I've got a client in the furniture and mattress industry who is very gung-ho about SEO. The money that they've put into their website and SEO-related investments are paying off nicely. This weekend is a big furniture expo in Tupelo, MS. The client is heading down on Saturday afternoon and coming back Sunday.
Not much time for checking things out.
But his mention of the conference brought up a few great ideas that I think can catapult his website to an entire different level, if only he had more time. So next year, I told him to invite me along, and let's plan on spending a full two days or so there. Here's what we'll do:
Take along a video camera. We will shoot everything from walking in from the parking lot to our walk around the convention itself. That video will go on YouTube with the appropriate tags. Then we'll post a link to it on the client's website.
We'll set up interviews (just short 5 minute ones) with various vendors. We'll ask them about their new products, ask them why they think they are the best, etc. These interviews will each be posted separately and will have their own 'content page' on said clients site, complete with interviewee's and manuf/vendors name. We'll use it to rank for local terms and vendors names that we don't even sell.
For vendors of products that the client currently sells, we'll videotape someone 'testing out' the mattress or bed, and then we'll ask them what they thought. The good responses will go on the website as additional fodder for that particular product.
We'll hand out tons of business cards for my client. You'd be surprised how many people we'll meet that will check out his website a few days later, and will be highly impressed at the work he's doing. Some of them will call my client, and he'll gladly refer them to me. Bonus.
There are bloggers at every convention. Scope them out and get a quick interview if possible. Tell them you'll have a full write-up of the days events on your clients' site. Hand them a card. They'll link to your stuff. Yummy industry-related links!
Speaking of write-ups, we'll do one for each major 'event' that takes place at the convention. If there are special seminars on certain items, we'll attend the ones we can and do a summary of what happened. Naturally those things will become linkbait, or sorts, for other Internet-savvy people that were at (or wanted to attend but couldn't) said convention.
The next time you talk to your SEO clients, ask them about industry-related conventions. Go to it with the thought of promoting their business as well as gaining tons of free content that is available. Since 85% (I'm guessing here) or more of the vendors at conventions aren't focusing on SEO (they're hoping to sell their widget), they'll be more than happy to spew on and on about it. Get it on tape and let them spew.
There's big money in those conventions. Even while you're there promoting your client, people will ask you who you are. "I'm Will Hanke, an Internet marketer. I'm here with John Doe and am helping him promote his widget store". You'll be handing out cards too, I promise.