Today's guest post was written by leadership consultant and speaker Scott Steinberg.
Here are five ways to better connect with audiences and tap into new high-tech event-planning solutions (sometimes quite literally).
1. Design for Mobile Devices
The future belongs to mobile devices—Gartner predicts more than $1.2 billion in smartphone and tablet sales in 2013 alone. Now that your users are using these platforms for research, you need to optimize your business, venue, and destination Web sites for mobile devices. For example, designs need to fit smaller screens, present key information or callouts with fewer clicks, and feature more media designed for rapid search and sharing.
2. Leverage Cloud Computing Solutions
Online, or “cloud,” computing apps now let your attendees’ or clients’ business travel wherever they do. Solutions like SlideShare, MightyMeeting, and Prezi allow them to show presentations on portable screens, while tools including Google Docs, Dropbox, and Zoho allow for remote group sharing, storage and/or collaboration. The good news: All increasingly liberate road warriors from their desktop.
3. Capture and Share Content
Not routinely recording program highlights or promotional spots on video? Stop selling your events and destinations short: Smartphones and tablets with high-definition camcorders now make it possible to quickly share broadcast-quality clips online at little cost. You can even livestream the sights and sounds of your meeting using free apps like Qik or Livestream.
4. Capitalize on Inbound Marketing
Search engines represent a cost-effective way to reach prospective attendees and compete for visibility with larger rivals. To boost ranking and awareness, routinely publish photos, videos, podcasts, and more—every organization can share attention-getting hints, tips and advice, or information on tours and destinations, including evergreen pieces (“5 Ways to More Effectively Plan Events”). Feeling sneaky? Consider also buying Google AdWords (online classified ads) based on rivals’ names or associated keywords (popular search engine terms) that your attendees or clients will see while researching competitors.
5. Invite More Audience Participation
Boost audience engagement and awareness by using creative social outreach campaigns that invite audience participation. Example: Next time you’re running a contest, try asking attendees to submit photos, videos, or stories of favorite convention experiences, or designs for your next promotional campaign, in order to win. All contributions can be shared or featured in ongoing promotional efforts, and provide added incentive for people to pass along your marketing piece or Web site.
Scott Steinberg, a top-ranked international event speaker, is a bestselling expert on leadership and innovation, and the head of strategic consultancy TechSavvy Global. A well-known provider of keynote speeches, training workshops, and seminars, and a noted business insider cited in more than 600 outlets, from CNN to NPR. His Web site is www.AKeynoteSpeaker.com.