If you are sponsoring or speaking at an event or conference, then it’s likely that you’ll get links to your website from the main event website: you may appear site-wide on every page, or they might have dedicated pages listing the event’s sponsors or speakers.
But if you are a mere attendee/delegate then don’t fret, as there are a number of ways that you can leverage your presence at an event in order to obtain links to your site and/or blog after the dust has settled and the event has come to an end…
1. Take photos (and let people use them)
If you have taken a number of photos at the event, why not upload them to your blog (not just Flickr or Facebook)? Better yet, when you post them, leave a message telling people that they’re welcome to use them in their own content, so long as they credit you with a link to that post in return (i.e. ‘image source’ links). Other attendees who are blogging about the event – who maybe didn’t get the chance to take their own photos – will appreciate the generosity, especially if they want their own content to contain some relevant visuals.
You don’t have to be a professional, either (although I’m sure it helps)! With the average smartphone these days coming equipped with a camera, there’s no excuse not to take a snap or two.
2. Record videos (and let people use them!)
Similar to photos, you could take a short video using your smartphone.
Although recording a quick video of parts of a presentation may be a good idea, if the presentation(s) end up online anyway (via sites like SlideShare) then it might be an idea to try and capture something that isn’t encapsulated within the presentation slides. For example, you could try filming the questions asked at the end, or any instances of audience participation (particularly if they’re unusual or funny).
3. Tweet about the event
If you’re an avid Twitter user then be sure to tweet your views on the event’s goings-on via the event’s official hashtag.
Tweeting a great quote from a speaker can be a great way to generate interest and earn a few retweets, especially from people who haven’t been able to attend the event. However, having an opposing view or adding to what has been said could improve your chances of getting mentioned in a blog: e.g. “@steviephil of Liberty agreed with the speaker but also said…”
4. Contribute in Q&A
Don’t be shy now! Ask questions at the end of presentations and during Q&A sessions.
Similar to the above point, if you ask something not necessarily covered by the presentation itself then you may get mentioned by – and links from – other people writing about the event afterwards.
5. Write a review of the event
What did you think of it? Write a review of the event – give a rundown and your own personal thoughts on what happened and what you gained from it.
You might garner more links if you take a controversial view (e.g. “I thought it was rubbish!”) but – of course – be careful not to burn too many bridges with this approach!
6. Type up your notes from the event
Reviewing an event is one thing, but typing up your notes and findings can result in a very valuable and very powerful piece of content, especially if the conference covers a particularly technical industry, such as SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
If you’re typing up your notes anyway, then it’s not a major effort to also blog about it while you’re at it. The result could be a lot of people – including the speakers and even the organisers – referencing and sharing your write-up for the benefit of others.
7. List the URLs of the speakers’ sites/blogs
This one might only apply to very small events, where the organisers haven’t considered – or been able to – list the speakers on their own site. In which case, do it for them.
Consider setting up a Twitter List, so that all the speakers – and their Twitter profiles – are listed in one place, or simply list the URLs of their websites and blogs on your own blog. If it’s a handy ‘go-to’ resource then it’s likely that people will share it.
8. List the URLs of the speakers’ presentations
“Will the presentation slides be available online afterwards?” This has to be one of the most frequently asked and expected questions that a speaker receives after they’ve finished their presentation.
Some of them may not put their slides online – maybe they’re not allowed to, or they don’t know how to – but you’ll often find requests via Twitter from attendees keen to see the slides again (or for the first time, if they weren’t able to make the presentation for whatever reason).
You might have to wait a few days or even a week or two until a number of the speakers have uploaded their slides, but why not write a blog post that links to all of them? The speakers may tweet about the slides in their own right, and the event organisers may not think to write about it themselves, so if you’re the one who’s written a post containing links to all the available speaker slides in one place then that is going to be a very handy resource.
Advanced tips, for best results
Knowing about and implementing some or all of the above points may not necessarily open up the link/share floodgates. It’s wise to also consider the following:
Act fast: This is probably the most important factor. Admittedly the last thing you want to do after a long, tiring conference is to do a full-on write-up the same evening or first thing the next morning, but those who upload their photos or their review of the event first are more likely to get the most attention, especially when interest in the event dies down a few days or weeks later.
Upload to your site: Feel free to upload your photos to Facebook and Flickr and videos to YouTube and Vimeo, but I’d recommend blogging about the event as well, including those photos and videos. Your blog should be the link you give out as well (see below), as ideally you want people sharing and linking to your blog, not the other sites.
Outreach! Publicise your efforts: Just blogging about the event and expecting people to come pouring in may not be the best strategy. Share it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., so that those who attended – and those who couldn’t, but wanted to – can see what you’ve said.
Utilise #hashtags and @mentions: In terms of Twitter, use hashtags and mentions to your advantage. If the event had a hashtag, include it when you tweet about your write-up. If you take photos or videos of speakers, tag them with a @mention, so that they’re aware – they might end up sharing it with their followers, too.
And above all… Be honest: In points 5 and 6 above, I mentioned that controversy might get you more links. But don’t be controversial for the sake of being controversial. If you genuinely enjoyed the event then be honest about it and say so.
You don’t want to blog one thing but have another opinion, in case you get caught out. However, if you did disagree with what the speakers said and/or have a major differing opinion, then fire away.
Steve Morgan is a Senior SEO Account Manager at Liberty Marketing, an online marketing agency based in Cardiff, South Wales. Steve is a link building specialist as part of the agency’s link building service, but as a Twitter addict and blogger, he also loves tweeting and blogging about online marketing-related conferences and events. You can find him on Twitter as @steviephil.