Last week I saw a lot of speakers. On Tuesday I attended TEDxSheffield, Wednesday I saw Dave Gorman’s PowerPoint Show and on Friday I was at the Yorkshire International Business Conference in Leeds, where the speakers included the Dalai Lama, Steve Cram and Mary Portas and Michael Portillo.
Conferences in the 21st century are a far cry from the business card wielding affairs at the end of the 90s. Conferences are now akin to entertainment with a wide range of speakers, who may be business experts, artists, spiritual leaders or just people with a passion they want to share.
Setting up a conference is so easy now. There are myriad of websites which will handle ticketing and payments for you. And using social media not only can you find speakers, but you can promote your event with little or no budget.
That’s very much down to the audience to be honest. But there are a few magic ingredients which, in my view, make an event:
You are filming all the speakers aren’t you? Filming and publishing you speakers video has never been easier, YouTube and Vimeo are just so easy to use. I’m assuming your event has a website or blog too? Adding your videos to that is again a given in the digital age. Video is a great traffic driver to help you sell tickets for your next event, but video alone won’t help your search engine efforts.
If you have your video transcribed and added to the same page, then all the keywords contained in the talk will be suddenly available too. Driving even more traffic.
My personal view is that social media has a lot to do with the proliferation of conferences and events. Through sites like twitter people are getting together online and exchanging ideas. That’s fine for a while but then people want to meet and have a more in depth conversation. Groups of people can now energise themselves, there’s no need for permission or big budgets anymore.
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