Wednesday Buzz: Careful With That Year-Round Event Marketing

Just because you want to give your attendees a piece of your event year-round doesn't mean they want it. Aim carefully so they don't get sick of you. Also: IBM takes the freemium route with Watson.

Maybe we can’t cull a full year of interest out of our conferences.

Sure, it’d be nice, but we might just find ourselves wearing out our audience members instead of engaging them.

“They’ll give you their attention for a limited time and then move on with their pressing priorities,” Sarah Michel writes on the Velvet Chainsaw consulting blog. “They’re not interested in 365. They’re interested in solving their problems and growing their professional network. Period.”

Even if you can’t drive 365 days of interest out of your big annual event, there are certainly ways you can extend your reach after the fact. Michel has a few suggestions—including taking time away from pushing content in audience members’ general direction, but then touching them after the fact with a conference postscript.

And it might be good to nurture your newish attendees after the fact, as they’re the ones who need the loyalty push.

“Content alone will rarely lead to renewal,” she explains. “Feeling [like] part of a tribe will.”

Elementary, My Dear Watson

IBM remains a big name in the business world, but that’s been more of an enterprise angle than a rank-and-file one. But a new approach to data analytics could change all of that.

This week, the tech giant launched Watson Analytics, a freemium platform for analyzing business data. The idea, as IBM Software Group’s General Manager of Business Analytics Alistair Rennie notes in the video above, is to enable people who aren’t data experts to use predictive data-analysis tools—and also to bring into the fold firms that might have skipped out on the data-analytics trend in the past.

“It’s a fundamental departure in the power that each user can have at their fingerprints,” Rennie explained to Forbes. “It’s like how people got comfortable with spreadsheets over time.”

You have to admit that it’s fascinating that IBM, of all companies, is willing to try the freemium approach.

Other Links of Note

Need the lowdown on gamification? Over at the Event Garde blog, Kristen Parker talks about all those badges.

**”The aim of a blog is to share insight* and helpful information with the readers, and if you are using your blog as a medium for product placement, you might as well drop the idea.”* Tough words, but SocialFish contributor Jessica Davis says it’s important to do content strategy the right way.

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Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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