Conventions, Meetings and Mixers
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You may have heard about conventions or even attended one yourself. They are fun, sometimes noisy, sometimes chaotic affairs. And they can bring in traffic. Should you think about getting involved in a convention to increase traffic to your site? And how involved should you get?
We hear the word “convention” and immediately dream up images of grown men dressed as Vulcans, rabid fans vying for autographs, large groups of sales professionals descending upon Vegas to celebrate an impressive third quarter. Many, many businesses, television shows and other fan favorites have created conventions to get everyone together in one place.
Conventions are often contrived for learning, celebration, product unveiling and socializing. But are they also something you could use for your site’s visitors? How much thought have you put into conventions, meetings and mixers designed for your traffic?
Just how social should your site get?
Comic-con is arguably one of the most popular and famous conventions in the world. Once a year, fans of comic books (and comic book characters) gather to dress up as their favorite heroes and villains, to see the stars of the community in the flesh and perhaps to nab a few freebies or souvenirs for their very own. Products are unveiled, trailers are debuted and press coverage goes on for many days. But in many ways, even this famous convention is highly similar to so many others which occur all over the globe every single year.
Why are conventions so compelling? For a week, a day, a month out of the year, fans and employees are told to converge upon one spot. They are asked to buy hotel rooms, to pay admission fees, to spend their time participating in events. They’re told to be social, which in some ways can be a frightening prospect.
Here’s the strange part: they actually do it. At their own expense and in their own time, thousands travel to different conventions every single year to meet and mix with others who have the same passions and professions. Some dress up in elaborate costumes, while others attend simply to soak up the vibe (and any freebies which might be getting passed out). Some conventions offer workshops and lectures, a learning experience, while others may offer playable game demos, sneak peeks at products or other compelling draws.
Here’s the stranger part: these conventions actually work. Not all of them, but some conventions have become so big and so popular that they’re starting to get just as notable as the theme they represent. Conventions have worked for Web sites in the past -- this year alone, both Blizzard (home to the World of Warcraft) and Blogher (home to a community of bloggers) held conventions that saw large attendance and excitement among fans and employees alike. Both conventions also got another huge perk in the online world: press coverage that didn’t cost them a dime.
Does this mean conventions, meetings and mixers might also work for your Web traffic? Is it okay for you to take your online site into the offline world? How social should your site get?
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