Annual conferences, trade shows, and even one-off gatherings provide great opportunities for your business blog. Given that most events have a dedicated hashtag on social media, it’s a natural way to increase engagement and push more traffic to your blog.
That being said, how should you go about planning to blog around an industry event?
The key is to plan specific posts before, during, and after the event. And if you have more than one person attending the show, it’s best to distribute the workload.
Another effective tactic is to have a point of contact back at the office to coordinate info, touch base with attendees, and write posts during the show. That way, attendees can focus on participating in all the show has to offer.
30 Easy Blog Posts to Generate Traffic from an Industry Event:
Before the Event
- Explain why your company is heading to the event.
- Interview a featured speaker.
- If the show is an annual event, recap highlights from past years.
- Predict hot topics based on sessions and keynote speakers.
- Make a list of your “can’t miss” sessions and why.
- Highlight exhibitors you plan on visiting and why.
- Chat about entertainment opportunities around the location.
- Prepare an agenda for different tracks based on role or interests.
- Repurpose existing blog material that coincides with the show into a long-form, chaptered post.
- Interview attendees from your company. Vlogs are great for this. Ask them about their expectations and tips for navigating the show.
During the event
- Cover the opening keynote. These discussions typically set the tone for the show.
- Create a photo blog of the location.
- Write or create a video recap of each day.
- Feature a specific session you attended.
- Write a post about the general vibe of the event. Are people excited? What’s the buzz?
- Compile a list of social media messages from the show. Find the dedicated hashtag -- follow it, collect the best comments/photos/videos, and embed them into a single blog post.
- Any big unveilings from the show? Highlight new products or features as they’re revealed.
- Have any legit complaints about the show? Don’t be afraid to write about negative aspects of the event.
- Interview your team. Get multiple perspectives on what’s happening. Each person will have a different take on the event.
Take a snapshot of your notebook, then write a few key ideas to follow up on within the post. You may not have the answers now, but that isn’t the point. Start generating topics and ideas to explore in writing.
After the event
- Create a “Top 10 List” from the event. The subject can be anything from takeaways and session speakers to exhibitors or swag items.
- Once again, interview your team. Recap their initial expectations and write about how those were met, changed, or dropped.
- Compile a list of your notes and provide additional resources (i.e. slide decks, videos, PDFs) from the show.
- Use your experience from past shows to rate this year’s event. Or, if this was your first time attending, write a recap from a newbie perspective.
- Invite a guest blogger to provide their insight. Did you meet any of the session speakers? Reach out to them, ask them to write about the show from the other side of the table.
- Write about why you’ll be heading back to the event next year, or not!
- Compile a list of similar events in your area or in reverse, on the national scene.
- Be honest. Write a post on what you did wrong at the show, and what you learned for next show. Shoot for a bit of humor.
- Have any industry influencers already voiced their opinions? Be the first to make a comprehensive list of the best blogs from the show.
- After a few weeks, write a secondary follow-up post as you remember more information from the show or as your thoughts on the event have changed.
Example Blogging Strategy from a recent event
Members of the Denamico team attended HubSpot’s annual INBOUND conference in Boston recently. Our original blogging strategy included three posts (one for each stage); however, we ended up writing four. This type of flexibility is encouraged from our team.
Prior to the event, we interviewed each attendee. Questions ranged from their expectations of the show and any sessions they were planning on attending and why. We also covered tips for surviving the event. The resulting post was a compilation of their answers that provided different perspectives based on roles and interests.
During the show, one member of our team was inspired to write about the opening keynote speaker. We weren’t going to stop her. Not only do these posts do well during an event, they also have lasting organic traffic because of the subject matter.
Our pre-planned post during the show consisted of a mid-event recap. Once again, our attendees responded to a series of questions via email. To differentiate this post, a single highlight from each attendee was featured. Because the timing was right, we also included a list of new products revealed by HubSpot that day.
Post 4: Top 15 Takeaways from #INBOUND16
After the show, our entire team debriefed together to form a “Top Takeaway” blog post. As we were compiling the list, we noticed natural categories for each insight and grouped them accordingly. Some of these nuggets will be featured as single posts in the future.
In addition to increased engagement on social media, our blog traffic for this month is up more than 25% (as of today's publication date), with only one additional post added to the original editorial calendar. Of that 25%, the INBOUND blog posts have done the heavy lifting.