The most wonderful time of the year is almost here! Yes, we’ve gracefully swayed through the holiday season, but now we’re gearing up for the real celebration: event season! We’re a little biased here in Austin, as we happen to be home to the granddaddy of all tech events, the South By Southwest Interactive Festival. Whatever shindig you’re preparing for, you’ll want to be sure you’ve got everything in order.
Here’s what we recommend you focus on ahead of time, so that you can sail through event season with flying colors. Grab your complimentary drink ticket and your swag bag, and let’s make sure you’re ready for a successful season.
What’s Up With Your Website?
If everything goes as planned, you’ll be sending a lot of traffic to your site before, during, and after the event. Unfortunately, so will your competitors.
You’ll have just a few seconds to grab your audience’s attention before they click on to the next thing- is your site up to the challenge?
Make your presence count by offering a well-designed website, with engaging content that’s easy to navigate, responsive, and optimized.
Worried that you’re not up to the task, or that it’ll fall by the wayside as you focus on other things? Hire professional help. This is one area where you can’t afford less than the very best.
Cook Up Some Killer Content
Your site needs to be more than the pretty face of your company- if you’re not providing viewers with fresh and exciting content that’s updated regularly, you won’t be able to hold their attention for long.
Engage your audience and include them in the conversation by including blog posts, videos, and other content that’s sure to keep them captivated. Be the site they click back to again and again and show them that you’re widely regarded as a leading authority in your field.
Keep looking for new ways to present content and connect with your clients. Again, if you’re stuck for ideas, consult the pros to help you find the next big thing.
SEO and Search Marketing Set the Stage
You know that SEO and SEM are things you need to be doing to drive traffic to your site. Are you certain your current strategy is getting you the best results?
The search engine algorithms are forever in flux, so don’t assume you can rest on your laurels and keep the same old strategies in place. If it’s been a while since you’ve taken a hard look at what you’re doing and what you’re getting in return, there’s no time like the present to get an evaluation. Events like SXSW happen just once a year; what do you have in place to maintain your ranking year-round?
It’s easy to get caught up in the moment as you prepare for an event; don’t let the excitement distract you from making long-term preparations as well.
The Final Countdown: PPC for Fast Results
As the event approaches, focus on the little details that will make a big difference.
You’ve already invested in a strong social media presence, but now’s the time to start boosting posts on social, to make sure you’re reaching the best possible audience prior to the event. It’s also a great time to invest in PPC (pay per click) to further increase your visibility and name recognition.
Make sure you give the people you’re about to interact with face-to-face every chance to get to know you online first.
PPC has the added benefit of helping you get to know them in return: the ability to see where they’re currently spending time online gives you valuable information about your audience.
There are plenty of guides out there to help you prepare for the experience of being at Southby, or similar events. They’ll remind you to wear comfortable walking shoes, to pace yourself, to drink plenty of water, and eat real food on a regular basis.
We second all of that advice, but we’re also here to remind you that unlike in Vegas, what happens at events shouldn’t stay there. When your prospective audience that you’ve just spent the week with wants to follow you home, make sure your house is in order ahead of time.
An elegant website full of engaging content, a revitalized SEO strategy, and a thoughtfully planned, well-executed social presence will help you reap the benefits of event season throughout the year.