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10 Ways To “Make It Work”at a Conference

Coming out of last month’s extremely successful IT Security Trends and Issues 2011 VIP event, Trainer Communications wanted to share our best kept secrets for making an impact. With conference season in full bloom, the following are some surefire ways to get your company noticed:

1 ) Host a VIP event
VIP events are great opportunities to connect your customers, prospects, and industry pundits. Use these opportunities to show how much you appreciate your customers by presenting awards for their great work, leverage the pundits to talk about the future, and let the great networking illustrate the value you provide to the greater community.

2 ) Get creative with lower cost sponsorships
If you have the budget for advertising at major conference you may not want to blow it all in one place. Consider creative solutions that tie into your integrated marketing plan. For example, if you can’t afford the $15,000 fee to hang your banner in the expo — consider investing in sponsoring the bags for conference attendees or booth freebies that attendees will appreciate that simultaneously help you anchor your value proposition. A stylish company branded tote bag or notepad can go a long way at major industry events where everyone is struggling to organize themselves – literally on the run. Drawings and give-aways always make for great booth traffic, the iPad and the new Thunderbolt are two electronic gadgets that will definitely attract bodies. Our favorite low-budget conference visibility tip is hands down, napkins. Placing company branded napkins in busy areas where there may be food and drink is helpful for the attendees and subtly reminds them of your presence. (Check with conference sponsors, of course! ) The point is there are many opportunities to make your presence well known, evaluate options based on the amount of time your audience will spend with them, the “wow” factor you’ll get from them, and obviously, the cost.

3 ) Capture video for long term SEO
One of the greatest things you can do to improve your web traffic (long term) is to create dynamic video content. Get on the right side of Google search engines by uploading videos to YouTube that tie back to your website. Even a simple live report from your booth can capture search engine attention – especially if you use the right keywords.

4 ) Create resources for media
If you have a product or service announcement that you’re debuting at a conference be prepared for the fallout. Have USB sticks prepared with press releases, head shots, bios, and survey results so reporters can write a story on your news even if they don’t have the time to take a briefing. Don’t forget to have customer quotes and contact information for customers and company officials easily accessible on the sticks as well.

5 ) Visualize your data and announcements
Infographics are in and here to stay. Reporters and bloggers often don’t have the time to sift through your 30 page survey report to get the facts they need in time to meet their deadlines. Do the heavy lifting for them and organize your findings in a more easily digestible format. Check out Trainer’s RSA infographic featuring our clients comment on key trends and issues in the IT security.

6 ) Conduct booth surveys to elongate the news cycle
Don’t assume the marketing opportunities end with conference. Conduct research from your booth space and announce the findings at the conference or at a later date to further validate your solution or the market problem it solves. Use this information to follow up with reporters and analysts you may have met for the first time at the conference. Make sure your surveys are unique and ensure you have a plan for getting a reasonable sample size. You’ll need to survey hundreds of folks, so prepare to have a nice incentive to make those numbers.

7 ) Live Tweet instant updates and connections
Relevant Tweets get picked up by Google search and are a great way to build your brand awareness via search engines. Utilize a monitoring tool like TweetDeck to stay up to date with conference related hashtags so you can identify influencers and own the conversation.

8 ) Embrace the LaunchPad
If you’re a midsize company with an enterprise solution, don’t underestimate the power of a LaunchPad presentation if you are denied a traditional speaking track. LaunchPad submissions tend to be more social in nature and they include social media and video components. Most LaunchPads end with a demo presentation of your nominated solution – something you can’t do in vendor neutral speaking tracks!

9 ) Unusual demonstrations captivate media attention
There’s a fine line between being sensational and commanding an audience. Think differently to create a demonstration that’s appropriate for the event. If you have a disruptive product or solution don’t be afraid of staging a protest against the norm. If you don’t have the finances to think big consider using social media to go viral with a relevant demo video or controversial animation. We have used vehicles (Winnebago’s as our demo booths – chauffeuring journalists up and down the Vegas strip demonstrating technology). We have also used sports cars with logos that magnetically attach to the car to pick journalists up to take them to a demonstration facility off the show floor.

10 ) Let your customers do the talking
No one likes getting the used car salesman’s pitch. Current customer success, told from their perspective, will help you develop instant credibility and take higher ground when talking to prospects. Arranging for your customers to speak, appear at a company sponsored event, provide quotes for marketing materials and press releases, provide the detail for written and video case studies, and speak with media on your behalf, will further increase your visibility and credibility at the conference.

What’s the main takeaway? “Don’t bore Nina.” Or in this case your audience.

This entry was written by admin, posted on March 31, 2011 at 5:12 pm, filed under Uncategorized. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

INFOGRAPHIC: RSA 2011 State of Security

Check out this infographic showcasing Trainer Communications’ high tech pr programs featuring our clients and friends commenting on the latest industry stories. If you weren’t able to attend our RSA luncheon in February this infographic is a great way to catch up on Stuxnet, Anonymous, Mobile, WikiLeaks and Google compromises.

Click the image below for a larger view.

Trainer Communications RSA State of Security 2011

This entry was written by admin, posted on March 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm, filed under Uncategorized. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

Got a Minute for Ben Parr, Co-Editor at Mashable?

Got a minute? It’s no surprise that Ben Parr of Mashable is a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie, always on the hunt for the latest technology scoop in Silicon Valley; but did you know he likes to jump out of airplanes too? TrainerTV shares more about one of the top tech bloggers in the business.

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This entry was written by admin, posted on March 17, 2011 at 5:31 pm, filed under Marketing, PR, PRSA, Social Media. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

VLOG: Jon Fortt of CNBC talks to Trainer Communications

This is the second in a series of TrainerTV vlog posts. Time to meet Jon Fortt of CNBC. An early riser here in Silicon Valley to be on national TV when the markets open in New York, the high-energy correspondent is also a very happy father whose toddler keeps him hopping when he’s not on the air talking tech.

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This entry was written by admin, posted on March 1, 2011 at 10:22 pm, filed under Uncategorized. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.