Lee Odden

19 Ways to Promote Your Next Speaking Event

conference speaker marketing tipsAttending and speaking at conferences can be a goldmine for content, networking, publicity and lead generation. While many companies might rate a “B” on achieving these outcomes, the speakers could do a lot better by effectively promoting their presentations. The more people that attend a presentation, the more opportunity there is for:

  • Your session to be liveblogged or covered by an industry journalist
  • To persuade prospects to contact you
  • To persuade clients to explore other services
  • Attract new employees
  • Inspire new vendor and partner relationships

There are many other possible outcomes, but I think you get the idea. Here’s a list of 18 ways to promote your next speaking engagement and possibly make it a more meaningful and relevant experience for those attending.

  1. Submit to event listing websites like Upcoming and lanyrd
  2. Contribute a guest post to the conference blog
  3. Run a house ad in your newsletter
  4. Publish on your Newsroom
  5. Promote the event on your own blog
  6. Publish a “Top 10 List” of resources relevant to your industry that would cause those resources to link back to you
  7. Distribute press release(s) through a news distribution service (We like our client, PRWeb for that)
  8. Create a fulfillment piece (Report or Guide) to act as a giveaway for promotions and during the presentation
  9. Find a way to identify attendees and make them an offer
  10. Incent any tweeting or liveblogging during the session
  11. Guest post on other industry blogs & mention your session
  12. Collect speaking endorsements
  13. Run Social Ads on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (appropriate to your audience)
  14. Do a giveaway during the session
  15. Ask attendees of the session to do something, where the outcome is a creation that benefits all, & recognizes the participants
  16. Promote your speaking testimonials from conference organizers, industry influentials and attendees
  17. Invite journalists and bloggers that are on the press list to sit in on your session and then do an interview after
  18. Tweet and update Facebook, LinkedIn that you are speaking, about what and when. Tweet during the intermission right before your session using the conference #hashtag. Many people don’t plan what sessions they’ll attend and “go with the crowd”. A last minute tweet may catch their attention
  19. At the end of your presentation, mention the next event you’ll be speaking at

What did I miss? What tactics do you find to be the most effective for promoting speaking events at conferences?

PoorSo SoOKGoodAwesome (5 votes, average: 3.60 out of 5)

Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Avatar Markus Jalmerot says

    If you want to make a 20 list, here is another one:
    -Promote a video on YouTube or Vimeo from an earlier presentation you did.

  2. Hi Lee,

    Ask questions on Twitter et al asking what you should discuss at the event.

    That works several ways:

    1. you get attention
    2. you can use the info for the sessions
    3. you can refer to twitter followers at the event to DEMONSTRATE that you listen to your peers.

    See how it works?


  3. Hey Lee,

    What about video recording the presentation and presenting it on your blog the
    following week.

    This could be a great way to show your human side to those who could not attend the

    I know I feel more connected with the blog site when there are audio or visuals of

    • David: I always tell myself to do this and most often, don’t (sadly). I have however presented at several events where the conference organizers make the recording available.

      Great tip! And would be a great addition to a Speaking page!

  4. Avatar David Rosen says

    What a great checklist!  I’d add creating a LinkedIn Group that’s focused just on the topic of your talk, then invite the people who were in the room to join and continue the conversation after.  It deepens that feeling of micro community and their air of exclusivity is attractive.

  5. Lee, if there’s anyone who doesn’t miss much, it’s you! But here’s one I could add: add it as a link in your e-signature… and/or include a link to a video of you speaking that can help get more speaking engagements. I’ve been using WiseStamp for a while and I added a link to a video of my speaking at What’s Next DC earlier this year. Amazing how many people have watched it because of that (based on emails that I got).

  6. This is so diverse, love it.  To work with your points about conference planners and testimonials, I also suggest:  -make the request for a testimonial from a conference planner a key part of your whole conference speaking preparation.  Add it on to whatever prep checklist you work with i.e. “Got my laptop, got my backup extension cord, got my backup mic, got my session hashtag, and gotta get my testimonial from X!”  — especially in those cases where the speaking gig may be an ‘industry mission of love’ aka nonpaid.  As long as it is authentically provided by the conference planner, a testimonial from a conference decision maker like that can be useful for more speaking opportunities. p.s. I’m undercaffeinated and a bit punchy.

  7. Avatar Michael Pranikoff says

    Hey Lee,

    Great tips as always. 

    Of course, you know me, I think you could do better on #7. – just sayin’ 🙂

    – Michael

    • You know Michael, that’s true. I should have included TopRank’s press release optimization services to go with that PRWeb press release. 🙂

  8. Hi Lee,

    First off, great list of tips!

    Can you elaborate on this part: “Create a fulfillment piece (Report or Guide) to act as a giveaway for
    promotions and during the presentation” If by this you simply mean something like, download my ebook (containing key takeaways from your session), then I’m good 🙂

    Personally, I make it a point to take pictures with the attendees even as a speaker. Then, I publish a recap post of the event with an Animoto video containing the photos. In there, I include a pdf download of the key points from my talk. By and far, these are some of the most visited posts (from the attendees of course) and I get a pretty good subscription rate to my blog/newsletter as a result.

    Here’s an example “Thank You” post that I wrote for a Real Estate Association along with a 8 page pdf download with key points from my presentation:

  9. Always contact promotions people at radio and TV stations to see if they are interested in attending or covering your event.  You might be able to get on a public service show, or at least get a free PSA.  If you’re looking to promote online, another site you could use is eventsnearhere.com. You can post free event ads there, and each ad gets a QR code that you could print out on flyers etc.