4 All-Too-Easily Overlooked Time Traps for Pre-Event Content Creation
Healthcare information technology (HIT) content marketing research shows in-person events are rated as the second most favored means of distributing HIT content (50%), second only to email. Having thought leadership research, eye-catching infographics, or even case studies answering common questions, equips event staff to be sources of value to attendees, and extends marketing’s impact beyond the event itself.
In short, all marketers want to go into events fully loaded with compelling content…
Of course, aspirations don’t always translate to outcomes.
What happens? How do even the best-laid event content plans go awry?
In our HIT marketing research, we found that overall, a key determining factor between leading HIT marketers (in terms of performance), and non-leaders, essentially is time management.
71% of leaders report an ability to deliver content consistently, on a defined, regularly scheduled basis, compared to 51% of non-leaders.
When it comes to events, time is arguably the most important yet most scarce resource to manage. Effectively managing content production in the time between signing a sponsorship contract and landing onsite is critical for maximizing marketing’s impact and ROI from the event.
So what’re you really dealing with when the clock starts ticking in the lead up to an event? Here are 4 vital considerations to ensure time is on your side:
- External Time Constraints: Event hosts dictate event dates. Holidays always pop up to cut into available work days. Print or custom collateral vendors have their own timelines for fulfillment and delivery. These are the things beyond your control, yes, but you can take them into account in planning. Count the days you know you have for production and know your hard deadlines. Don’t let outside forces get in the way of good event content.
- Internal Time Constraints: How many cooks do you need in the kitchen, and how many will be too many? The people you work with and production processes you have to go through may seem controllable, but they can be unwieldy. How long does design typically take to provide visuals? How many drafts do you typically go through before getting approvals? Have realistic expectations for your production timelines and, when in doubt or whenever possible, get an early start. Having something finished is always better than waiting on perfection.
- The Pivots: Strategies change. Messaging gets tweaked. Executives can come up with the next big thing at any moment, even if it’s days after the last big thing. Changes can be healthy when they snowball into better things, but the drop-everything-for-something-new changes are time killers. Be sure to set “no-go” change deadlines when it’s too late to entertain any new content concepts and still publish in time for the event. Pivots happen, but proactive marketers do well to minimize them.
- Limited Longform Content Runways: The longer the content, the more the timing challenges pile up. Original research studies can take one to three months to survey respondents or source relevant data. Then there’s the drafts, edits, formatting tweaks, and approvals that need to happen. Basically, internal, external, and pivot time traps can all pop up along the way.
To ensure you have the rich, quality content you want in time for an event, invest in a limited-but-doable amount of projects that come with assurances of completion. An innovative study, or a provocative white paper can be the talk of the town, or event hall at least, when launched at an opportune time. Don’t miss the window you have at events for your content to take off.
Admittedly, in the build-up to HIMSS19, we can help to ensure you have the compressive, compelling content you need to make your mark at the world’s biggest healthcare and information technology event. Click here to learn how HIMSS Media’s content experts can help.