Stay or Go: Evaluating Positioning Opportunities
Events and speaking opportunities are important pillars of all communications strategies, offering the potential to open doors to new partnerships, clients and relevant media. Yet identifying and assessing events and conferences can be time-consuming and challenging, particularly when our scope of client work spans many countries in Latin America. Events and speaking opportunities are important pillars of all communications strategies, offering the potential to open doors to new partnerships, clients and relevant media . Yet identifying and assessing events and conferences can be time-consuming and challenging, particularly when our scope of client work spans many countries in Latin America. We also have to keep in mind that our clients’ busy schedules limit their availability for event .
To effectively and strategically evaluate an event, several aspects should guide us in answering the key question: Will the event be the most effective use of the client’s time, money and effort, or would other initiatives have the probability of yielding better results?
Audience: Consider whether the profile of the attendees matches the audience you are trying to reach. Even if your audience isn’t at the event itself, it may be reached through media generated from the event. On rare occasions, an event will have an attendee list published from previous years, or you can request it from the organizers.
Media outlets: Independently of whether your audience is participating directly at the event, will the media reach important influencers? In years past, was the event covered in your target outlets or commented on by influencers? Can you secure relevant editorial in the publication issues most likely to be distributed during the show? Does the event have its own promotional vehicles, such as e-newsletters, in which your client can be featured?
Social media: What do social media channels look like for the event? What is the quantity and quality of the event’s social media following?
Sponsors: Who is investing in the event? Will your competitors or potential partners be sponsoring the event, and how long have they done so? If your client chooses sponsorship, how prominent will your client’s positioning be at the event or conference compared with those competitors? What business benefits could sponsorship afford?
Organizers: Is the event hosted by an important association or industry chamber that is key for your client? Would event facilitate interactions with or influencers that weren’t previously possible?
Awards: Will any major awards be handed out at the event? What is the probability of competing for and winning an award, which may afford additional event publicity? Have those awards deadlines passed already?
Speakers: How prestigious are the individuals speaking at the event? More importantly, who is the keynote speaker? Which company executive would be the right fit based on experience, level of authority and public speaking skills? Is the event focused on a topic that is important for your client to communicate about? What informational assets (eg. data, new products or services, thought leadership topics) will enable your client be able to leverage? Will your client be able to convey the insights and information relevant for key audiences? It is important to plan in advance if you are planning on leveraging speaking opportunities, in addition to finding out whether speaking slots are pay-for-play only.
Location: How important to the client is the where the event is taking place? How far does the reach of the event extend beyond the city in which it is held? What is the concentration and relevance of the media outlets in the event host city, and what are the probabilities of top-tier media interviews before or after the show?
Having arrived at the end of the list, you should know have a solid base for making a recommendation to your client on a positioning opportunity, be it an event or speaking engagement. Congrats! Of course, deciding to attend an event is only the beginning…so get ready to roll up your sleeves!