We’ve been involved in Leeds Digital Festival for a long time now, running physical events pre-covid, and virtual ones during the lockdown. So when the festival returned to a physical event this year, we just had to get involved again.
Previously we’ve run our Social Media Masterclasses, but for this year’s festival, we thought we’d do something a little different.
And ‘Get to the Point’ was born.
The premise is simple. We have a range of speakers who can talk on any subject they like, but they have to follow Get To The Point’s unique set of guidelines:
- 5 minutes to get to the point
- 20 slides
- 15 seconds each slide
- No sales pitches
These constraints make for a unique format, and fast-paced, fun, and fascinating presentations.
There are no Q&A sessions at Get to the Point, so the speakers need to ensure they convey their messages as concisely as possible within our specific limitations.
We pitched the idea to Leeds Digital Festival, and they went for it. From there, we spoke to the lovely people who run our office space in Leeds, 2-Work, about holding the event there, and we were off.
Finding diverse speakers who can ‘Get to the Point’
The next step was finding speakers. At first, progress was slow, until a LinkedIn post sent one Sunday brought out the people we were looking for, and our line-up soon filled out.
One niggle was that our lineup consisted mostly of white men.
Though we’re an agency run by a white man, with employees fitting this description, The Marketing Optimist are a diverse team of people, and so we wanted to have a more diverse range of speakers, both to reflect Leeds’ incredible digital community more faithfully, and because it reflects our values.
Social media to the rescue, again. We put out a plea on LinkedIn and The Marketing Optimist Instagram account, which caught the attention of a number of brilliant speakers we’re pleased could join the lineup.
This is something we’ll work hard to address when we run ‘Get to the Point’ again.
Once we had all our ducks in a row, we created an Eventbrite page, which Leeds Digital Festival linked to, to handle the ticket sales. We also added a blog on our site with the ticket link embedded.
This gave us three promotional options for getting ticket sales.
Now the fun bit – promoting ‘Get to the Point’
The next stage was to get the word out. This involved a series of videos highlighting the idea of the event with very simple messaging which crucially has to get to the point.
All the videos were shot using an iPhone and edited in Canva, enabling us to build a consistent style, message, and brand for ‘Get to the Point’.
The initial videos were very simple, selfie-style affairs, but as the launch of the festival came closer, we stepped up our game and produced what we codenamed our “Bob videos”. Three parody videos of Bob Dyan’s iconic Subterranean Homesick Blues video.
This was a real team effort, with everyone involved in the production. I came up with the concept and fronted it. Myself and Courtney created the cards, and Chris, an ex-professional musician, wrote, played and produced an amazing Dylan-esque soundtrack.
We shot the videos near the Trinity Shopping Centre and Woodhouse Lane Car Park in Leeds, in just a few hours. Then back to the office, where we edited the footage, and added effects and a closing title screen in Canva, before handing it over to Chris to add the soundtrack.
The whole production was completed in two days, and the videos were then used on The Marketing Optimist’s LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok social media accounts.
In total, the videos received 10,868 organic views over a two-week period, and helped us sell out ‘Get to the Point’ with 3 weeks to go before the night itself.
We hoped to have a decent audience at this first event, but with the effort we put in, we ensured a full house and increased our brand exposure using a strong marketing strategy, an effective idea, and simple production and promotion.
We’re really looking forward to ‘Get to the Point” on September 27th and if you’ve got a ticket we can’t wait to see you. If you didn’t get one, well this may just be the first of many…