PR: Maximizing Sponsorship and Speaking Engagements in the Upcoming Conference Season

Posted by
July 9, 2024

As we prepare for the upcoming conference season, maximizing your presence and engagement is essential to leverage every opportunity. Speaking at and/or sponsoring an event offers the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of your clients’ needs, preferences, interests and more. We’ve created a conference checklist to assist you from beginning to end as you navigate conference season.


  1. Goal Alignment. Define what you want to achieve at the conference. Are you looking for new clients, partnerships or investors, or do you want to raise awareness of your brand? When you have a specific outcome in mind, you can thoughtfully focus your time and energy.
  2. Targeted Marketing. Review the attendee list and note the potential clients, media partners, reporters and editors who may attend your session or visit your booth. Extend personalized invitations to key referral sources and prospects, encouraging them to attend your session or join you for a cup of coffee. Consider co-presenting with them on future projects to boost credibility and mutual benefit.
  3. Strategic Action Blueprint. Prepare practical collateral (like forms and checklists) for immediate attendee use, reinforcing your value and aiding in post conference follow-up. As you make collateral, it will also chart a clear strategy to identify your target audience and establish an efficient networking contact list. Ensure your business cards are up to date and ready to be distributed. Create a follow-up email template for quick post-event outreach.
  4. Q&A Mastery. Guests are likely to have questions or comments after your presentation. Keep track of the questions posed so you can incorporate those into your future presentations.
  5. Streamlined Setup. If you are using technology for your session, be sure to do a complete run-through with your presentation material. A quick check can relieve stress and remove the possibility of a significant time delay that could otherwise be used to showcase your skills.

During the Conference

Remember, your booth is a platform for storytelling. Ensure your booth managers are trained to communicate key messages effectively and have a general understanding of the potential clients they’ll be interacting with. Consider the message your giveaway items convey; they should reflect your brand’s value proposition creatively and in a personalized manner.

Here are some tips for maximizing opportunities during the conference:

  1. Proactive Connection. Your expertise is essential, but your likability and engagement will drive lasting connections. Demonstrate approachability and interest in others’ perspectives to create the bridge for potential leads and collaborations.
  2. Harness Social Media. Join the conversation on social media during the conference and be aware of the social sphere online. Is there a conference hashtag or a trending topic? After posting, invite other attendees to stop by your booth or set up a time to meet with your onsite team throughout the conversation. Don’t forget to also take a few pictures during the event or arrange for professional photos. This promotes your professional image and provides evergreen content. Many overlook this simple but valuable opportunity.
  3. Connection Ventures. Whether official or unofficial, an opportunity to connect with people is always worth pursuing. Establishing meaningful connections can help expand professional networks, as well as position a speaker or sponsor as someone proactive and eager in the industry.
  4. Secure Leads. Maintain a systematic approach for collecting contact information and managing leads acquired during the conference, utilizing CRM tools or simple spreadsheets to track interactions and efficiently prioritize outreach efforts. Maintain organization of your information to manage potential client leads effectively. Clean, targeted campaigns convert prospective clients into loyal customers.
  5. Skill Development. Attend relevant sessions and workshops, particularly those where your target audience is likely to be present. Pay attention to the questions participants ask and the discussion topics that follow the initial presentation. These valuable interactions and observations provide insights into the interests, concerns, and current trends within your audience, allowing you to tailor your own presentation to address these specific areas of interest effectively.

Post Conference

  1. Evergreen Insights. Make the most of your experience by writing insightful blog posts or website content and sharing them across your network. This extends the impact of your conference insights to a broader audience and grows your visibility, maximizing the value derived from your participation.
  2. Digital Impact. Use the photos you took during the conference to create a thank-you social media post. Be sure to tag organizations or people in the photo to boost engagement. Update your contacts and follow people on social media. Also, actively participate in discussions on platforms like LinkedIn to further amplify your reach and impact.
  3. Sustainable Strategy. Develop a long-term engagement plan for nurturing leads and maintaining relationships beyond the initial post conference follow-up. This could include offering free consultations to conference attendees or a survey to gather overall feedback.
  4. Response Analysis. Track engagement metrics from your post conference activities to measure the effectiveness of your efforts. Evaluate these metrics and use them to refine your strategies, plan future campaigns, and develop effective messages for a well-targeted audience.
  5. Showcase Success. Share success stories of clients who benefited from your solutions, tying them back to themes discussed at the conference.

By integrating these strategies into your conference participation plan, you not only enhance visibility and establish credibility but also build fruitful partnerships and solidify your organization’s reputation as a thought leader. Let’s make this conference season a success!

For further insights on leveraging conferences for PR and marketing success, reach out to our team.

Mikey Mooney is a partner at Poston Communication and is based in Atlanta, GA. Kali Hammond, APR is a vice president and is based in Orlando, FL.