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The Data Daily

How to Start an Influencer Marketing Program for Your Conference

Last updated: 04-25-2019

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How to Start an Influencer Marketing Program for Your Conference

Influencer marketing is a bit of a buzzword right now. With good reason. It can help planners expand their events’ promotional effort and overall reach over social media and other channels.

I first attended the Adobe Summit as part of Adobe’s influencer program in 2017. I was invited back in 2018, where I caught up with Rani Mani, head of influencer marketing for Adobe.

Mani said she invited three dozen influencers—also called social media insiders—to the 2018 Adobe Summit to share their experiences and tweet from the event.

There were some measurable goals in place to reach a certain amount of mentions and share authentic messages written in a conversational tone. The most important goal for Adobe was to extend the reach of the event beyond the venue.

Mani said when the program started they simply looked to social networks and other digital channels and watched who was talking about or engaging in conversation around certain keywords.

Then the influencer team at Adobe connected with people who were driving conversations. They started engaging with them, inviting them to Twitter chats and events to build a positive relationship.

Like many things in life, the answer is that "it depends."

Mani shared with me that you can certainly start on a shoestring budget. 

Finding influencers who have a connection to the brand and maybe would even attend a conference on their own are easy ways to maximize connections.

Mani shared that it’s important to collaborate with other departments and maximize efforts.

One example at Adobe Summit was that influencers were seated with the press and leadership in the front row. The whole goal is to cover the event and share updates to the influencers’ relevant audience.

[Related Content: How Much Does Your Conference Charge for ‘Lost’ Badges?]

By offering access and making coverage easy, the influencers can focus on the coverage itself—as opposed to standing in line and trying to find a good seat. It also makes for better photo opportunities!

Mani and her team have chat groups in place so everyone can stay connected during the event.

Mani reminded me that we should keep influencers as individuals in mind. Not everyone can and should do the same thing. Personalize arrangements to maximize the project for everyone involved.

One final note: Make sure your influencers disclose that their posts are sponsored, per FTC guidelines. Often that simply means that they send a disclosure tweet once a day and add “#sponsored” to tweets.

Apply the concept to other channels as relevant, depending on your organization’s goals.

Christoph Trappe is director of content with Stamats Business Media, the parent company of Meetings Today.


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