By Chelsea McClain with Matt Karst

Studies show that 80% of consumers today are more likely to do business with a brand that provides a personalized experience, as per a survey by Epsilon. The Internet can feel isolating, so people crave a personal touch when they are dealing with a brand/association. This means that the more you can create connection with someone, the more you will hold their attention, and then the more likely they are to sign up for your conference or professional meeting. There are many great ideas you can utilize for your next conference or professional meeting to make your users’ experience more conversational, personalized, and humanized.

Things like:

  • Have a short welcome or “Today’s Hashtag is…” video in one of your walk-in slides.
  • During webinars, answer questions from the chat throughout your presentation, which makes it more interactive, and then you don’t have to leave time for Q&A at the end – or suffer the awkward silence when you ask for questions.
  • Push text messages to registrants as you get closer to your conference or meeting. People check texts way more often than email now.
  • Host a Twitter Chat as a promo for your conference or meeting.
  • Have the host of your podcast interview someone from your association for a few minutes at the tail end of their show to promote the conference or meeting.

You should incorporate conversation, personalization, and humanization in your general marketing plan, too, not just your pre-conference/meeting efforts. Check your KPIs and metrics and develop content that your audience has shown to engage and interact with in the past. Frame every piece of content with this question in mind: What is the purpose of what we are doing and how can we make it more interactive?

Ideas for interactivity:

  • Create an Interactive ebook.
  • Make user journeys on your website more interactive (you can move the user through lots of pages this way).
  • Your webinars can have polls, Q&A, downloadable content, calls to action, demos (including: slides, contact cards, and links to tasks [ie. signing up for something]).
  • Virtual events can stream additional videos to create interactive, engaging audience experiences.
  • Every element of marketing needs to move from passive to active where possible.
Chelsea McClain

Marketing is about building connections. If you aren’t connecting with people through marketing activities, stop and reevaluate what you are doing. Try to connect to your audience’s passion and heart, not just their mind. Use the right voice when communicating with your audience. Your customer’s voice is what matters most. Understand the pain points of your audience and come up with creative solutions.

Start conversations with more audience members. Include calls to action in emails, social media, and on your website. Host webinars with real-time chat and polls, online networking forums, and more. Determine your brand attributes and put these at the front of your personalized marketing content.

Learn from your competitors. Listen to industry podcasts and videos and see what makes them special. What is their language and tone? What topics do they dive into? Study how the successful hosts put together their podcasts and videos.

Blogs are another good way to learn more about your industry and audience. Measure the engagement and read the comments. Get creative in how you capture attention.

Personal messaging and connections with your audience will always pay off in your marketing efforts. Brainstorm new ways to be more conversational, personalized, and humanized to your members and potential members.