For many corporations, turning the activity of conferences and expos into content means a feed of selfies and a hashtag. But audiences want more than just a sense of conference FOMO — they want real-time information that’s valuable and high impact, especially when they aren’t able to attend themselves.
So what is the mindset used to create great content?
“If you ain’t first, you’re last.” — Ricky Bobby
Doing this requires a rapid-response content development pit crew who can turn live content into viral content in a matter of hours. Sound daunting? It is. But not impossible, especially with the method and tips we’ve developed. For one client, we turn their biggest semiannual event into a content series that is reliably some of the best-performing content we post every year — without even attending the event ourselves.
Our work for Hewlett Packard Enterprise hits a fever pitch when the HPE technology showcase event, HPE Discover, takes place twice a year. This past year, our team, located in our Dallas HQ, monitored the action first when HPE Discover was held in London, and then again when it was held in Las Vegas.
While some may think that there isn’t much an agency partner can do to support an event from a distance, and others may assume that a trade show doesn’t create good opportunities for content development, the D Custom team managed to do both.
“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.” — Mario Andretti
Turning out an infographic in a matter of hours, including client review and approval, is no easy feat. Here are the D Custom recommendations for making magic like this happen:
1. Prepare in advance: If you go into the event with a rough template of the content you’re going to produce, you’ll be primed for success. Our team began preparation days before the event started, reviewing speaker schedules and planned announcements so we had a design and content framework for the infographic, which was posted by 10 a.m. each day of the event. Without this, we would have been working overnight, and even then we may not have made the deadline.
2. Communicate with the approving stakeholders: If your content has to be approved, be clear that it will be coming in late and will need a quick turnaround. But keep in mind, good communication and quality work means quick approvals and minimal edits — so make the job easy on them. We have an amazing relationship with our clients at HPE, and our success in pulling off this content is as much due to their quick work as ours.
3. No weak links: Same-day infographic development is a team sport — and here’s my chance to really brag. All three of the people who brainstormed, wrote, and designed these infographics are incredibly talented and hardworking. Without them, none of this would have been possible.
“Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary … that’s what gets you.” — Jeremy Clarkson
And how about the results? Our efforts in support of Discover Las Vegas didn’t just perform well themselves, they affected overall site performance, resulting in a 110 percent increase in unique visitors compared with the previous Discover efforts, and a 146 percent increase in page views. Additionally, we increased the average time on site by more than 90 seconds.
Events are a great way to deepen relationships with active customers, but pulling off an event like HPE Discover is incredibly expensive and time-consuming. Leveraging the content created at the event and using it to engage with prospective clients who were not in attendance helps to extend and maximize the investment.