The New Media Entrepreneur’s Guide to VidCon
By Sweta Patel
So you’ve got an event coming up, and you’re ready to strut your stuff!
This post is for any video professionals who will be promoting their brands at a convention, event or networking opportunity.
Our featured VidCon Gbox pro, Bonnie Jarvis, has built a successful online empire and following as a model and online personality. With thousands of subscribers and a steady work-flow, she’s a full-on force to be reckoned with.
For those of you in the business, it goes without saying that it’s taken a lot more than uploading some videos to get Bonnie to where she’s at.
Bonnie is what we call a New Media Entrepreneur, and she’s put in the work to become a STAND-OUT STAR in every aspect of her business. From her spunky personality to her savvy networking, promoting and marketing skills, she’s got it all.
Here are her top five tips for squeezing every last opportunity out of your promotional event efforts!
1. Prepare Marketing Materials Beforehand
You didn’t pay to come to this event only to show up without anything tangible to give out as you network, did you? Of course not!
Here is what Bonnie says:
“I really hope this is a given, but make sure that you have business cards and not just a bunch of pamphlets and bulky stuff that will end up in the can.
Not to mention, getting email addresses is your biggest goal. Hand people your business card and always, always ask for theirs. If they don’t have one, write down their email address. Seriously.”
2. Claim Your Space
You’ve got videos to showcase, so if you’ve got the marketing budget (or if you can get it from your grams), get a booth!
Not only is a booth a great way to get exposure, but it also helps you sell to more people at once.
Bonnie says, “I like to cat call whole groups while I’m hanging out at my booth. If one person bites, the whole group will walk over and watch my stuff.”
Like sheep herding to the flock, more people will come over when they see any sort of excitement happening at your booth.
Use this tip and keep a steady stream of people in your space. If you keep this going, you can easily gain over 1,000 qualified leads for your email list, not to mention subscribers!
You can even do booth contests where guests are entered to win a prize if they tweet about you right then and there. You can make this even simpler by offering an immediate little gift to those who use your hashtag or mention you in a tweet.
3. Engage in Power Networking
It’s not possible to talk to every attendee at the event, so it will pay off to get strategic. At VidCon, you can scout out industry, press or guest personnel because they wear blue or purple passes.
Bonnie’s advice? Hunt these people down!
This is especially important if you do not have a booth and will be scouring the crowd for networking opportunities.
Whatever event you’re attending, check out their website to find out what color badges to look for.
Plan to spend ample time finding and showcasing your videos to these people. You can hunt in the exhibit and outside, as well. It may feel exhausting and tedious, but it’s the best way to get what you want out of an event.
4. Maximize Your Time
Here’s the bottom line – you’ve got a few hours each day, ad you’ve got one goal.
Your one goal is to network and collect email addresses, so prioritize one on one networking.
Here is what Bonnie says about maximizing your time at events.
“First of all, PANELS. Yeah…those aren’t worth your time if you have to stand in line for hours to get into them. And even if you get in, you’d be better off out hunting industry people than joining a hundred other people waiting to talk to one YouTube star.
And secondly, unless you’re trying to be the next Justin Bieber…and more power to you if you are…the VIP lounge at VidCon won’t do you much good. It’s mostly young teen singers and their parents, plus a few production people.” –Bonnie Jarvis
If you’re going to maximize your time, you should get into the mindset that every moment is an opportunity.
If you can afford to bring multiple people to the event, you can have some stationed at your booth and some floaters. Even walking to your hotel can be a great time to chat with people and do some power networking.
5. Don’t Party Too Hard…But Do Party With Gbox
Last but not least, Bonnie says, “It’s all good to have fun, but don’t party too hard. Especially on the first night. It’s not worth it.”
Who wants to try power networking with a hangover? Stay focused and enjoy your event experience…the whole time!
Did we miss anything? What are YOUR top event tips for video professionals?