Event marketing partnerships are a two-way street. In this guide, we’ll help walk you through some of the best ways to get speakers talking about your event in all the right places.
- Put them in the spotlight
- Put some budget behind it
- Leverage community marketing
- Spread the word
- Make their job easy
- Give them all the tools
- Show what’s in it for them
- Put their emails to work
- Use code OUREVENTISAWESOME for 10% off
- Leverage in the moment activity
It’s done. Booked. Hours, days, potentially weeks of courting, back and forth emails and “have my people talk to your people” chats - you’ve finally secured the perfect speaker for your event. So, what’s next?
Your speakers are a source of influence and reach that could work wonders for your ticket sales - but more often than not they are vastly underutilised. They offer a relevant, often niched audience of potential attendees. If that’s not power, we don’t know what is.
So, how do you make the most out of your partnership?
You probably already know it’s best to use a variety of earned, paid, and owned marketing channels to promote your events, but what does that look like when you’re not just promoting the event, but the speaker, too?
In this post we’ll look at 10 ways speakers can help promote your event (aside from asking them very nicely, that is). Spoiler alert: it’s all about casting that net as wide as possible.
1. Put them in the spotlight
One surefire way to make sure your speakers are invested in the success of your event? Make them the star. Put their headshot, bio, and short synopsis on your event’s website and social media pages, feature them on the company’s LinkedIn page, interview them, and ask keynote or other high-profile speakers to write or contribute to a guest blog post. Every piece of the promotional puzzle creates a new piece of content for them to potentially share with their network - broadening your reach and making their job super easy at the same time.
Hot tip: You can easily track your owned marketing channels, so keep an eye on analytics to see which channels are performing well, and throw some extra love their way.
2. Put some budget behind it
Influence is currency in social media world, with content from influencers delivering 11 times more ROI than other forms of marketing (source: TapInfluence). Use influential speakers in your paid marketing materials to make those advertising dollars stretch even further. Feature their headshots in your paid ad placements and link to the event website,sponsor content on LinkedIn and host discussions on their speech topics, and pay for digital banner ads on industry trade websites. Display ad networks will push your ad out in front of people who’re most likely to find it relevant and useful - just make sure you’re intentional with your targeting.
3. Leverage community marketing
If you’ve ever used community marketing before, you know just how effective it is when compared with other marketing methods for attracting event attendees. With 74% of consumers identifying word of mouth as a key factor in their buying decisions (source: Ogilvy Cannes), it’s a powerful form of social proof -people want to attend events their friends, colleagues, and favourite social media creators are attending. Community marketing platforms like Gleanin can help you harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing with tools to make speaker promotion quick and easy.
4. Spread the word
Get them in the media - put out a press release announcing the speaker for your event, and share it with relevant media outlets. Take it even further by talking to your event sponsors and asking them to feature the speaker in their marketing materials. Pre-curate announcements, inspiring and relevant quotes from your speakers, and put them into eye-catching graphics for quick and easy sharing on social media.
Zoom took to social media to announce keynote speakers for their Zoomtopia event, with attendees taking part in the conversation around the entirely virtual event.
5. Make their job easy
Self-promotion is a never-ending hamster wheel - make it easy for them. Once you’ve finalised your speaker lineup and schedule, give them all the marketing collateral they’ll need to promote their involvement with the event, and consider staggering it in the lead up to the event’s launch so they don’t end up with too much at once. This has the bonus effect of keeping you top of mind, so when they need content - you’re there to help.
Hot tip: the more influential the speaker, the more likely it is you’ll be dealing with their promotions team instead of them. Build a relationship with their team, learn the types of things they can/can’t sign off on, and work with their schedules to make things as frictionless as possible - it’ll go a long way!
6. Give them all the tools
Some speakers are seasoned pros at the whole event promotion thing, others might need a little more help. Be that help - never assume they know what to do or that they’ll promote it without a nudge from you. Prepare them and their team the way you would any other member of your team (minus all the Zoom meetings).
As you get materials and information as the event comes together, pass it along the chain! Everything from official hashtags, to the agenda and event schedules can help - if your speaker is also informed and excited about the other speakers and happenings at the event, they’re likely to talk about it with their audience. Send them official event brochures, flyers, postcards, and promotional materials. And swag (because, duh).
Bonus: give them a few discretionary event tickets they can give away to their friends and/or followers. Package everything up in a gorgeous event promotion toolkit, and send it to them and their promo team (if they have one).
7. Show what’s in it for them
It’s not just about promoting your event - giving your speaker ‘money can’t buy’ info that’ll help them grow their audience is key. Help them understand the other speakers and their respective audiences - why do people follow them? What makes them stand out in their niche? What do their followers care about? Where do they hang out online? Information like behaviour and demographics are also useful here, so your speaker can better understand how to tap into those audiences.
This can have the knock-on effect of a better all-round experience for your attendees, and with 54% of event marketers investing time and energy into attendee experience over logistics (source: Bizzabo) - the details matter.
8. Put their emails to work
Every email is an opportunity to get on someone’s radar. Why not use it? Get your speakers to put an attractive banner (which you’ll happily provide) in their email signature and make their emails work for them - serving the dual purpose of promoting your event, and their feature in it. This works especially well for corporate events and for speakers with larger email lists.
9. Use code OUREVENTISAWESOME for 10% off
Equip your speakers with their own promo code so they can offer discounted tickets to fans and followers. Every code used can be attributed back to the relevant promoter, so you’ll be able to easily track ticket sales and measure the performance after the event.
10. Leverage in the moment activity
Live video grabs attention on social media, giving an ‘up close and personal’ feeling that removes the typical friction associated with promotional material. Done right, your speaker can share exclusive behind the scenes content that serves their audience - and yours. Live video also works well with 1:1 interviews, panel discussions, and noteworthy performances. Hook viewers with an intriguing caption or title, and hold their attention by delivering value.
The key? Keep it valuable to the audience, and relevant to the platform. No clickbait or tricks (we’re looking at you, TikTok).
If you play your cards (and marketing budget) right, speaker promotion can take your event’s ticket sales to a whole new level, offering reach, impact, and valuable internet clout that’ll last long after the event ends.
Now, go forth and schmooze.