Running a major event is never a small feat, and when you're in the shoes of the marketing agency tasked with handling all things promotional, the experience becomes even more exhilarating. The NWA Tech Summit, held in the heart of Northwest Arkansas, has long been a focal point for tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and innovators. As one of the region's most anticipated annual events, it's not just an opportunity to learn about the latest trends in technology but also a platform to connect and collaborate with like-minded professionals. Behind the scenes, a dedicated team from Marketing Main Street played a vital role in making this event a resounding success. From strategy and planning to execution and post-event analysis, we'll share the ups, downs, and invaluable lessons we learned along the way.
1. Preparing for the Summit
Months of preparation went into making the NWA Tech Summit a success. Our team, known for its very hands on approach, was brought in to handle the marketing and promotion of the event. Our first step was to immerse ourselves in the tech summit world. We needed to understand the industry, the audience, and the trends that would define the summit. It was an exciting research journey that allowed us to discover the latest tech advancements, the hottest startups, attend the summer's AI series and connect with the most influential thought leaders.
2. Developing the Marketing Strategy
Once we had a comprehensive understanding of the event and its audience, we formulated a robust marketing strategy. This included a multi-channel approach involving social media campaigns, email marketing, content creation, and partnerships with tech-related influencers and media outlets. Creating a strong online presence for the event was critical.
3. Crafting Engaging Content
Content was king, and we knew that it would be instrumental in generating interest and excitement about the NWA Tech Summit. We started creating news content, videos, and infographics highlighting the speakers, showcasing the event's agenda, and discussing the latest tech trends. Our content aimed to not only inform but also spark conversations within the tech community, positioning the summit as a must-attend event for anyone in the industry. Based on the response of local and national news, our strategy appears to have worked.
4. Social Media Campaigns
Our social media campaigns were a key component of our strategy. We used platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram to engage with potential attendees, share updates about the event, and build a sense of community around the summit. Live-posting from planning meetings, sneak peeks of the venue, and countdown posts all played a role in generating buzz.
5. Coordinating with Speakers and Sponsors
The NWA Tech Summit was fortunate to have a stellar lineup of speakers and generous sponsors. Coordinating with these key stakeholders was a crucial part of our role. We created content partnerships with speakers, allowing us to feature their insights and expertise in the pre-event content we produced. Additionally, we collaborated with sponsors to ensure that their brand presence was prominent and aligned with the event's messaging.
A few weeks before the Summit we learned that the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce had hired a new CEO and President, Brandom Gengelbach. While this was warm and welcomed news, it also put a new task on our plate leading up to the Summit as we were all in agreement that the Summit was the best time to announce Brandom's new leadership. This meant a marketing and PR strategy in its own right. No worries. This is what we live for.
7. The Week of the Summit - Party Party Party
On the week of the summit, our team was a whirlwind of activity. We were responsible for the live coverage of the event, updating social media channels in real-time, and creating engaging content during the breaks and keynote sessions. It was a high-stakes juggling act, but the energy and enthusiasm of the attendees and the innovative ideas shared by the speakers made it all worthwhile.
But more than that, we know how important it is for attendees to have fun! What's the saying? "All work and no play..." We weren't into that. From amazing food and beverage to live music, our after hours sessions were full of party. It barely felt like work.
Photo Courtesy: 5NEWSonline.com
8. Post-Event Analysis
After the summit concluded, the work wasn't over. We analyzed the data gathered during the event – from social media engagement to press coverage – to assess the impact of our marketing efforts. This post-event analysis allowed us to identify areas of improvement and determine what worked well. It was a vital step in refining our approach for future projects.
Running the NWA Tech Summit from our perspective was an incredible experience that tested our creativity, adaptability, and marketing prowess. The Summit was a resounding success, not only in terms of attendance but also in the sense of community it fostered within the Northwest Arkansas tech ecosystem. We're proud to have been a part of it and look forward to future opportunities to showcase the power of strategic marketing in the tech world. We can't wait for you to see what happens next year!