Of all the moving parts that will impact the success of your next event, effective speaker promotion should be a top priority.
The biggest attraction of any event, whether a simple session or complex function, is typically the roster of speakers, which makes it incredibly important to promote.
After all, what draws an attendee to an event?
Sure, sometimes it may be the generous refreshments or the promise of a “swag bag,” but what keeps them there is the delivery of a powerful speaker. Ideally, a speaker you supported and promoted before your event even launched.
Speakers are often not associated with your company. They attend by invitation or offer. So, why make such a big deal about speaker promotion when their session could be a one-off engagement?
In other words, why should speaker promotion be a priority in your event planning efforts?
Simply put, speaker promotion supports — and strengthens — your event, which is why mastering the strategies to help your speakers promote their sessions on social media is critical.
Check out the many rewards of promoting your speakers and discover some proven strategies to help you do it.
Why do I want to help my speakers?
It is simple logic really, helping your speakers promote their session on social media helps your event.
Remember, speakers are what entice people to attend — and stay — at your event.
The promise of a good talk, session, or workshop is worth all the time in the world to the right audience.
Matching the right audience with the right speaker means that event planners must know their attendees and understand what engages them. Armed with this knowledge, you can source and book speakers that will energize your attendees and boost attendance.
In return, you need to make your event worth your speaker’s while by helping them promote their session to as many attendees as possible.
This promotion and marketing goes both ways.
As much as you market your event schedule and speakers, your speakers will promote their attendance at your event within their own networks. This can result in increased and new exposure for your event, with a potential to attract new attendees and increase registration.
Collaborative and mutually beneficial networking is another reason to establish communication on a reliable and robust platform.
It’s easy to see why effective speaker promotion is really synonymous with event success.
Sounds great, the question is — how can I help my speakers promote their session to a wider audience?
Why social media?
Social media has made our world smaller, while simultaneously expanding the opportunity to make connections that would once have been impossible.
Use that to your advantage and get your word out about your event.
Evaluate the benefits of each major social media platform against your attendees’ overall demographics in order to determine where you should devote the bulk of your efforts.
Sproutsocial published a complete list of social media demographics for 2022.
The following featured highlights demonstrate why promoting your event and speakers across multiple platforms is a smart strategy. At the same time, you’ll see that some platforms are more appropriate than others, depending on who is attending your event.
Here we have the largest percentage of users, by age group and gender, per platform:
We’ll take Instagram, for example.
This single platform provides multiple ways to post about your event consistently, without overwhelming your audience.
Consider a content cadence like this:
- Start with your main feed and post a graphic that details all the pertinent information about your event.
- Last day of ticket sales? Post a story with a link to your website promoting your event with a friendly reminder along the lines of, ‘You do not want to miss this!’.
- A week out from the event, start giving more exclusive tastes about what is going to be happening at your event.
- Morning of the event? Go Instagram Live from the venue to show off all of the work you have put into planning and how you have prepared your speakers to take the stage. You might even consider quick interviews with each one that can be shared on the event’s social media, as well as their own channels.
Pro-tip: Video is king right now; in fact, it’s 1200% more effective than other types of content. Building these opportunities to connect on popular platforms will enhance your event and support your speakers.
These suggestions all represent how you can get social for your speakers. Now, let’s look at getting social with them!
Get social with your speakers!
Your speakers will definitely want to promote themselves and the sessions they’ve planned for your event.
You can take advantage of this by creating some connective tissue between their social efforts and yours.
For instance, give them a hashtag to use in their posts about your event.
Ask them to tag your company or event page when they post about your event.
Social side note: Another great thing about Instagram stories is that if (when) your speakers tag you, you can repost the interaction to your own page.
By having your event and speakers intertwined and interacting on social media you develop an audience that is truly connected and excited about your event.
Should I create a separate event page or simply use the company page?
This is entirely your preference and depends on whatever keeps your event management efforts simple and streamlined.
Sometimes it may be a good idea to dedicate a whole social media page to your event and use it as the hub for all of your event information. It can be a handy destination for attendees to go to when they have questions, which also saves you time and staffing by eliminating phone calls and emails about the same issues.
A dedicated page can be for any size event, but is more commonly seen for bigger events.
How else can I assist my speakers in promoting their sessions?
Along with any information about your upcoming event, post specific updates and highlights about your speakers and hype their posts about the event by sharing or reposting them to your social channels.
Share a little teaser or a biography highlight about your speaker to introduce them to your audience in a fun and engaging way.
Help! My speakers aren’t sure what to share on social media about their sessions!
This is a common challenge, especially depending on how comfortable your speakers are on social media to begin with.
Here’s how you can assist:
- Take the time to develop an outline or a mock post that can be edited to the event theme. Having a uniform color scheme or posting style can make the promotions look very polished and cohesive!
- Give your speakers keywords or buzzwords to use in their social media posts that will help them get more attention.
Remember, any effort dedicated to speaker promotion also promotes your event, overall.
Flex some speaker promotion with freebies!
Free stuff + social media = the sweet spot for speaker promotion.
Consider setting aside a budget for a raffle or a small token that can go to everyone who clicks on a post or leaves a comment about your speaker’s session.
Go live from your event page to show the winners of your raffle, and tag your speakers so they can promote as well.
This is a great way to continue promoting your speaker, even after the event.
Post snippets from speakers’ sessions and photos of the venue for people to see.
Keep pertinent parts of each session top of mind by sharing highlight reels complemented by quick quizzes, with prizes for those who respond with the right answer.
When it comes to social media and speaker promotion, the sky is really the limit.
Leveraging its potential can be daunting when you’re already managing a full plate of event responsibilities.