Just as I told you all about in the post that I put up last week after my first day at the Search Engine Strategies conference, having some fun and interactive way to get some of the attendees interested in your product is key in getting some value out of these types of events. Now that I’ve had another day and a weekend to think about HubPage’s presence at the conference and how my homemade keyword researching game impacted the attendees, I would say that we got a pretty solid bang for our buck. The game gave me an easy way to talk to complete strangers while still being related to HubPages and our overall value proposition.
Of course, there are a few things that I would probably change about how I ran the game (and other things at the event), but overall I think that it worked out well. If you’re interested in hearing some of my random thoughts, the following lists are some random thoughts on what I thought went well at the conference and what I could improve upon next time as far as our conference strategy goes:
Things That Went Well
- I thought that the game was a great idea and was a great attention-grabber and ice-breaker for the attendees who walked by our booth.
- The game was a relatively low investment ($100 X 2 days = $200) and since I made the boxes and everything else myself, the overall costs were very low.
- The game got the attendees thinking about keyword research, which can be an important part of HubPages and it also allowed me to explain what HubPages was all about to every single person who played the game (nearly 75 players total).
- We used a case study from the 100 Hubs in 30 Days HubChallenge and included it on a one-sheeter that we handed out to the attendees that stopped by our booth. Several of them mentioned reading it and saying that they were excited to give HubPages a shot (nice!).
- We had some pretty sweet (and pink) HubPages mints (see below) that we were handing out to the attendees and I’m not sure why they loved them so much, but people couldn’t get enough of them. One woman actually said that they were the best free swag that she’s seen at the show! I’m not sure if I would say that (there was some really good stuff), but I definitely think that they’re pretty cool.
- I was able to have a great interview with the guys over at WebMasterRadio, which was a lot of fun (podcast coming soon).
- I met some amazing people who could potentially help HubPages become even more awesome, which is always great. A lot of people are excited to partner up with us on some interesting things, which is a sign that our name is getting out there more and more as we continue to grow.
- This conference had a great lunch offering, which is rare when it comes to large conferences. Not really something that I had to add to this list, but something I noticed and wanted to throw out there nonetheless.
OK, so those were some of the things that went well, now for some of the things that I would like to improve upon before I hit up my next conference for Hubpages:
Things To Improve
- I shared the booth with our parent company, YieldBuild, which made sense and was a great idea, but the fact that we only had 2 people in the booth made for some very long days. Until we grow, I don’t think that we can do much about this (we have 6 employees (James works for YieldBuild and HubPages)), but it’s something that I wanted to bring up.
- I need to make the game more self-explanatory so that I can actually talk by the second day (and not have a sore throat). I think that I talked more than I have in a looong time during the first day of the conference, which is great, but the more energy that I can save the better and a lot of effort went into explaining the game that I was running. Of course, the explaining is what usually allowed me to tell the attendees all about HubPages, so I guess that I lost my voice for a good reason.
- I feel like I should have made a better effort to meet more of the other companies that had a booth at the conference. This is easier said than done and even though I did meet quite a few, I still feel like I could have met more. Only having 2 people in the booth makes this pretty tough, too.
- I feel like I could have made a bigger scene when I was going to give away the $100 each day by making the players be there in person when I give it away so that I could gather a crowd at our booth. Having a lot of excitement at your booth is never a bad thing, and doing it this way I could have probably made quite a scene.
Overall I think that the conference went great and just like with anything else, it takes some time to master the conference scene and as you can probably tell, I have some work to do before I attend my next one. If you have any other conference tips, feel free to share them with me in the comments.
One last thing — I never announced the winner of the second $100 that I was giving away to one of the attendees who picked the right box when playing my game during day two if the conference. There were only 4 people who picked the correct title the second day and the overall winner that I chose from that box was Peter F. Young, who is actually a professor who told me that he teaches his classes all about HubPages as part of his standard curriculum. I thought that this was pretty cool and be sure to check out another blog post that I’ll post all about him later on. Who knows, maybe he’ll end up spending his winnings on his students…I mean, $100 can buy a lot of pizza, right? 🙂