible and easy for your audience to engage with it.

Jonathan-Needle-Circle-min.jpgJonathan Needle, Senior Account Executive

Get as many people to your events as you can.

If you want to build a wonderful experience for attendees and build a reputation for hosting some of the best events around you need to attract big names and logos.

For instance, Hashtag Sports has one annual event that brings in five to ten thousand attendees. It’s public. Anyone can come. In fact, they comp a lot of tickets because they want to get as many people through the doors as possible.They want their event on people’s minds year round, regardless if that person is attending or not. Similarly, The Next Web’s largest annual event is hosted in Amsterdam and they expect a minimum of 30k attendees a year. They have an amazing venue, boast top tier production value, and gather the most reputable of speakers from various industries and verticals.  The Big Question remains—how do you get there?

You don’t have to be a huge company. The Drum is a similar vertical that hasn’t been around as long, but they’re managing to pull it off. It’s about being strategic with both your partners as well as brand ambassadors

Udit-Lakhotia-Circle-min.jpgUdit Lakhotia, Sales Team Lead

Establish yourself as an industry guru by folding events into your content plan.

It’s essential to have a good look and feel for your event site. It’s also important to have lots of big logos. But above all of this, you should integrate events into your identity. Have events year round. Build buzz for these events in your content. Figure out what kind of content gets people in the door. Are there any incentive programs that you can build into the content chain?

It’s not enough to be a publisher that sometimes does events. You have to be the publisher that is known for its events. Create a strategy that ties everything together and leads to one funnel. Connect all of the dots. This is how you establish yourself as an industry leader. 

Tom-Shelly-Circle.jpgTom Shelly, Product Marketing Manager

Produce video content around your event.

We know the power of videos for publishers and event marketers in general. It’s now the norm for publishers to produce video content in addition to written content. Before the event share video materials that you already have—testimonials, event footage, wrap-up reels. Chances are you already have a lot of video content. It’s not a lot of work do dig through it and put something together.

During the event itself, be mindful of whatever’s happening and how you will use it in the future for post-event sharing and beyond. Take testimonials. The best thing is to ask attendees about their experience while they’re at the event. Create video content around lectures—they make for amazing content to consume. You can then take this video content and embed it in any of your online written pieces. Keep in mind that the video you create after an event is what you will use to promote your next one.

alon.pngAlon Alroy, Co-founder and CMO

Events for publishers are one of the best opportunities to form relationships with readers, sponsors, media partners, and advertisers.

In a world where engagement is largely based on PPC and and CPP the power of speaking to your audience not with a banner or with a click, but with a handshake opens up an opportunity to get raw feedback—namely on content, voice and strategy. Your audience is probably thirsty for those interactions. Relationships are flat over digital. By all means, digital should be embraced to monetize. But events are becoming more meaningful than ever and with them, publishers have the opportunity to lead.

Wrapping Up: Takeaways For Publishers

In many ways, event publishers have a leg up when it comes to hosting events. They already have a large fan base, weighty brand recognition, and content platforms built for spreading the word. If nothing else, pubishers should keep these five takeaways at the top of mind: 

  • Present your content in a way that mirrors its value. Have an awesome event site.
  • Fold events into your brand and establish yourself as an industry leader.
  • Have at least one big event a year, and when you have it, try to get as many people looking forward to it as possible.
  • Shoot video during your event and share it with the right audience afterward.
  • Events are one of the best opportunities to engage with your readers, sponsors, partners, and advertisers. Don’t pass them up!

For more advice on how you can land bigger logos and better partners for your next publishing event, download the event sponsorship eBook.

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