I'm on deck to present "Using Webcasting and Social Media to Increase Attendance, Followers and Fans: An UNLEASH09 Case Study" at 2pm next Tuesday.

If you follow our blog, you may have seen the post that kicked this whole thing off. To sum up: We held our 3rd Annual User Conference (UNLEASH09). We created a virtual online pass for the first time. We initiated social media for the first time. We applied for a Forrester Groundswell Award for the first time. We won.

If we're any example, clearly you don't need to have big bucks and big teams to pull something like this off. Just a smart plan.

And in the process of coming up with that award application, I realized what we'd done could easily be turned into a playbook for you.

Enter next Tuesday's webinar.

In the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, compounded by travel bans, budget constraints and an all-out assault on corporate meetings, Sonic Foundry was able to achieve a 15% increase in attendees for its user conference - and more than quadruple their fans, followers and forum membership.

How? By using webcasting and social media to engage both on-site and online attendees with the event planners themselves, conference speakers and other attendees. The campaign was recently recognized with a Forrester Groundswell award, and now the conference organizers are ready to share their playbook with you, including:

  • Easy ways to use online video, webcasts and social media (including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Flickr) before, during and after the conference to drive attendance
  • Techniques to get your attendees more involved through webcasts, social sharing and event networking
  • A roadmap for what to record this year so you can market with it next year
  • Inspiration for a full year's worth of email touch points based on conference webcasts, plus an email calendar template with even more ideas on what to send when
  • Evaluation guidelines to measure attendee engagement, content viewership and conference satisfaction