Know your event content? Skip the introduction and download Hubb's new Guide to Advanced Content Strategy now!
Not long ago, in a galaxy not too far away, Event Planner was a much different role. We were administrative staff charged with coordinating logistics—order the food, book the venue, send the invites. But our roles have evolved. The impact our work is being recognized (about time!), and we’re now viewed as an important member of the marketing team.
Consider the following stats:
Tradeshows and events are the second most effective tactics in a marketer's mix, after company website
65% of brands say their event and experiential programs are directly related to sales
48% of brands realize a ROI of between 300% and 500% with their events and experiences
Events are powerful tools for today's businesses, and event manager is a position of considerable influence and responsibility within today's marketing departments. That’s why we think “event planner” is an outdated term—we think "event architect" is more apt.
But what makes events so powerful?
In a word: content. Your event's content is what attracts your attendees. In fact, 66% of attendees register only AFTER seeing your event content. All your content pulled together is really the story of your event—it’s how you convey who your company is, your vision for the future, and how your products power that future.
We get the most out of our content—drive the more registrations, most effectively share our messaging, get that sky-high ROI and help our company achieve its goals—by being strategic.
And, if you live and breathe events like we do, this is where things get fun. Welcome to the exciting world of event content strategy!
What exactly is event content?
Event content is all the information and people that make up your event’s story. It includes the theme of your event, the description, the sessions and tracks and, within those: session abstracts, speaker profiles, and presentation materials. It's what you build your event's program around, which subsequently feeds your marketing engine and engages attendees on-site.
What IS event content strategy? And why should you have one?
Simply, your event content strategy is your approach for identifying and gathering the content you need and then maximizing its impact at your event and beyond.
For many years, companies approached content tactically, filling space at events with the messaging they wanted to share or what they found interesting.
Over time, event professionals have found that thinking strategically about content — how to develop it, and how to use it — increased their event’s return on investment and better helped their company reach their goals.
Let’s think about this another way.
You and your family love fresh vegetables and you have a small garden where you grow things for your family to consume. You all prefer different things; you like squash, your significant other likes carrots and your two children prefer broccoli and kale, respectively. You want to grow enough to feed your entire family and you also want to keep everybody happy by giving them what they want. What's your best approach? Throwing seeds at random, hoping something sticks, and you grow enough to please your whole family? Or to approach your garden strategically, carefully planning out what you need to plant, how much of it, and where it will grow best, then executing those plans to produce the harvest your family is hoping for?
Of course, approaching things strategically will deliver better results. The same is true with event content. Don’t just throw those sessions around haphazardly. Instead, be strategic and you’ll get the results you’re hoping for.
How do you develop an event content strategy?
Right. So, how does one “get strategic”? A big part of this is thinking about your various audiences, what they are interested in, how they best learn, and what they want out of an event. The process is simple and straightforward, but with a lot of room for creativity and innovation!
Once you know the event's goals and objectives, map out your attendee experience journey. You want a clear understanding of who you want to attend, how they learn, and what you want them to think feel and do.
You want to understand your audiences, so you can create the optimal opportunities for them to pick up on the messaging that helps your company achieve its goals.
If your audience is developers and you want them to get them excited by a new suite of tools you've released, what's going to best accomplish your goal? Is it a group discussion or a hands-on lab where they see the tools in action then actually play with them? It’s fair to assume the hands-on lab would be most effective!
Of course, there is a whole lot more to know about event content strategy. We've covered some of the approaches used by top event content stategists into our new guide, Advanced Content Strategy. Download it via the button, below!