4 min read

3 Key Elements of a Successful User Conference

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There’s been an increase in organizations heading back to in-person events, and while there may still be some virtual components, the live workshops, speaking panels and keynotes are back in full force. In fact, not only are companies heading to these events, but they’re also hosting their own user conferences. These user conferences enable an organization to elevate its brand while building real connections with its customers.

As PR professionals, our job is to support our clients with a strategy that excites and educates their target audience and promotes their existing and upcoming product pipeline. To ensure we’re supporting our clients and creating a plan that works, keep these three things top of mind when building out your strategy.


Press Releases

Press releases provide an opportunity to amplify the event before, during and after the conference, which helps build interest in attending. First, you want to announce the user conference by highlighting what knowledge attendees will gain from being there. Will they have exclusive access to customers, analysts or partners? Will your client be announcing a new product and have demos available for interested parties to see firsthand? Or did you lock in a keynote speaker who will be sharing vital information for those in the industry? Include those elements in a press release prior to the event to build momentum around the upcoming conference and drive registrations.

Next, think about what can be announced during the event. If there’s a plan to announce a new product during the conference, develop a press release that will be distributed in correlation with the announcement at the show.

Once the conference wraps, gather information from those who attended on what they enjoyed about the experience. Did a customer provide an unforgettable quote on their ability to see the products in person or the chance to network with others in the industry? Those anecdotes, along with metrics such as attendee numbers or an increase in platform usage, will demonstrate how successful the conference was, giving those who couldn’t attend something to look forward to next year.


Social Media

Social media plays an important role in a robust user conference strategy. Social media platforms, like LinkedIn, can help drive registrations and promote the event while creating a community for your user conference. If you want to drive sign-ups, consider a LinkedIn InMail campaign targeting prospects. Use this channel to deliver an exclusive invite that gives them a VIP feel.

Next, consider how you’ll create sharable moments throughout the event. Will there be a specific hashtag you urge attendees to use when sharing photos or updates? Start teasing that out in your social media copy well before the event and provide reminders during the conference to ensure it’s top of mind for attendees.

During the event, share pictures and videos of keynote speakers, training sessions, executive meetups or happy hours. Content with a visual element performs better on social media and receives more engagement than content without a picture or video. In fact, visuals produce a 98% higher engagement rate.


Media Relations

When approaching your media strategy, you want to think about the roles both earned and paid media will play. First, look at the key themes and talk tracks of the event to determine what messaging is going to be a priority for the client. Then, consider what paid avenues are available to you, such as Forbes Council. If your executive is part of a paid council, use that as an opportunity to create a long-form piece highlighting specific themes from the event. Using a paid avenue allows you to use messaging that addresses industry pain points while providing you with the credibility of a national publication. Be sure to take publishing timelines into consideration to ensure the piece publishes during or shortly after the event.

With your earned media approach, keep these things in mind:

  • Invitations to national, local and industry reporters need to demonstrate why they should attend. Determine if your client is willing and able to invite any interested reporter or if they only want to invite national media. Then, tailor your invitation to highlight what the journalists receive by attending. For example, will they have access to customers or a demo of a newly launched product offering?

  • Consider the press releases being announced. If your client will be releasing a new product at the event, it’s important to build awareness for the new product itself outside of the conference. You’ll want to approach the product announcement similarly to how you would for a new product launch, offering the news under embargo for those who can’t/won’t be attending the event.


Running a successful user conference takes a lot of hard work and planning, but having the right PR partner can make it less challenging. If you have an upcoming user conference and want to make it an unforgettable experience for you and your customers, reach out to see how Next PR can help.

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