Industry events offer vital opportunities to showcase new solutions, reconnect with partners, engage with customers, and meet prospects. These efforts require compelling content that sparks excitement and drives registration. To capture the attention of your audiences at the event—and retain their interest and engagement after it is over—you need to give your teams the information, budget, and time to create and produce captivating content.

Whether hosting or attending, many businesses invest heavily in events. In 2017, global B2B events generated more than $1.07 trillion of direct spending on event planning and production, travel, and so on. Your company’s investment might go toward building new interactive product demos, hiring inspirational speakers and entertainers, providing sponsorship, and flying in multiple team members.

But your event spend doesn’t stop there. Successfully connecting with attendees requires persuasive content that shouldn’t be an afterthought. The time and resources you invest in content development can pay significant dividends.

Why content matters
Presenting your shiny new product or solution on a rotating pedestal and expecting new orders to come pouring in isn’t enough. You need to ensure prospective customers show up. You need to grab their attention in a busy environment where lots of new products are on display.

Moreover, you probably want to reveal what’s under the hood, explain why your offering is better than the rest, and provide resources that enable prospects to learn more about your organization. An industry event can represent one or more critical steps in a sales journey, and your prospects often need to take several additional steps before becoming bona fide customers. Well-thought-out content helps you build relationships with prospects as they continue on their sales journeys—even after the event is over.

Boost your content budget
Unfortunately, many businesses invest too little in event-related content. Securing large venues, hiring high-profile speakers, and renting all of the event-related equipment can be expensive. Skimping on content creation can dilute the impact of your other investments.

During the past decade, a significant shift from printed materials to digital media helped many organizations reduce some event-related content costs. Today’s businesses spend only a small fraction on printing and shipping printed materials. They also produce digital assets—blogs, ebooks, emails, infographics, presentations, and social media—that require a budget and resources.

How much should you expect to spend on your event-related content? Previous projects can be a good template; the time and cost of a presentation or blog post is about the same whether you produce the asset for an event or some other purpose. Budgeting for an event requires having a sense of the asset types that can help achieve your intended objective, which requires planning ahead.

Plan early and supplement internal resources
Beyond the budget, early planning enables you to define the key messages you want to communicate across all of your deliverables. Start by building a simple messaging document that your team can use during content development.

An early start not only helps your busy executives get a jump-start on their presentations, it also gives you time to architect cohesive promotional campaigns that span multiple weeks leading up to the event. Instead of creating a bunch of disconnected, one-off assets to drive event registration, for example, use the time to craft a series of communications that build excitement and introduce new incentives.

Although you may have a crack internal marketing team, you might need to enlist outside assistance. Your team members can’t put ongoing projects aside when preparation for an upcoming event becomes a priority. External resources can keep other projects moving while also injecting some fresh ideas into event-related asset development.

Get started with TDA
Do you have a signature event on the horizon? Events in high-tech, healthcare, and other industries often take place in late summer, fall, and Q1 of the new fiscal year. Now is a good time to start planning and creating your event-related content.

Fortunately, for decades TDA Group has been helping organizations big and small deliver compelling content for events. Let’s talk about how we can help you.