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Comment: Speakers are the most powerful event influencers

by Laura Jensen

Senior content executive for RX’s IBTM Events Laura Jensen looks the importance of speakers at exhibitions and how to use them to drive audiences. 

Speakers at events are some of the most valuable assets a marketing team can have, and yet they’re not always utilised as effectively as they could be.
Your speakers have been chosen as experts and influencers, both in and outside your industry. They possess a wealth of knowledge and connections that can be leveraged to promote their attendance at your event and, by extension, your event itself.

Build relationships with your speakers
While it can be easy to assume that the conference manager for your event can manage and facilitate any type of collaboration you’d like to carry out with your speakers, sometimes it can be easier to go direct to the source.
By talking directly to speakers, a marketing team can work to understand the best format for the speaker’s message and find out whether they’d be comfortable to collaborate on campaigns.
These conversations can be a great way of finding out which speakers are active on social media and how they could support your campaigns through their own promotion.

Encourage speakers to become advocates
Speaker advocacy can be a powerful tool. According to a recent survey from Oracle, 37% consumers trust social media influencers over brands and what are speakers if not industry influencers?
Creating tailored speaker campaigns that provide speakers with all the assets they need to promote their attendance at your event, either through a company like GleanIn or through your own design department, can be a great way of making it easy for a speaker to promote their involvement.
This not only draws awareness to their attendance but also boosts the visibility of the event beyond your social audience and out to their networks, increasing the number of people your campaign can reach.

Collaborate with speakers on your event channels
While personal advocacy is the best support for event marketing campaigns, there are a wealth of great options for collaboration with speakers on an event’s own channels.
Some are quick wins: social posts promoting your speakers or short promo videos filmed by the speakers to say that they’re attending.
Others may take more time but can be incredibly valuable, such as interviews with speakers recorded pre-event to introduce their topic and some of the key points, or post-show blogs or videos that can support the material they delivered at the event.
You can see examples of all these types of content on the IBTM blog or social channels.
This content will do more than just promote the speaker and their topic. It will also drive your audience to your website and social channels, making sure your brand stays visible even after your event has ended.

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