Be Where Your Conference Needs to Be

Conference Marketing

About 8 months ago from what I can gather, I was reading a post on ReadWriteWeb about Social Media Wisdom by B.J. Mendelson which inspired me to begin to write this post. I am not sure why I never finished writing this article, but here we are just the same.

BJ wrote the book “Social Media is Bullshit” and he and I share a lot of the same views; the one that pops to mind is that for some… social media truly is bullshit and not worthy of your time.

Let me put it this way: For some conferences and events, social media can be the wonder drug that you have been looking for. It can reinvigorate your audience, pump up new ideas, and actually help revive a dying conference, helping to put more butts in the seats. For others, social media is a total waste of time and money and just another time suck for you and your staff.

You should check out the post, it is still great and my favorite take-away is:

We’re bullied into believing we should all be on Facebook and Twitter, and in reality, that’s a totally subjective thing. It’s entirely possible you don’t need to use either. Everyone’s circumstances are different.

In the meetings and events industry, I see this every day.

I see events and conferences that are just pouring their hearts into social and it is not working. You follow the advice, you do everything correctly, and still, you seem to be spinning your wheels and not going forward. This is where your BS meter should be going off the chart. Maybe, social is not for your conference. Maybe, social is a place where your audience does not want to engage.

Maybe social is not going to save a sinking ship or launch an empire.

In my draft of this post from earlier in the year I wrote:

I have one client that has never stepped foot into social and they are doing just fine thank you very much, they are kicking ass and taking names and filling seats every event. I have yet another client and social is the number one way they are getting new attendees, selling videos, and getting the word out about new products and services.

I had another look and it is still true. The one client avoids social and they are doing fine and dandy, the other is still a Facebook empire with 100k fans and events that are sell-outs.

The reality is that it all comes down to knowing your audience. If your audience plays in social, you should be in social… if your audience is in the spy business, then perhaps social media is not for you.

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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