Planning and executing a conference for your professional association can be a great way to not only engage current members, but also to attract new members. Although there are a number of tools available to help promote your upcoming conference, one of the most important, yet underused, is a dedicated blog. Creating a dedicated blog for your conference provides a variety of benefits, including:
1. Guest Blogging
With a blog dedicated to your upcoming conference, you can generate interest from members and non-members alike by inviting guests at the conference to provide guest blogging. Whether you offer a guest blog post once a day or once an hour, you’re showing potential conference attendees the expertise they will experience by attending. Providing conference guest speakers with the opportunity to post also gives them the chance to promote their companies, products, or services, and this can be a very enticing tradeoff when seeking out guests to spend some time to write and post.
2. Give an Insider’s Perspective
Aside from guest blogging, you can use your conference’s blog posts to show attendees or potential attendees that they will gain an inside perspective into whatever industry your association supports. For example, if your association focuses on the food refrigeration industry, use your blog to provide tips and trends on the latest in the industry. At the end of such a post, include a tagline that lets readers know that they will learn even more by registering for and attending your association’s conference.
3. Drive Registration With Your Blog
In order to get more people to your event, include the ability to register through a simple link with each post. In addition, however, offer links to social media profiles for the event, including those found on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. This can help to drive registration and attendance as people who register and share your social media links will often share this action with their friends and connections on social media. Think about it like this: you have an association member who has a number of friends and colleagues on social media who are not association members, but work within the industry. When your member shares his or her registration activity via social media, these friends and colleagues may see it, generating additional interest, and ultimately, higher registration and attendance levels, equaling more opportunities to gain new members.
4. Offer Video Updates
Even though most people only consider text content when they think of a blog, the fact is that you can offer a variety of different types of content, including video. Whether you host videos on your association’s website or you use a service like YouTube or Vimeo, you can embed video in blog posts and attract attention. In your video content, consider offering behind-the-scenes looks at the conference, its setup, its content, its speakers, and so on. Video is a very strong driver of traffic, and you may even think about creating a dedicated video channel that documents the conference from planning to execution and beyond.