As with any kind of audience growth strategy, it’s important to know where your audience is. In the case of international delegates, you’ll want to determine which target countries have the highest number of potential participants in the industry you’re working with.
LinkedIn can help you find answers to important questions that will shape your event communication strategy:
- Which countries have the most professionals in your industry?
- Which of that country’s companies in your industry have LinkedIn company pages and groups?
- Which of those pages and groups hold the most influence?
- Which country’s groups are the most active?
You might already have an idea of some of these countries, but if not, don’t worry. You can use LinkedIn’s very powerful search engine to help you identify your audience (and their country of residence) just by entering a few keywords.
LinkedIn Filters Hold Great Insight
Let’s say you’re looking for mining and mineral professionals. To start, you can go to LinkedIn and try searching relevant keywords like “mining,” “metals,” “minerals,” or “gold.” This will bring up a list of all LinkedIn profiles that contain these keywords.
You’ll probably end up with thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of results. However, you can narrow down the results using the category filters—companies, groups, company size, seniority level, and location. This can help you target the specific group(s) you’re looking for.
Some of the industries with widespread presence on LinkedIn include:
Research: 14.5 million professionals
Engineering: 10.7 million professionals
Healthcare: 3.6 million professionals
Higher Education: 2 million professionals
Science: 680,000 professionals
Design Your Strategy
Reaching the right people is also about strategizing. Find an important company that you’d like to connect with? Reach out to an employee in a position of influence and ask them if they’re open to collaboration or promotion. Discover a networking group for professionals in your industry for your countries of interest? Join them, post discussions, and like and comment on other members’ posts.
See who has a lot to say, whose voice carries the most weight and connect with them. Not only will this increase your visibility, but will also turn these key contacts into event ambassadors who in turn will be happy to promote your meeting and its message.
What’s In It For Them
Once you’ve developed a strong base of international connections, try creating your own discussion group for your event. This can act as a place to share news and information related to your meeting, as well as a discussion forum for your participants (and potential participants).
Knowing who is interested in your meeting and its subject matter can be a huge draw for those still deciding whether to attend, and being able to engage directly with these people in a group you’re moderating is the ideal way to do this. You can also invite speakers and committee members to post in this group, or share content from last year’s presentations, giving potential participants even more reason to want to attend.
It’s also important to remember the golden rule of social media: give and you shall receive. Many of your new connections may ask for your help connecting to other delegates, or promoting their company, blog, etc. If you’re willing to return the favour, they’ll be grateful and you may just find yourself with an event advocate for years to come.
Using LinkedIn to complete these steps in the early stages of planning your event marketing campaign will help you determine which countries to target, and how to reach the right delegates. It’s important to remember, however, that LinkedIn is just a starting point, and the insights found there will help shape your strategy across other social media accounts (targeted ads, building connections and more). Still, its wealth of information and easy usability & filtering functions are the ideal place to start building your international event marketing plan.
We turn the question to you now, how have you connected with international delegates?