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Otter Talk, Marketing—Here to Help

As I start in on my first post for the Otter Talk blog, I feel the stakes are high. We have this amazing community of association event planners, and you are all helping to make the world a better place through service to your members. I don’t specialize in designing events, but I do know how to drive attendance as well as exhibitor and sponsorship sales for association events. And I want to help you achieve great things.

That’s why Beth convinced me to start sharing my marketing expertise with you as a regular contributor to Otter Talk. My goal is to help you improve your events by sharing the tips and tricks needed to reinvent some of our associations’ most tried and true marketing practices.

One thing that Beth and I agree on wholeheartedly is that we produce better results when we collaborate as a team. We uncover new perspectives. We talk through our plans and in doing so, identify the gaps in our rationale. We play off each other’s ideas. And we make each other’s ideas better. So…Here I am. Standing at the edge of an editorial abyss, wondering, “where do I start?” As a marketer, I want everything to be intentional.

Should I look into top-performing pages on our website? Or investigate trending topics? I could review competitor blogs and run a keyword gap analysis. Or spend some time on topic research to craft the most SEO-friendly blog post that Otter Talk has ever seen? (If you aren’t familiar with SEO don’t worry, we’ll cover it in a future post).These tactics are valid, but today, I have to get out of the way of myself and just put something down, good, bad, or ugly.

So, I’m going back to the basics. Before I start in on any marketing project, I always answer these questions as part of a creative brief to inform copy, creative, and distribution:

  • Who is the audience, and what are their motivations?
  • What is the goal of the project? How do I want the audience to feel, and what do I want them to do or think?
  • What will be the audience’s main takeaway?
  • What will support the claims?
  • What will entice the audience to act?
  • What should or shouldn’t be included?

Today is no different, so here is my creative brief for my contributed blog posts for Otter Talk. If you like what you see, I hope you’ll stick around and join me in future conversations. Also, the creative brief can be used as a template as you build your event plan.

Otter Talk Creative Brief


  • Otter Talk subscribers who are seeking opportunities to enhance their event.
  • CAEs–association professionals interested in strengthening their knowledge of association best practices, and broaden their perspective.
  • CMPs–meeting planners who have a comprehensive knowledge of events management and want to be more innovative with their events.
  • Website visitors who are interested in topics related to planning live events.

Purpose: We are better when we work together. Inspire a cross-departmental approach to event planning, demonstrating the inherent value of meeting planners working in tandem with marketing teams during all stages of the event planning process to build better association events.

Single-Net Impression (what you want your audience to think?): “I hadn’t thought of it that way. There’s an opportunity here.”

Proof Points: Honest lessons learned and best practices from 15-years of trade association, professional association, and nonprofit marketing experience.

Offer/Incentive: One or two actionable takeaways that association professionals can implement to better collaborate around the event planning process, and ultimately deliver more interesting, intentional, and innovative experiences for their audiences.

Mandatories: Make it simple and digestible. Cover topics that will appeal to the target audience and bridge the gap between event planners and event marketers. Some ideas for future posts that you will see:

Who is responsible for attendee acquisition?

  • What registration system is most desirable to marketers?
  • Who made this schedule? How do you market an event without a program?
  • Is your registration system impacting revenue?
  • Marketer and Event Planner Therapy. What are your biggest pain points?
  • What would Google do to reinvent your event?

Let’s Connect at EIX

Join us at our first Event Innovators Exchange (EIX) in 2020 on Wednesday, February 19th. The session, Do You Know Your Event Story?, will both teach you how to incorporate storytelling structure into your event, and how to use storytelling secrets to deliver great event messaging. Be sure to bring your marketing team along!

Want to spitball a few ideas and see how we may be able to help?

Let's Talk