By Sophie Sadler, Account Director
Attending in-person client events and trade shows used to be the bread and butter of a PR’s role. Whether it was the exCel or the Birmingham NEC, or if you were lucky, somewhere slightly more exotic, they were a regular fixture on the calendar, providing an opportunity for proper catch ups with clients, peers and press. After two years of little to no exposure at these kinds of in-person events, I’ve missed the buzz. So, I was delighted to join our client, InterSystems, at Finovate Europe this week.
With a packed agenda of speaking slots, the two-day event flew by. But with the pandemic’s presence still being acutely felt, it’s clear that in this new era of in-person shows and events, a brand’s digital presence must never be far from mind to ensure maximum exposure to interested audiences. At the heart of this is creative PR through B2B content creation on the fly, which can range from slick video assets right down to timely and engaging snippets for social.
If you have an event coming up soon and you’re wondering where to start, I’ve highlighted three key areas below:
1. Tap into key themes and take conversations online
Perhaps it’s a snippet from a chat with a spokesperson on stand, or an emerging trend highlighted in a speaking session. If you find it interesting, there’s a good chance your audience will too. The key is not to spam audiences on social, but to share easily digestible snippets, always being sure to leverage the event’s social presence or hashtags. On Twitter, a higher volume of posts is acceptable, but on LinkedIn, avoid over sharing from a brand account. Also consider the best way to capture attention and vary your delivery – photos and post copy are great, but a short video with a key spokesperson summing up the day’s highlights adds personality and increases a post’s ’thumb-stopping power’ in the feed. Which leads me on to…
2. Don’t be afraid of hitting record
It can be easy to shy away from filming your own video content on the fly at events worrying about the quality of the output, but a decent short video for social doesn’t always require professional equipment to pull off. There are some simple things you can do to improve the final outcome: if filming on a phone, shoot horizontally and test the level of background noise being picked up. It might be that the bustling exhibition hall drowns out your spokesperson’s insight, so finding a quieter location with an attractive backdrop might be a better option. If it’s outside, weather conditions such as wind might be against you – but at a pinch, a lightly scrunched tissue held gently against your phone’s microphone with help to dampen noise interference. Lastly, keep it short and sweet – under 30 seconds is ideal.
3. Leverage the power of employee advocacy
A final important point to remember when sharing event content online is to not focus all your efforts just on your brand’s main corporate accounts. It’s likely you have sales managers or other key brand spokespeople with you at the event, and while they’re (hopefully!) busy chatting to customers and prospects, consider how you can package up snippets of content for them to drip feed to their networks from their personal channels before, during and after the show. This is a great tool for building thought leadership presence, and demonstrates the strength and the expertise of your team to a broader audience.
And that’s it! Three simple ideas for how you can maximise your brand’s exposure to digital audiences during in-person events. And of course, if it feels like you might need an extra pair of safe hands at your next show or event to help facilitate this, you know where we are…