Plan ahead and choose your team well
We recently worked with our client of 20-plus years, JETNET, on hosting their annual JETNET iQ Business Aviation Summit. The iQ Summit is one of the leading events in Business Aviation, attracting a Who’s Who of the industry. Speakers represent all the biggest companies in aviation, like Bombardier, Embraer, Dassault-Falcon, and Gulfstream. We also attract thought leaders from Business Aviation’s leading advocacy groups, like the NBAA, NARA and GAMA. To say this is a powerful room in the industry would be a great understatement.
One of our prime responsibilities during the conference was to art direct a video and photo shoot for use in next year’s promotions for the event. Additionally, we wanted to live tweet the event, and if possible, use the professionally shot images during the actual event. This usually presents a bit of a challenge, as the photos usually take some time to process and re-touch, etc. This year, we devised a plan to make the most of our combined efforts of live tweeting and professionally photographing the event to make one smooth-flowing story of the events of the day.
We chose to include highlights of each speaker and panel via tweets that help tell the story, without giving away the entire event to those who didn’t attend. Our plan was a huge success, creating an encapsulated version of the day and enticing future attendees by letting them get a sense of what they missed. Here’s a few tips about how we pulled it off:
1. Preparation – Prior to the show, we identified everyone on the agenda and their twitter handles (as well as their company’s handles).
2. Hashtags – In addition to our show’s hashtag, #iQSummit2018, we identified several other key industry hashtags to accompany our tweets, e.g. #BizAv, #NoPlaneNoGain, etc.
3. Drafts – We set up drafts for each speaker with their handles and the hashtags already populated, so we only needed to attach a photo and type a quote, and we were ready to share.
4. Stay Connected – Conference and hotel Wi-Fi is notoriously sketchy. We had back-up in the form of iPhone tethering and a Skyroam Wi-Fi system (my personal favorite for international travel as well).
5. AirDrop – At the beginning of each session, our photographer would try to capture great shots of each of the panelists. He would then AirDrop them to us so we were ready to post as soon as the appropriate sound bite hit.
6. Hold On – Be prepared for many comments, likes, and retweets. Be sure to share the love by responding, liking, etc. in real time. It can be helpful to have someone back at the home office monitoring and handling responses.
Where possible, it’s great to get copies of the presentations ahead of time so you can pre-populate with graphs and other graphics. In reality, most presenters are the same, and are making changes to their presentations the night before or the morning of, so that probably won’t happen. However, following the steps above can help create an event that can be shared with everyone, not just the power players in the room. This will go a long way toward boosting attendance in future years.