ExEl: Communication

ExEl: Communication

Remember that communicating about your event is a crucial part of an experience (if not, check out the blog post “Tell them what it’s all about”)? In that post, I talk about what to include in the communication about your event.

In this blog post, however, I will give you an example of the way we handle the communication in regard to the events at the Danish Society of Engineers, because we always want to include the event experience in the communication.

We have quite a few large events every year – all set within the frames that the Danish Society of Engineers provide (i.e. meeting rooms, budget, target group, etc.). This means for example that we have a rather extensive knowledge about our delegates even before they sign up to attend.

Online based communication only

Our means of communication are purely online based. Each conference has its own subsite on our main website, and we solely invite our members to join us for the events via newsletters. We have only a limited budget for marketing, and this goes mainly towards advertising on social media.

So, how do we keep up with communicating about our event without spending thousands on beautiful, printed invites or ads on bus stops, on TV or in magazines (which would not contemplate with our target group, anyway)? We simply make sure that there is always something new to learn about the event when you visit the subsite or receive a newsletter.

Keep the site updated

After the initial information about the content of the event and the practical information for it has been posted, we make sure to add abstracts and information about speakers continually, revise the initial information to mirror the speakers now on the program (we start marketing before the program is set with speakers) and add more information as to why you should attend this exact event.

While keeping the website updated, we also adjust the texts for the newsletters in order to reflect what is new in terms of information about or interviews with speakers. Furthermore, we write targeted newsletter texts aimed at each specific target group as to outline what is of particular interest to them.

This way, we try to focus on giving the attendees the means to decide whether or not to attend our events by giving them an overview of what they will gain from attending. And this should always be the main focus for a meeting planner or owner: What is in it for the attendee?!

Engaging the attendees

There are many ways of keeping an eye on the event communication, and the one outlined above is not the only way to do it. However, we handle the event communication in connection with how the target group expects it to be – they don’t need for us to be elaborate as we are spending their membership fees on the events – and so add to the overall experience of the single event.

However, it would be great to have the possibility of engaging the attendees in conversation before the actual event by having a section on the subsites for involving the delegates in an online community around the conference in question. Though, as of right now that is not possible with our site, and so we need to address this on other media (such as Facebook or LinkedIn).

This way we could also address another part of making the conferences an experience: Involving the attendees. Now, we need to do this in other ways, be it analogue or technologically at the event instead.

How do you handle the communication about your events?