How To Not Suck At Creating A Conference.

Don’t make participants curse every dollar they spent.

Unseen: The lecture they’re skipping to conquer the world.

As marketers, we are implicitly expected to love conferences.

Many conferences are designed to cater to the main stereotypes of what marketers are like: Gregarious, extroverted representatives of major companies who are there to network and schmooze.

  • Kelly’s not at the beginning of her career, where the networking would go farthest.
  • Kelly is representing a company, which means she’s probably not willing to be vulnerable about what she doesn’t know.
  • Kelly is used to the conference circuit, which means she may skip lectures entirely to hang out with people at the bar.
  • All this hanging out likely takes up all her potential social-media-posting time. Does she have an assistant doing this for her?
  • It’s possible that Kelly didn’t pay for this trip herself. Someone in her company endorsed her for it, bless her heart. But that means she’s not as personally invested as, say, someone who worked and saved up to get there.
  • This also implies that Kelly’s at a high enough position at her company that she wants to start looking at speaking. Wait—is this her plan all along?
  • Is Kelly interested in seeing the city the conference is in? Who knows? No one’s asked her.

Build up conversation around your conference.

  • Checking times for events among the attending crowd.
  • Rallying for drinks.
  • Live tweeting lectures/keynotes.
  • Asking pals what they’re going to.
  • Shouting out people from their city.
  • Hyping up the conference to their followers.
  • Interacting with the goons running the conference.

Legitimize your prices as much as possible.

Lean into the conference as an immersive experience.

My official conference endorsement: #TCCNYC.

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Brit McGinnis

Copyeditor. Copywriter. Community Manager. Your horror hostess. Writer of romance novels. Golden Rose Judge. Cited Cruella de Vil expert. Feeder of crows.