• Dr Emma Hewitt

5 powerful reasons why you need to re-purpose your conference talk

Updated: Nov 26, 2018

You’ve done the hard work already, brainstorming ideas, pitching to conference organisers, drafting what you’re going to say and finally presenting and networking at the event itself. So why let your hard work wither into fuzzy memories at this point? Have you considered re-harnessing that content, shaking it up a bit and letting it work even harder for you?

Rachel Miller @AllthingsIC is a great repurposing example who’s fresh in my mind. A little over a week ago she commissioned me to transcribe and summarise a panel discussion she had taken part in at an industry conference. Within hours she had whizzed it up into a blog post and shared it on Twitter, receiving likes, comments and retweets in no time at all. Her creativity and speedy turn around got me thinking about the many compelling reasons for getting your conference talks and panel discussions out there in other formats.

Rachel explained her motives for using her conference audio in this way as follows:

“I’m always looking for ways to show behind the scenes of my business, All Things IC, and share current content with my clients and readers. Being able to have the conference panel session I was on transcribed quickly and up on my blog was incredibly useful. It enabled professional communicators who weren’t in the room or watching the live-stream to feel part of the conversation. I will be in touch with Emma in future if I’m in a similar situation again as it’s a valuable service.” – Rachel Miller, Director, All Things IC.

Days later I attended Janet Murray’s Content Live event, and ever since, my head has literally been humming with the mantra, ‘Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose!’ Repurpose your videos. Repurpose your podcasts. Repurpose your blog posts. So, how can this way of working be applied to conference talks and panel discussions? I'm going to dig into this topic in a three-part blog series. Read on to hear about some of the reasons I think you should be repurposing your conference talks and panel discussions. In the second blog of the series I explore the myriad ways your conference talks and panel discussions can be repurposed, and Amanda Webb from Spiderworking shares how she’s repurposed conference talks in her biz. In the final installment I look in more detail at the opportunities you can capitalise on by transcribing your conference talk or panel discussion.

Producing paid content

No doubt a LOT of hard work has already gone into your conference talk. You might well be wary (and justifiably so) about putting the whole thing out for free public consumption. Especially if you plan on using it for more paid gigs in future. But there are other ways that you can repurpose it without just giving it away. I talked to Andrew, from Andrew and Pete about this, and his take on it was:

“We kind of see our talks as a version of our 'paid content'... so we might repurpose them into a paid product for example, or put the sessions on our membership. If it's an older talk that we did at a small gig, we might make a short YouTube video out of it. We also tend to 'rehearse' the new stuff live into our membership to test it / practice it.” – Andrew Pickering, Marketing Keynote Speaker, Andrew and Pete

Reinforcing your key messages

By repurposing your content in different formats, you give people every chance to remind themselves of, or better digest, your key messages and to connect these with the value you can deliver for them through your biz. Not everyone learns in an auditory way, so you can maximise your exposure and accessibility through the use of different channels.

Building your network

Repurposed content gives you more opportunities to enhance connections with people who were at the conference and for them to learn more about the value you bring. On top of this, it opens up possibilities for connecting with people who weren’t even at the conference, expanding your reach into a potentially global audience. It can build interest in what you have to offer and might even can also introduce the possibility of more speaking gigs.

If you’re publishing content from a panel discussion, this further enhances the possibility of building your network because the other panelists are likely to share the content with their audiences too, expanding the reach even further for all of you.

Building engagement

And of course, with connections come further opportunities for engagement and collaboration. Putting your content out there in different forms facilitate in sharing your ideas, asking questions, clarifying ideas, and so on. As Rachel Miller of @AllthingsIC points out above, it can allow people who weren't at the event to 'feel part of the conversation'.

Searchable content

I’m no expert on SEO by any means, but I do understand that effective content marketing helps to make you more searchable and written content featuring keywords is better for your SEO.

With all of these easy wins in mind, re-harnessing you conference talk seems like a no-brainer! Stay tuned for my next blog post in this series to dive deep into the ways you can re-purpose your conference talk.

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