Canada East Chapter

February 18 2013

Does Your Annual Meeting Site Still Need a Blog?

By Daniel Metz, Specialist, Web Marketing

blog_newsRemember when everyone started signing up for Wordpress and Blogger accounts? Years ago, it seemed that every business began jumping on the blogging bandwagon. Now, that trend seems to be slowing. With the rise of Pinterest, Facebook and Tumblr, 400 - 500 word posts have been replaced with quick photos and one-sentence updates.

As you put together your marketing plan for your next big meeting, it’s crucial to consider the impact a blog can have on engagement with your audience. While following the best practices of good blogging requires additional work and resources, it can go a long way toward educating your prospective attendees on the real value of their registration dollars.

Here are three reasons why you should be blogging about your upcoming meeting.

1) Social media isn’t a substitute.

While using your Twitter account to send updates to your followers does help to keep your audience in-the-know when you announce new sessions and new speakers, it’s important to remember that the majority of those tweets go unseen. Blog posts with a few hundred words, some actual substance and a direct link can go much further in promoting your meeting.

Plus, it’s clear that many online readers are beginning to grow tired of the most popular social circles. A recent research project from the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that more than 60 percent of Facebook users are taking prolonged breaks from the site.

2)  A good blog can make you a search superstar.

Finding that next round of first-time attendees relies on helping them stumble upon your meeting’s web site. With a regularly updated page that includes keywords specific to your industry, your blog just might be the key ingredient toward introducing your organization or your meeting to audience members that otherwise would have never found you at the bottom of Google rankings.

3) Stand out from the competition.

Chances are that your prospective attendees are weighing the option of attending a meeting of one of your competitors. While location, cost and on-site educational content are all key factors in the decision process, a well-written blog can help showcase your expertise and keep you on their minds with more than social media updates and email messages.

Still, just setting up an account and occasionally posting on your blog isn’t enough. Blogging is an everyday routine. If your most recent update is from three months ago, readers may assume that you don’t have much to say.

However, all that daily work doesn’t all have to fall on one person. Consider inviting some of your panelists, poster presenters and speakers to craft guest posts that preview their material, and find other internal members of your organization who can offer their own voices to the blog.

Do you have a blog to promote your meeting? What have you done to attract more readers to your posts?

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