I've written before about the value of starting a special "Week" for your niche or brand. ACDIS, an HCPro division, stages its annual Clinical Documentation Improvement Week Sept. 16-20 and will include CDI Week festivities, and insights into the yearly CDI Survey through daily Q&A's.
Business Management Daily had a SIPAward-winning Leadership Challenge Week with special activities each day. There's also Teacher Appreciation Week in May and—now that I googled it—many other national "Weeks" for almost everything from farmworker awareness to eating disorders awareness.
Add to that list Women in Events Week from Access Intelligence's Event Marketer. While they already had a Women in Events print feature, the special 2018 Women in Events Week brought it to life, according to a 2019 SIPAward-winning entry for Best Product Launch/Relaunch Success from Rachel Boucher, an executive editor for Access Intelligence.
"For more than a decade, Event Marketer had been profiling 10-15 outstanding female event marketers from some of the world's leading brands in an annual special report," Boucher wrote. "Last year, our editorial team transformed the franchise into a week-long series of experiences across 15 cities that engaged more than 1,000 industry women in panels, presentations, professional development and networking activities that ultimately generated [thousands of dollars] in sponsorship revenue."
Some reasons for its success:
They listened to their audience. "We had conducted closed-door roundtables with small groups of women for years who had been yearning for more opportunities to connect and learn from one another," Boucher wrote. "This event series answered their call, while simultaneously providing our publication with an opportunity to engage like-minded sponsors and create new revenue streams."
They thought out of the box. "There were also unconventional networking functions like sneaker art classes (pictured here) and offbeat museum tours." In their smaller markets, they hosted "no-host" happy hours that in some cities exceeded capacity.
It put editors front and center. Editors traveled to four target markets (San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Atlanta) to host full- and half-day conferences featuring panel discussions with the women featured in the articles, professional speakers and authors, live Q&As, trends presentations and lively supper clubs.
Wide-ranging and hard-hitting content. Their content ranged from professional development tips to sexism in marketing and advertising to industry trends to confidence-boosting, and that invited a wide range of candid questions and comments which they encouraged. Women appreciated being in a place where they could be honest and feel safe expressing their thoughts, Boucher wrote.
If it's Event Marketer, there's strong video. A 50-second video on the Women in Events Week site flashes 2018 highlights across the screen, revving up everyone for this October with a map showing the new cities. "One week. 20 cities. Unlimited connections." And, of course, a call to action at the end. They have perfected this type of everyone-jump-in-the-pool video.
Innovative revenue ideas. They leveraged an additional layer of sponsor engagement with "small-scale private roundtables that engaged the brand and the agency community." This opened up the program to another industry community and another revenue stream.
Supporting editorial content. The content doesn't begin and end with the special Week. In January, Event Marketer reported on their second annual Women in Events agency roundtable, featuring seven of the industry's top female agency executives. "From getting noticed to getting heard to getting the promotion and more, the women shared their best tips, anecdotes and personal stories of what they've learned on their way to the highest reaches of their agencies." Some content is sponsored but still very strong—like a Q&A (shown here) with two of the executives.
An amazing special report. "In our biggest special report ever, we present the industry's brightest minds and take you inside closed-door roundtable discussions spanning exclusive insights on building a career, boosting confidence and embracing the women's movement." They go on to recap Women in Events Week, profile top agency women and offer conversations with top industry sponsors (sponsored).
This is an actionable blueprint for a program to cater to a niche with first-rate content, in-person networking, deep sponsor involvement, and year-round engagement.