My husband and I are back home from a packed week at the Creator Economy Expo (CEX). Don’t let the blue sky in this photo fool you. Cleveland was cold and wet the entire week of the conference.
Before diving into the details, did you have fun celebrating last week’s holidays.
If so, which special events did you celebrate and why?
- May The Fourth Be With You (h/t Mike Allton, Star Wars fan)
- Cinco De Mayo (h/t Jay Baer, the Tequila Expert), and/or
- The Kentucky Derby (h/t Jason Falls, Kentucky-born and bred)
For my friends and colleagues from the UK, including my former employer, The Economist, the coronation of King Charles III took place on Saturday, May 6th. (I’m looking at you Chris Ducker and Mark Masters!)
Table of Contents | Volume 11, Issue 19
- Marketing Lesson of The Week – The True Power of Conferences And Live Events
- Marketing Reads – How To Generate Revenue And Expand Your Reach
- Mark Your Calendar
Actionable Marketing Lesson
- Assess which occasions your audience associates with your business. Then figure out why they do so and what they expect from you related to the event.
Marketing Lesson of The Week
► Do You Know The True Power of Conferences And Live Events
In this post-pandemic world, people crave live events. They want to see friends and colleagues face-to-face.
Larry Aronson, Heidi Cohen and Andy Crestodina at CEX2023
Think this sounds like a call to action for in-person conferences?
You’re only partially right.
Before adding in-person events to your offering, understand what your audience seeks. It’s no longer enough to provide the business equivalent of “Spring Break” where networking and having fun are your conference’s main reasons for attendance.
Through the grapevine, I heard that conferences that followed this approach were rated as failures by this year’s attendees.
Because irrelevant information and organization were lacking.
As a conference planner, consider what attendees want and need from your event in light of how the marketing landscape has changed during the last 3 to 6 months. When planning speakers and sessions, address the exponential growth of AI and the massive changes in social media.
If not, you risk being out of sync with your audience’s expectations. Particularly, if you select speakers and topics based on feedback from past events.
Actionable Conference Marketing Lesson
To satisfy speakers, attendees and sponsors:
- Offer recent, relevant information to improve their businesses and lives. Include a forward-looking overview, strategic factors and actionable tactics with tips and tools;
- Spotlight at least one fun keynote speaker who inspires attendees to take action;
- Showcase sponsors who provide reasonably priced solutions to meet your audience’s needs or they’re just a swag stop.
- Schedule networking time focused on building community. Actively encourage everyone to participate and connect with other attendees and speakers.
► Are You Part Of The Power Creator Economy?
Ever thought of quitting your job and becoming your own boss?
At CEX 2023, Joe Pulizzi transformed these thoughts into dollars and hours reality based on the 2023 Creator Economy Benchmark Research published by The Tilt.
To determine if you’re ready to join the Creator Economy, follow these 5 steps:
- Accelerate your time to making your first dollar of revenue;
- Plan budget and sufficient runway (The Tilt 2023 Research estimates 18+ months);
- Focus on building an ultra-niche audience;
- Develop one key platform overall; and
- Diversify your monetization streams.
In Content, Inc. – Second Edition, Pulizzi explained how to become a content entrepreneur in detail using his development and sale of Content Marketing Institute as the main example of success.
The Tilt’s 2023 research reveals that the bar for entrepreneur success may not be lower than you think. The average Content Entrepreneur has 4,000 unique followers, uses 4 unique channels, and about 2 revenue-generating sources.
To start their business, content entrepreneurs need about $10,700. Most of this investment goes towards establishing a brand, website and other business necessities such as legal and accounting structures.
On average, those surveyed expect to exceed $100,000 in 2023 revenues with about 60% margin. This means that they keep about 60 cents for every dollar they earn.
Content entrepreneurs spend just under half of their time creating content and about one-sixth of their time distributing it. Further, marketing and sales combined with business administration together account for roughly 30% of their time.
Since this is based on survey data, your personal results may vary!
► Do You Calculate Return-On-Events Before You Attend?
At a minimum, any conference or event whether virtual or live requires an investment of time and attention, your most precious assets.
If your idea of event attendance is to open a Zoom screen or to sit at a live event while you scroll through your social media feed, text messages or email inbox, you’re better off spending your time on another activity that will yield better results.
Multiple research studies have shown that the internal switching costs between two different activities translate to less efficient results.
Of course, seeing Jay Baer tasting tequila on the CEX stage with an audience member may not help your career too much either.
So when considering the value of conference or other live event attendance, assess the Return-On-Events. (h/t Katie Robberts of Trust Insights for inspiring it!)
Because conference attendance costs have increased significantly regardless of who picks up the tab.
Both businesses and solopreneurs must calculate each person’s attendance at a conference or event separately to ensure maximum return for each dollar spent. In this analysis, a stack of unqualified business cards or a set of social media posts from the event’s parties don’t yield measurable return.
Conference Planners Take-Away:
Don’t expect your past in-person attendees to be this year’s in-person attendees.
How To Calculate Return-On-Event Analysis
Return-On-Event Analysis evaluates both revenues and expenses.
Revenue activities include:
- Sales. Includes speaker or influencer fees and back-of-the-room product. Also, many shows highlight and sell books by their speakers.
- Partnership Deals or Opportunities. Connect with people or businesses where the two of you work together to achieve short or long term benefits. This form of co-marketing at conferences often results in new vendors.
- Marketing Qualified Leads (aka: MQLs). Engage with attendees and explain your offering to them so they want to find out more. As a speaker, Drew Davis refers to these as stageside leads, the people who approach you at the end of a talk to book you for another event.
- Authority, Visibility and/or Networking Building Opportunities. These mutually beneficial connections as a result of interacting with other attendees must lead to measurable goals so quality over quantity matters. It requires more than adding the people whose badges you scan to your email list.
Erica Heald, Heidi Cohen and Pamela Muldoon at CEX2023
Event expenses include:
- Conference Pass. Is the price of the entrance ticket.
- Travel. Encompasses transportation, accommodations, meals and related costs.
- Out-Of-The-Office Time. Lost work productivity while traveling and attending the event. Many businesses neglect to calculate this cost since it’s difficult to accomplish. An easy formula is: Average employee salary divided by 200, the average number of work days in a year.
[Sum of Event Revenues] / [Sum of Event Expenses]
Actionable Marketing Tips To Improve Return-On-Event Calculation
Since this ratio will be less than one for most attendees, here’s how to boost your results:
- Actively participate and share images on relevant social media platforms using the show’s hashtag. This amplifies your presence at the show especially if you share or summarize speaker nuggets of wisdom.
- Solidify the connections you make by following up ASAP via social media or email. When you do, make your outreach count by including a personalized note.
- Create content based on the conference to expand your reach and authority. In the past, this was a key factor for attending an event, now it’s becoming a lost art form.
► How To Generate Revenue And Expand Your Reach
For Content Entrepreneurs, books yield direct sales or create other revenue opportunities such as speaking and consulting.
Regardless of whether your book is published by a traditional book publisher, a hybrid publisher or self-published, it must provide well-crafted and edited content.
At a minimum, plan and allow time for the following regardless of who pays for it:
- Quality edited content including grammar and footnoted facts;
- Attention-grabbing title;
- Eye-catching cover art including blurbs from good people in the specific niche;
- Clean, easy-to-read internal illustrations;
- Professional index for non-fiction books; and
- Well-planned and executed book marketing campaign.
► To celebrate some of our favorite Creative Entrepreneurs, check out their books:
|Jay Acunzo||Jay Baer||Roberto Blake||Andy Crestodina||Chris Drucker||Ann Handley||Robert Rose|
Plan Ahead: Mark Your Calendar
► CX Connect– June 13–15, Online via Zoom
CX Connect will feature three days of thought-provoking presentations from the leading experts in customer experience.
► The Conversation Design Conference – July 24th – 25th in London, UK
bringing together the leading thinkers and doers in Conversation Design
Organized by VUX World.
► Marketing AI Conference – July 26 – 28 in Cleveland, OH
Register now with the promo code: RAIMOND100 for $100 off of the purchase price.
► Voice and AI – September 5th to 7th in Washington, DC
► Content Marketing World 2023 – September 26 – 28 in Washington, DC
► MarketingProfs B2B Forum – October 4 – 6 in Boston, MA
► Are you hosting an event that you’d like us to add to the Marketing Calendar? If so, let us know by using our Contact Form with the Subject Line: Event For AMG Newsletter Calendar.
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