By John Nawn published July 15, 2010

How to Distribute Content that Engages After Face-to-Face Meetings

In the first two posts in my series on content strategies for conferences, meetings and events, I  discussed content creation and 20 ideas for content delivery designed to help you engage your audience prior to and during your meeting.

This week, I’ll be outlining several content distribution strategies that will help support community building among your attendees and set the stage for your next in-person meeting.

When we’re talking content distribution, there are three simple guidelines I like to follow. Provide your attendees with:

  • The information they need to know
  • When they need to know it
  • In the manner that’s convenient for them

Think of your meetings as an ongoing process that contributes business value and results, not as isolated events. CMOs recognize that meetings and events have the highest ROI of any marketing channel. As such, meetings should no longer be treated as isolated events with limited, hard-to-quantify outcomes. There’s simply too much at stake to not be seeing ongoing dividends.

Case in point #1: TED Conference

One of the best examples of ongoing dividends from content distribution is the TED Conference. This influential gathering of great minds takes its brand “ideas worth sharing” seriously, posting every presentation from its 25-year history.

This free and open practice has helped build the conference into the global juggernaut it is today, spawning new offerings of local events and engaging with audiences it otherwise wouldn’t have been able to reach. It has essentially created a recurring content (and revenue) pipeline.

Case in point #2: The Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management is another group that’s been using their content for a strategic advantage. Let’s review the 360 degree content strategy they’ve perfected and the design principles behind them:

  • Create a hashtag for each conference, meeting, and event. More importantly, educate your community on how to use social media to communicate more value-oriented content.
    • Design Principle: Make those 140 characters work smarter and leverage the wisdom of the crowd.
  • Enlist industry bloggers to capture and share content.Use SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) to augment what your presenters are doing onsite.
    • Design Principle: More is more, when it comes to facilitating conversation.
  • LIVE content. Broadcast content as it’s happening – like the news – and get it in front of your entire audience. This will foster more engagement and participation.
    • Design Principle: Be inclusive, not exclusive with your meeting content.
  • Plan for success. Support participants in documenting key takeaways and measurable outcomes (objectives) and have them contract with colleagues to be more accountable. Don’t leave this to chance. It’s the primary reason both revenue and cost saving ideas generated at meetings don’t get implemented.
    • Design Principle: What gets measured, gets done.

Bottom line: Once you’ve invested the significant time and resources on planning and executing a successful conference, meeting or event, it just makes sense to do your best to remain engaged with your attendees, extending the conversation, and continuing to build the community that will help you address your current and future challenges.

What other suggestions do you have to use content to keep attendees engaged after an event?

Author: John Nawn

John Nawn is founder of ThePerfectMeeting.com. He specializes in designing meetings that maximize the attendee experience, primarily through optimizing formal and informal learning opportunities. As an Organizational Psychologist, John helps organizations grow revenues and increase market share using learning for a competitive advantage. You can connect with John on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter @perfectmeeting.

Other posts by John Nawn

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