The lead up to an event involves an awful lot of preparation, even for a small 50 seater panel discussion. You need to secure the speakers, then the venue, then promote the event. Then it happens, and then it’s over then you pat yourself on the back for a job well done! (I promise to stop overusing ‘then’ for the rest of the article.)

By the end of this piece, I want you to look at your event as more than something that has a finite end. I want you to look at an event as an excellent way to create rich content that you can use to promote your brand for weeks and months to come.

You may not be in the business of events, and that’s okay! Events are just one more tool in your marketing arsenal. If you’re reading Mention, you’re obviously interested in marketing. You could plan an event around a topic you know a lot about, and invite some experts to talk about it. That’s how simple a panel discussion can be.

But how do you make sure your online community benefits from an offline event?

Sure, it’s easy to benefit from an event when you actually attend it. But you can make sure your entire community learns from it. You just have to repurpose. We all know about repurposing content, right? And offline events can fuel online content creation so easily. They’re practically begging to be recycled.

To do this, harvest content like recorded sessions and interviews, pictures, testimonials, and social media chatter. You can use any and all of it across your other marketing channels. Here’s an example of how we’ve used video at Eventbrite to build out blog content after an event.

Is there any marketer that will say ‘no’ to high quality content that doesn’t take ages to plan and create? Live events let you add to blog posts, newsletters, webinars, social media, etc. without starting from scratch with the content every time.

(Want to learn more ways to create and repurpose content? Download our free cheat sheet!)

Follow these 4 tips to repurpose your offline event as online content your whole community can enjoy:

1. Choose the right format

The first step is to figure out what kind of content will work best for highlighting your event?

Like with any content, you need to start by thinking about the most intuitive way to present the information.

Will it be a written blog post? Or maybe an infographic? You need to make sure you’re presenting the information in the way that makes the most sense.
For events, some possible content formats include:

  • Video: film the whole event, or grab clips here and there to produce a recap.
  • Podcast: use the audio to create a downloadable podcast.
  • Transcript: make a transcript of the event available (great for using in other content to repurpose some more!).
  • Presentation: if a session involved PowerPoint or other visuals, this is a great option.
  • Photos: candid images of animated speakers and an engaged audience are great for social media, using in PR, and a host of other content.

2. Create exclusive content

In addition to taking raw content from the sessions for publishing, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to create extra, exclusive content for your audience. This can be as simple as grabbing a speaker after a session for a quick 5-minute Q&A or drilling attendees on a hot topic.

Aim to gather any useful, interesting, or fun content that wasn’t a main focus of the event. This could be anything from additional educational resources to attendees talking about their day.

This “behind the scenes” footage will be loved by attendees, drum up interest from the rest of your audience, and can be used when marketing future events. (“See how much fun attendees have at our events?!”)

3. Make meaningful relationships with your speakers

You’ve already wooed the perfect speakers, ones that you know your audience will love. So make sure your relationship is more than a one-time thing. Invite them to take part in your community, write for your blog, anything else to get influencers involved.

There are too many benefits to working with influencers to ignore it. By creating content with your event’s speakers, you’re increasing their stake in the content. They’ll be more invested in making sure it’s popular and successful. So you’ll be able to “borrow their audience” when they promote it.

4. Solicit content from attendees

Attendees = content creators. The more they tweet, snap pictures, and take notes, the more content you have to play with. And it’s an easier job for you, most of the time (assuming your attendees know how to create high quality content).

But no one’s going to hand over a blog post if they don’t know you’re looking for it. You need to encourage interaction and social media use at the event. Choose an event hashtag to encourage online engagement between attendees, and make sure they know how you plan to use their content after the event. If the possibilities excite them, they’ll be more likely to participate.

You can also use tools like Mention to monitor what’s being said about your event online and save anything you might want to reuse.

If you don’t want to use content created by attendees, you can still put something together based on their insights. For example, pulling together a hefty data-filled report from attendee surveys and polls.

Finally, you should also take the opportunity to grab some compelling testimonials. Video attendees at the event talking about why they decided to attend, what they’re learning and the value they are getting. There’s nothing like hearing it from the horse’s mouth!

Make it last

Your event is so much more than just one day. View it with a keen eye and you’ll spot dozens of opportunities to mine content to keep keep your marketing channels going for months.

For busy marketers, live events really are a godsend. It’s simply a case of being creative and looking for ways to reuse and repurpose the existing content you already have. Remember, when it comes to content, waste not, want not!

mention for agencies

Ann Lowney is the marketing manager for Eventbrite Ireland, working in the following areas: content strategy, events, social media strategy & partnerships. Say hi on Twitter.

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