We are on the plane headed to Chicago for the Becker’s Healthcare 13th Annual “Future of Spine”. Since Entangle Media created Shimspine.com and has made several other healthcare related sites, we know that the future of healthcare consists of having an online presence. So, we decided to be a vendor at the convention to promote our online services including web development, app development, social media, and brand building. This is one of the few times we actually get to market ourselves at a convention instead of a client so we thought we would share the strategy of how we are approaching this meeting.
The setting is typical: a hotel, with several talks going at once throughout the day, and we have a vendor table where attendees may visit on their breaks and for an evening reception. Frankly, it is a lot of work and expense for the potential to brand our services for a few hours over three days.
Our first decision was if we wanted to provide something for the attendee welcome bag that every attendee will get upon arrival. Our team discussed the usual suspects of pens, usb drives, stress balls, etc. We wanted something to get the attention of the attendees, and decided to build a new website called DrReportCard.com. Traditionally, you could control your online Brand through the media by print, tv, and radio. The internet has changed the online market rules, and Brand is often control by the results of the search engines. Doctors have a particularly tough task, because their individual name is a Brand, their practice is a Brand, and their hospital affiliations are also part of their branding. Online reviews sites have a large impact on consumer perceptions and they often fill the search results when searching for a doctor. We wanted to give a grade for each doctor based on an algorithm that we created from A to F like a normal school report card. This is a bit risky going to a convention knowing that several of the attendees will receive poor to failing grades, but we did not want to sugar coat what happens on the internet. Fair or not, people rarely go beyond the first page of results when searching on the internet so our formula is based on the first two pages of results. To promote the website we created a colorful attention grabbing brochure for the welcome bag. We are sure that most of the attendees will search their names and maybe a few others at the convention. The call to action was to visit us at our table and discuss their online presence.
Social Media Coverage
We want to have a social media presence at the convention, but events are typically tough to maintain because you want to network and socialize in the physical world. This is one of the reasons we created DealMyBrand.com for our clients. It is an easy way to manage multiple social media accounts during an event. We have a schedule of the conference meetings so we know the presentations we are going to attend, such as “Marketing Your Spine Practice: Website Development, Social Media, and more” in the Huron room of the second floor. It is a perfect lecture for us because it is about our industry and Dr. John Shim will be one of the speakers. We know some of the content that we are going to share on social media, so we created cards scheduled to go out to social media via DealMyBrand during the meeting times. We may edit or add images to the cards, but we know that we will have posts going out regardless of what happens. Of course we want live posts to go out as well, so we will have DealMyBrand open on our phones and laptops the whole time.
Vendor Table Marketing
We only have a six foot card table for the conference. We made all of our existing clients, including ourselves, a banner for a holiday gift last year, so the banner was easy. We are an online marketing company, so we wanted a display bigger than laptops. Our choice was to buy a 32 inch tv, boxed up, and check it in for the flight. As I am writing this, I am not confident it will survive the trip. If the tv does survive, we created a 30 second video loop to grab attendee’s attention at the show. Typically, a conference attendee is looking for certain booths and free handouts so they often walk by the tables at a distance they can’t be easily tackled and cornered by a sales person. Our video will allow them to watch from a safe distance and still get our message out. We will have two people with laptops at the table and up to four assisting during the peak times. The problem of having very limited time for vendors, is that you can have a lot of people in a short period of time and only be able to talk to a few. Especially, when you have multiple online marketing services like us. It is a cool 30 second promo so we will also use DealMyBrand to post it to YouTube.
Promotion at the Conference
We created a landing page on our website specifically for this conference. We chose “2nd Opinion Promotion” as the title because most businesses do not really have an avenue to get an evaluation of their online marketing services from an independent source. We chose to make the evaluation related to one site only and for up to 30 minutes which can be done after the conference. It is a free evaluation and they can pick their online marketing topics from a checkbox.
We created and placed a banner to the Promotion landing page at the top of entanglemedia.com for any attendee visiting our site, and we will have the landing page on our laptops at the table so that interested attendees can schedule the meeting upon return.
There will be three keynote speakers: Bill Walton, Deion Sanders, and Billy Beane. High profile keynote speakers are entertaining presenters, and often have a big social media presence so it another opportunity to engage on social media.
We have clients in the medical space so we will be attending as many lectures as we can as the topics and discussions are great content for future blogs.
Hopefully we will get out to some good restaurants, meet interesting people, and get a new client. At least we have enough scheduled social media to go out to compete with any embarrassing pics that may turn up from the evening fun.