If you’re aiming to engage consumers with your brand, trying to organise a user conference could be just the ticket. After showcasing your product or features at such an event, 91% of attendees will have more positive feelings about your brand. What’s more, 85% of attendees will be more likely to make a purchase from you.
Sound too good to be true? Well, there’s just one thing to bear in mind. While an engaging user conference is one of the most effective ways of generating leads, it can also be a huge undertaking. But don’t panic just yet.
Read on to learn:
- How user conferences benefit your business
- What to keep in mind as you organise your user conference
- How to promote it to your customers and users
- What you can do to host an engaging event
What makes user conferences worth the investment?
User conferences are about more than getting your users in the same room to hang out. These events give a face to your brand and your company. This allows you to build rapport with potential users and strengthen your relationships with existing customers.
What’s more, an engaging user conference will get your attendees talking. This word of mouth will increase brand awareness.
Another thing is the potential innovation that can take place at a user conference. When you bring together curious potential users, loyal customers, and your own knowledgeable team members, you hear more ideas and get more feedback. This can help you improve your offering to attract even more consumers.
How to define the goal of a user conference
Before you organise a user conference, you need to be clear about what you hope to achieve. Sit down with your team and think about the life cycle of your product and company. What is your aim for the conference?
Some of the goals you can consider include:
- Building customer loyalty through increased renewals
- Developing your new customer base
- Educating attendees on your offering and industry
Tip: For tips on developing your goals, take a look at this article.
How to plan a user conference
Like any event, user conferences need a solid plan in addition to a clear goal. Keep these points in mind to get your event off to the best start.
1. Make sure people are interested
Cancelling your conference at the last minute because you didn’t get enough signups is a situation we all want to avoid. You need to gauge interest before you announce your event.
Use social media polls to ask your target audience if they’d find a conference helpful. Email surveys and questionnaires can also provide feedback from your customers and subscribers.
Got a clearer idea about how many people are interested in your event? Let’s keep going.
2. Choose the right venue
You need to find a space that attracts attendees and supports the format of your conference.
Consider warm locations in winter time and venues that are easily accessible by plane, rail, and road. Make sure there are rooms that allow for interactions, talks, and training sessions. Amphitheatre-style seating, big screens, and Wi-Fi are probably more important than ping pong tables and cool art installations.
Avoid venues that are remote, even if they’re beautiful and relaxing. You should also forget about locations that are too stimulating, like theme parks. Your attendees simply won’t be able to focus on your event. (And really, who could blame them?)
Tip: Learn more about the different venue options and pricing.
3. Get down to details
Once you’ve decided on your budget, ask yourself: “What will my attendees want at this event?”
Your speaker lineup will be a huge draw, so be sure to tailor it to your audience’s interests. You can even have an emcee to keep the event running smoothly and ensure a fun vibe.
Don’t forget your decor and food options, either. These should be arranged well in advance and help make your attendees feel valued and welcome. That means you need to understand your audience…and be mindful of any dietary restrictions and allergies.
Tip: For a thorough event planning checklist, see this guide.
How to promote a user conference
Event promotion doesn’t end when your conference starts. For the best results, you need to promote your event before, during, and after. Here are a few ways you can do that.
1. Pre-event promotion
Posting on social media can get your entire audience excited. You can provide sneak peeks of your venue, speakers, and sessions. But don’t just blast out promotion—add a personal touch to really make an impact. Sending out personalised event swag to registrants will make your company stand out and build loyalty.
2. Promotion during your event
Once your the user conference is underway, promoting your offering becomes key. Include signage and product displays throughout your venue to keep your product top of mind. Providing information booths and training on your product is another way to show off your capabilities.
3. Post-event promotion
Even when your event’s over, you’re still not off the hook. Now’s the perfect time to share the highlights from your conference on social media. You can also send your attendees a note of appreciation and get their feedback. This keeps people talking about your event, feeling valued, and looking forward to your next user conference.
Tip: Have a look at some creative event promotion ideas you might want to consider.
How to host a user conference
With planning and promotion taken care of, let’s go over some preparations you can make to host an engaging event. These pointers will ensure that your users feel like VIPs.
1. Involve plenty of team members
It’s important to have staff around to interact with your attendees and make them feel valued. Make sure team members are from all departments and not just sales. This provides different perspectives and more knowledge—not just a hard sell.
2. Create a unique and memorable experience
Plan a variety of different experiences, from networking and Q&A sessions to fun icebreakers and active meet-ups. Thinking of making your user conference an annual thing? Be sure to change up the agenda every year to maintain the excitement.
3. Make use of technology
Just because a user or customer can’t make your conference, doesn’t mean they have to miss out. With live streaming and modern event technology, your entire audience can still enjoy your offering. The result? Those who can’t attend feel included, while those who do attend have a record of their experience. Your users will love you for it.
Tip: Learn more about event technology in this article.
Showcase your offering
Organising user conferences can be just what you need to show off your company offerings and inspire brand loyalty. These tips should help you organise your most engaging user conference yet.
Author: Christa Parrish is the Content Marketing Specialist at Whova. As a former translator, she has always been drawn to finding the right words for the right audience.
But she isn’t only besotted with language. She also loves being at the beach, owning too many scarves, and reading. You can connect with her on LinkedIn here.