Post-Conference Marketing – 7 Ways to Make the Most of Your Investment

You make the investment to exhibit at a conference and have great conversations, get valuable feedback on backlist, frontlist, and sometimes even forthcoming audiobooks, make connections with influencers, talk to people on award committees and juries, and gather leads.

Yet in spite of the expenditure in resources, often the most important part of a conference is neglected: you have to do the follow-up! Here are some ways you can ensure that you don’t neglect this all-important piece of your conference marketing plan.

  1. It’s a simple thing, and very low-tech, but be sure to put the date and conference on every card you collect before you leave.
  2. Reach out to award committee members for deadlines and criteria just in case something is looming.
  3. Do a de-briefing with booth staff to discuss the titles you showcased and each one’s effectiveness and appropriateness for the audience. This is greatly helped if you do quick debriefings at the end of each exhibit day, which has the added benefit of helping you focus and recalibrate during the conference as well.
  4. Don’t neglect the leads! Dedupe your leads, combining qualifiers (I hope you used qualifiers and, if not, see below) and remove other exhibitors and others you don’t necessarily want to add to your mailing list. Next, do a follow-up eblast that includes either a call to action or some kind of reward for those who open the email. Include an opt-in for regular communiques and let the recipient know projected frequency and content. A perfect reward for the reader is a link to a complete audiobook they can download. Consider a backlist title that has particular applicability to this audience. For example, this summer is the perfect opportunity to highlight audiobooks that have anything to do with the space race.
  5. If you’re gathering leads, go all the way and purchase customizable qualifiers as well. Depending on your list, you may want to collect information that segments the attendees as well as their interests. For example, at a library conference, find out what type of library. For a teacher conference, capture information about the school level and type.
  6. Use conferences to do market research. This can be done via qualifiers or in post-conference follow-up. Gather information about platforms, language (more people are actively seeking Spanish, for example), age level, collection development challenges (“I can never find enough …”) and it could inform your future acquisition and strategy.
  7. Remember the APA Sound Learning website! This treasure trove of resources for teachers and librarians can add value to your communiques plus support growing future audiences for your audiobooks. Don’t miss any opportunity to add this to your communications efforts.

Whether you undertake conferences on your own or partner with Publisher Spotlight, don’t neglect the many ways to keep the conversation going!

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