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Do you plan conferences and conventions? If so, you know the challenge: driving registration & generating buzz. Click the PDF icon to the right. This free e-book provides 6 guiding principles and 4 step-by-step action guides that produce real results!

Below, you will find explanations for various points in the PDF document. They are designed to be used together, delivering a short and light-weight e-book with full background documentation available online.

Note 1: Emotion = Attention

The biggest marketing challenge these days is getting people’s attention. We live in an ADHD society. Nobody engages with anything anymore! So how can you get someone’s attention? Invoke their emotions. If you engage someone’s emotions, they will pay attention, and it doesn’t really matter what emotions you pick. So tell stories that invite emotional responses. They will enhance the engagement of your audience.

Note 2: Visual Content (photos & videos)

There are different types of content: text, audio, photos and video. Which is most viral? Videos. What’s in second place? Photos. People like engaging with visual content, so find ways to communicate in visual ways. This is the reason why “info graphics” have done so well. They’re visual.

Note 3: Interaction = Trust

Every time someone clicks on something on your website, they’re saying “yes, I’m still interested.” In fact, the more they interact with you, the more they will trust you. It’s a direct correlation. So do whatever you need to do to encourage interaction. Keep in mind that trust is an essential precursor to a purchase decision!

Note 4: Micro Incentives for Micro Actions

Always give incentives! They don’t have to be big either. It’s remarkable what people will do for a cup of coffee! Give people a tiny little reward for doing a tiny little task. Then do it over and over and over again. Like I said in Note 3 above, the more they interact with you, the more they will trust you.

Note 5: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose

There is a fascinating area of research that’s exploding these days, and it’s all about intrinsic (as opposed to extrinsic) motivation. The basic conclusion is that money (an extrinsic motivator) is only a motivator for basic mindless tasks. But as soon as the requirements involve creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, additional money (beyond a fair baseline) does NOT improve performance. In fact, it tends to reduce performance! In these situations, the true motivators are (1) autonomy, (2) mastery and (3) purpose (all intrinsic motivators). So find ways to incorporate these intrinsic motivators in your marketing campaigns. It will translate into better results and happier constituents.

Note 6: Publish a Weekly Post

This is a great way to reward people who tweet positively about the upcoming conference. Once published, go back into Twitter and send notifications (using @username) informing each person who is featured in the post. Most of these people will retweet the notification (since it recognizes them as contributors), further spreading the word about the conference.

Note 7: Create Cityscape Pictures

Let’s assume the conference is taking place in Orlando. Find a beautiful photo of Orlando and then add the speaker’s head shot in the upper left or right hand corner. Add some text to the image, identifying the conference and perhaps including a URL, and then share the new image on Facebook and/or Twitter. The speakers will LOVE this. These images look impressive and make the speaker look great as well. CLICK HERE to see an example of such an image.

Note 8: Pin each Blog Post

Once you have created a unique permalink for each speaker, you can “pin” them all within a “board” on Pinterest. Include the full conference name in the board title (such as “2012 MPI Conference in Orlando) to optimize it on Google. CLICK HERE to see a board I created for my “Speaking Destinations” on Pinterest.

Note 9: Give Away Free Registrations

When giving away free registrations, encourage the influencers to hold contest for their respective constituents. Let them decide how to give them away. The point is that these influencers can use the free gifts to generate excitement within their own followings, and that will translate into added buzz for the conference as a whole.

Note 10: Announce Small Prizes

This is a great way to encourage people to tag themselves and all their friends in conference photos. By offering an incentive, attendees will make sure they are tagged wherever possible, thereby increasing their chances to win. Also, you don’t need to offer a lot of prizes. 10 or 20 should be plenty, and it will result in far more tags than you would get otherwise.

Note 11: Link to Corresponding Posts

You can add links to press releases that you distribute. When issuing press releases about a particular speaker and his or her session, be sure to link to that particular post. Those one-way inbound links will contribute to the Google PageRank and improve the ranking of the entire website. The point is that one-way inbound links to a variety of posts on the site will have a greater effect than having those same links all point only to the homepage.

Note 12: Target by Job Title

LinkedIn is the only major social media platform where you can search by job title. You can’t do that on Facebook. You can’t do that on Twitter. So take advantage of that opportunity and target only those people who are perfectly suited for your conference. You will pay more per click on LinkedIn than you would on Facebook (usually $2 or $3 per click) but the targeting is hard to beat.

Closing Message

Do you know other meeting planners that might benefit from this information? If so, please pass this along to them. It is provided free of charge and will contribute to more memorable events for all of us.