We’re excited to bring you a guest post from Bonfire, a design and technology company specializing in custom apparel. They help people sell shirts online, fundraise for good causes, and facilitate custom printed products direct orders.
Event management can be an intimidating topic, especially for industries that are constantly changing, such as tech.
Conferences, while being a central way of staying up-to-date in the industry, are sometimes incredibly tough events to organize, with a multitude of logistical challenges coming into play for even the smallest conference.
Your event organizing can often be completely channeled into making the event happen in the first place, and you don’t focus on possible marketing opportunities or other ways to draw an audience to your conference.
Getting more people to attend your tech conference doesn’t need to be a giant obstacle. It can be accomplished by using a variety of approaches.
But just what techniques you should try to find an audience is a more in-depth issue. Let’s see what some of those effective methods are.
1. Get your event sponsored
Cooperating with sponsors is a consistently positive move.
Event sponsorships are a key way to increase your tech conference’s attendance numbers, especially if your conference is a large one.
If you’re looking to get your tech conference sponsored, you can always try to:
Contact local organizations. Plenty of local organizations in your community would appreciate the marketing that comes along with sponsoring a conference. Think about what kinds of organizations you would want to cooperate with. Go ahead and reach out them to see if they’re interested. If you’re not sure where to start, the BBB is a great resource for finding local organizations and business in your area.
Make sponsored merchandise. Work with your sponsors to order custom merchandise and swag that’s personalized for your event. The merch will help maximize your sponsors’ interest in the event and it will get attendees more excited about attending your conference. Some of the most popular merch at events are:
Offer free space to sponsors. Think about different exchanges you could make with organizations as a trade for sponsorship. While offering space is one option that might appeal to corporate sponsors, you could also offer free publicity in exchange for the organization’s stamp of approval.
With these tips, you should be able to find the right sponsor for your event in no time. So don’t wait to get started!
2. Hire an event content manager
Whether it’s finding the right event fundraising software for your tech conference, or managing the staff, sometimes the pressures of event management are just too much.
Hiring an outside helper, such as an event content manager, can often give you the insight you need to make your tech conference exciting and interesting.
Whenever you’re looking to hire an event content manager, you might be asking yourself:
- What is an event content manager? Similar to a marketing content manager, an event content manager is in charge of organizing and advertising for your event. They can take care of anything from logistics to event-management, and they can also act as a manager for event staff. They work to acheive with your organization’s goals and vision.
- Where can I find an event content manager? There are a number of event consulting firms that can provide event managers upon request. You can also look into hiring a freelance event manager, but going through a consultant is a surefire way to find a successful and responsible event content manager that can keep your attendees satisfied.
- How will an event content manager help my tech conference? Event content managers can understand what your event’s priorities are and how they relate to the broader industry it’s trying to target. When it comes to tech, event content managers can understand the latest developments in the tech industry and how to cater to conference attendees who are well informed in this subject matter.
Use these suggestions to find the event manager that’s right for you. Remember to look carefully and examine all your options before making the final decision.
3. Show off the newest tech
Use your tech conference to showcase some exciting technology, and attendees will be sure to spread the word about your event.
In case you need to bring the newest tech to your showcase, keep in mind that you can:
- Use augmented reality. While augmented reality technology has been on the market for a few years now, public interest in it has wavered. However, as the technology for augmented reality has improved, especially when compared to virtual reality technology, augmented reality stations are a great and relatively affordable way to spice up your tech conference.
- Try drones. Drones might be scary to some, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their fair share of enthusiasts, especially in the tech world. If you’re looking for an exciting addition to your tech conference, renting out drones and hiring experienced operators can give you just the kind of upgrade your tech conference needs. They can help with event security, too.
- Use chatbots and event apps. Employing event apps or chatbots to help out attendees in need can leave a great impression. These kinds of software can also remove logistical headaches. The more advanced event apps even have a level of social interactivity where attendees can see a live feed of the conference itself. These kinds of apps can be a big hit at a tech conference while keeping your attendees immersed at the same time.
If you make these moves, you shouldn’t have a problem finding the coolest tech for your conference, and you shouldn’t have a problem wowing all your attendees.
4. Film your event for better coverage
If you can film your event, you’ll start seeing higher numbers for your tech conference in no time.
Do you need tips for getting film coverage for your conference? Don’t worry, remember that you can attempt to:
- Look for past successes. What kind of successful events have you thrown in the past? What worked in these situations? If you’re planning a similar event right now, you can use your perspective from the past to know when you turn on the cameras.
- Highlight key moments. Take a look at your current tech event’s programming. Search for exciting moments to film during the event such as showcases or keynote speakers. These will be the kinds of moments you’ll want to get on camera to improve event attendance in the future.
- Improve your editing skills. Having a sleek video that shows the highlights from your tech conference will impress all the A/V wizzes out there and will convince your attendees that you mean business.
Try not to forget these ideas when you’re looking to get the cameras on your tech conference. They will be sure to come in handy.
5. Work your social media presence
It can be easy to overlook the importance of social media in organizing an event.
These days, social media is key in garnering more interest in your events. Attendees for a tech conference, specifically, will be watching your conference’s social media presence with close interest.
If you need to, take a page from the nonprofit world to see how they use their social media tools, with peer-to-peer networks and marketing automation.
Whenever you want to improve your tech conference’s social media presence, don’t forget that you can:
- Provide live social media coverage. Having your event content manager or another member of your staff post live, up-to-date info, and content about your tech conference will add to the excitement of the event. You can be sure that attendees will tune in to keep track of what’s going on at the event, and if you’re encouraging it, they might even post about it themselves.
- Use the right platforms. What social media platform you use will depend on your event-management needs. Twitter is better for posting live updates. Instagram is better for having sleek videos. Facebook is helpful when you’re looking at event attendance numbers and audience feedback. So think about what your tech conference could use and match it with the right social media platform.
Use these two tips to make sure that your social media presence is the best it can be. That way, all your attendees can feel involved and supported!
There are so many places to start when it comes to event management that any beginner or even the experienced event manager, can get easily overwhelmed.
So the next time you’re organizing a tech conference and you need to boost your attendance numbers, keep these ideas in mind. They could be just the thing you need to take your conference to the next level.
Want to learn more about designing inclusive events? Check out Hubb's 6 Steps for Designing Inclusive Events Guide!