Amber Ooley, Digital Strategist | @amberooley
In its fifth year running, Content Marketing World doesn’t mess around. Outside of the sessions, there’s a tour of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame and a Barenaked Ladies concert. On top of that, I’m visiting Cleveland for the first time.
In order to fully prepare, I put together some tips on embracing these new, exciting experiences.
Create a Twitter List (or borrow someone else’s) of all the speakers, sponsors and brands that will be present at the conference. Get a head start on engaging with them online and learn what they are all about.
Attend pre-conference chats and stay connected with their Facebook page, podcasts and blogs. They’ll typically share things to do in the area, updates on the event and more.
Read a book written by the speakers or watch a show starring one of them. I’ve been binge-watching Parks & Recreation in anticipation of Nick Offerman’s keynote.
Create a personal editorial calendar. This is your agenda for the conference, but it should also keep you on track for sharing tips, tools and recaps with your followers. Whether that’s a blog, Facebook post or a video, keep the content machine running while you’re out of the office.
#2: Don’t forget anything
Professional, yet comfortable attire. There will be a lot of walking and sitting – now is not the time to break in those new high heels.
Technology. Bring a laptop or tablet for notes, live tweeting and blogging, plus a phone for snapshots. Don’t forget the pens and paper. And chargers, too.
Business cards. This is going to be the biggest networking event of the year. You never know who you’ll run into, so make an effort to bring home a new stack of contacts and friends to follow on Twitter.
#3: Learn + share
As you’re typing up every detail each speaker has to share, highlight the bullet points. This makes it easier to share a brief session recap with your audience at the end of each session. This can be hosted on your company blog, or utilize tools like Storify to curate multiple users’ content (via hashtag) into one single feed.
Twitter is your best friend. It works as a note taking tool but it also allows you to share tips in real time with your followers, whether they’re attending the conference or not. The only catch: carving out time to dig through the hundreds of tweets shared each day.
#4: Use your free time wisely
Find the speakers that have inspired you the most at the cocktail party and ask them questions.
Play tourist and find a local restaurant or attraction recommended by the locals.
Have fun! Your boss is sending you on a trip to learn, what’s more exciting than that?