Written by Pamela Shigeoka based on a webinar given by CadmiumCD Audio Production Specialist, Nate Knauer
One of the most difficult tasks when it comes to planning out your event marketing is figuring out how to market your recorded conference. For many attendees, once they’re done with the event, they’re done. They don’t automatically think about downloading and watching presentation videos.
So how do you encourage your attendees to both want to access your recorded content and, importantly, to pay for that access?
The Big Question: What Kind of Event is Your Conference?
This may seem like a strange question to ask yourself, but the type of conference you’re running means a lot in terms of how much natural demand for content post-event you’ll see. So, is your event a networking event or educational event? All events are some combination of the two, but what’s the main focus? What are your attendees expecting to get out of coming to your conference? Networking events will differ from an educational event in how you approach your content.
With conferences primarily focused on networking, don’t expect a natural high demand for your educational material post-event. If people are there to meet other people, and you’re trying to sell your content, you might have trouble getting a return on investment if you’re charging them for the content after the fact.
Consider wrapping the cost of content capture and delivery into registration. You might have more usage if attendees have already paid for the access with their registration fee. Also, consider sponsorships. A big sponsor from your exhibit floor can help cover the cost of capture and delivery. Not only will that help you cover your costs, but it will also create a new avenue of exposure for your sponsor.
Finally, use your content as a way to help the networking along. This might seem like a daunting task, so it’s a good idea to brainstorm with your event managers to come up with ideas.
If your conference is focused on education, it’s a bit easier to market your content. The simplest way to drive users to your content is to figure out how to award credit for consuming the material. People will pay for the material in educational events, especially if they need to keep up their accreditation or pass a test to receive credits, so marketing is not as difficult as it can be for a networking conference.
Good advice is to be sure you’re marketing your recorded proceedings before, during, and after your live event. Be sure that your attendees know that they can access recorded content through your website or mobile app. You can also create a knowledge library with the content from multiple events and charge for membership to it. This isn’t necessarily an extra charge, since you can wrap content access into the cost of organization membership.
Next Big Question: What’s Your Conference’s Delivery Model?
This question can make or break your event content plans: does your content sales and delivery model line up with the values of your presenters?
If your presenters don’t want to be recorded or aren’t comfortable sharing their slides or data, you’re obviously going to have issues. Without the presenters’ slides, you won’t have any content to share and sell. The attendees might want to buy it, but if the presenters don’t want to share, you’ll be stymied.
Be sure to reach out to presenters early on in the planning process to make sure they agree to being recorded and sharing their slides and data. Some educational conferences may face more problems with this than others. For example, a medical conference where many presentations feature sensitive patient information will run into privacy concerns with having this data disseminated via your post-event content.
How to Maximize and Optimize Usefulness in Content Usage
Controlling access to your content is incredibly important. There are some conferences that want to make their content publicly available, but the vast majority need to control user access, particularly if the event planner wants to make money from content distribution or needs to control for continuing education credit.
One option for controlling access is to restrict by content type. Basic access might give a user access to just the slides, while access level 2 would give you slides and audio. Access level 3, or premium, would give you access to slides, audio, and video. You can adjust your pricing based on access level to incentivize purchasing a higher access level.
Some content management systems allow you to create unlock codes based on whatever options you’d like, by day or by conference track and so on. The code works as a password to give the user access to the content. This can be used in conjunction with content type restrictions or to give only attendees who have registered for particular presentations access to that content.
Using Quizzes to Create Enduring Content
A flexible evaluation system, such as CadmiumCD’s Survey Magnet, allows you to use quizzes in conjunction with your recorded content for continuing education credit. Users can earn CE credits for viewing a recorded presentation and completing a quiz on the content. With Survey Magnet, you can choose requirements for receiving credit, and once users meet those requirements, they get a certificate that you can customize and that can be printed, saved, or emailed. And this data is automatically saved, so you won’t lose your list of attendees who’ve earned particular credits.
Linking enduring content to credit provides an incentive to users/members. If it’s linked to credit, there’s a real reason for users to view the content. Earned credit counterbalances the lack of natural demand for recorded presentations post-event. You can also choose how long to make your content available past the creditable life of the quizzes. You can remove the content whenever you are ready or leave it accessible to users as a knowledge library.
Natural demand for recorded content might be high or low, based on what type of conference you’re planning, but knowing what to expect and how to plan for it can go a long way in getting a good return on investment on your conference content. Whether you’re offering continuing education credit or are helping your attendees network, good planning and good technology go a long way.
I am a freelance writer who enjoys dipping my toes into a wide variety of writing subjects. I have an M.A. in English but found that teaching wasn’t for me, so I’m applying my training to writing instead. I’ve been blogging for ten years and have written everything from book reviews to pop culture essays to business topics. In my spare time, I enjoy writing fiction, playing games, and learning new crafts. I live in Corvallis, Oregon, with my husband, daughter, and dog.