Best Ways To Market A Conference

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Written by Karina Kokina

Promoting a conference can be a challenge, but like anything else – preparation is key.

In this post, I’ll outline some ways that we’ve used to help our clients market and promote their Cybersecurity Conferences.

Difference Between Marketing A Virtual And A Physical Conference

There’s a difference in the marketing approach between these two conference formats.

Covid was thrust upon us and, needless for me to say, it hugely affected some industries – and one of those most affected by the pandemic was the conferences and events space.

However – within a short period of time – there was a rapid transition to simply moving the events to a virtual setting.

The methods (or ways) to get more attendees to a virtual (online) conference are certainly more challenging in my opinion.

Why? Because there’s a perception of “less value” than an in-person physical conference.

One of the mega positives about attending conferences was (“is”) the fact that you can network, meet, make eye-contact, and above anything else, socialize.

With the social element gone, marketing virtual conferences became a significant challenge, after all, how can you “sell” a ticket to someone sat in their living room?

The answer is clearly, of course, the quality of the content.

Established conferences like Black Hat, DEF CON, BSides events, or trade events like FutureCon, Data Connectors, Cyber Security Summit, all have depth clientele and reputation; so for the most part, they just carried on pretty much business as usual.

The established events were able to continue as planned virtually because past attendees know that the quality of content would be high – and that’s the dream perception for any conference marketer.

This is particularly true within the Cybersecurity space; an industry that absolutely requires constant education and learning.

How Do You Attract Delegates To A Conference?

In summary, here are some suggestions:

  • Scrape similar events and see who spoke (network with them and reach out and ask them to help promote in exchange for either promotion for their company or similar)
  • Find events on LinkedIn that are in the same niche as yours, scrape those folk that attended them, and reach out to them. Need help to do that? Get in touch.
  • Offer free passes to the most influential people in your LinkedIn network
  • Offer free Cybersecurity Speaking opportunities to vendors in exchange for their promotion
  • Facebook Ads! Yes, they still absolutely work
  • Promote your event via a mega-outreach PR Release using our Cyber Events Booster Package

How Do You Successfully Market an Event?

It all depends on your metric for success.

If your event is an online conference then your overheads ought to be fairly nominal; but the major challenge with virtual events is (in 2021 at least) – Zoom (streaming) fatigue.

To alleviate the “fatigue” we would suggest focusing on something that is truly “unique” about your event, perhaps offer to give a “hands-on” hacking demo that shows in real-time how a hacker could penetrate a system or a network, or perhaps how to conduct a third-party risk assessment.

How Do You Market An Online Conference?

You’d market an online conference much the same way as you would a physical one – with the main difference being that you emphasis the fact that there is unlimited capacity and that you’re not restricted by geographical limitations.

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