February 20, 2012 by Jeff Hurt
The World Wide Rave is one of the most exciting and powerful ways to reach an audience says David Meerman Scott.
Imagine if people couldn’t stop talking about your conference, your organization, your exhibitors and your sponsors online. Imagine if they were posting information about your upcoming event in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks. That’s what a World Wide Rave does.
So exactly what is a World Wide Rave?
“A world wide rave is when people around the world are talking about you, your company and your products. It’s when communities eagerly link to your stuff on the Web. It’s when online buzz drives buyers to your virtual doorstep. It’s when tons of fans visit your Website and your blog because they genuinely want to be there.” ~ David Meerman Scott, World Wide Rave
Ok, makes sense. But how do you create one? And more importantly, how can you create one for your conference?
Here’s how you can trigger a World Wide Rave surrounding your conference or event. First, you have to make something worth sharing!
Follow Meerman Scott’s Rules of the Rave to trigger a World Wide Rave for your next event. I’ve adapted his rules to fit conferences and events.
Read that again and get it through your skull! People care about themselves. They care about how to solve their problems. They want to experience something that is remarkable and unforgettable.
You must resist the urge to hype your conference. Instead, create something interesting about how your conference can help potential attendees solve their problems. Highlight the unforgettable experiences that will happen.
Conference hosts are terrible at this. They often create marketing and advertising designed to coerce people into registering for an event. “Register now using this code and get an additional 20% off. Buy four registrations and get one free. Early bird rate extended for one week.”
These product-centric advertisements are not how to get people talking about your conference. When you have something worth sharing, people share it–no coercion required.
This one scares most people. You’ve got to lose control of your messages in order to allow them to become a World Wide Rave. Your conference content and experience needs to be easily shareable and free to people.
Requiring a sign-in or contact information (name, email, etc.) to receive free information is a sure way to limit and even kill a World Wide Rave on the spot.
If you want your conference ideas to spread, the conference organizers and hosts need to be involved in online communities where people actively share. It’s no different than grandma saying, “If you want to meet a girl (or guy), you need to go where the girls (or guys) are.”
When you provide conference experiences that solve participants’ problems or are valuable, interesting, humorous or even outrageous, it’s primed to be shared. You need that trigger to get people talking.
If you follow Meerman Scott’s Rules of the Rave, people will talk about your conference. When they do, they’ll generate online buzz that’s indexed by search engines. This is a better approach to drive people to your conference and organization. As a result of the World Wide Rave, your organization’s rankings rise in Google, Bing and other search engines.
Which of these six rules will be the most difficult for you to implement and why? What types of conference or events do we not want to become a World Wide Rave?
Filed Under: Event Planning
I think #3 Lose Control will be hardest step for most conference organizers. They are so used to managing every aspect of their event that letting control of the message go will be pretty hard to do.
Marvin – that is the most difficult one. An aspect of losing control which some organizers have trouble with is allowing people to blog, tweet, and do photos & videos in real-time. The best conferences provide free infrastructure (power and wireless Internet) to all attendees. However, that is still very rare.
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