Techweek is a national conference that takes place across the U.S. in tech hubs outside of Silicon Valley. It brings together a mix of entrepreneurs, business leaders, investors and thought leaders to showcase and celebrate innovation. Techweek NYC kicked off its inaugural event at 82Mercer in Manhattan, and quickly became a notable event for the New York tech community.
Techweek’s annual three-day event in Chicago gained a large following over its first three years, and the organization wanted to translate its success to other tech hubs in the U.S. Following its launch in Los Angeles, Techweek engaged Walker Sands to launch its inaugural New York City event.
Walker Sands was charged with building the Techweek brand in the New York City market to promote and drive tech-savvy urbanites to the first-ever Manhattan event.
With support from Techweek, Walker Sands developed a strategic public relations and social marketing campaign to raise awareness of Techweek NYC and drive attendance.
In a one-month timeframe, Walker Sands crafted and executed a comprehensive media outreach and social media campaign to generate interest from media and build an influential social media following around the event. Key elements of the campaign included:
- Outreach to top-tier media outlets to encourage them to attend, write and tweet about the event
- Informative press releases and blog posts developed to raise awareness
- Significant social media activity on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and engagement with top influencers in the social space
- On-site event coordination and social promotion during the guest speakers, LAUNCH competition, fashion show and happy hour
- Creation and promotion of the “Techweek 100” list of the most influential people in New York City’s tech scene
- “PR Toolkits” to distribute to the Techweek 100 List honorees and 30 LAUNCH participants to help them share their accomplishments among their network
As a result of Walker Sands’ work and targeted outreach, the event was well attended by active members of New York City’s tech scene. More than 50 media representatives attended from top publications like Forbes, Huffington Post, Inc. Magazine, TechCrunch, CNN, Fast Company, CNET, CNBC and Business Insider. The campaign generated more than 25 unique media placements including CrunchBase, New York Business Journal and Inc. Magazine. Walker Sands’ social media initiatives gained more than 900 new Twitter followers to the main (@thetechweek) and event handles (@TechweekNYC). Techweek received more than 350 Twitter mentions, nearly 50 of which were from top influencers or accounts with more than 5,000 followers. Additionally, Walker Sands increased Techweek’s LinkedIn audience by 10 percent and drove 200+ new Facebook Likes.
“Techweek New York served its purpose: to drive awareness and perhaps a new appreciation for how the medium is allowing geniuses and emerging talent to flourish.”AlleyWatch
In order to drive qualified participants to sign up for the LAUNCH event, which showcases startups in a live-pitch format, Walker Sands started discussions with business incubators in the city and helped Techweek generate more than 100 qualified applicants. Thirty startups were selected to present their ideas in front of a crowd of notable investors, venture capitalists and influential entrepreneurs.
The PR toolkits Walker Sands created for the Techweek 100 list honorees and the 30 startup LAUNCH participants were successful in driving engagement among influential New Yorkers, entrepreneurs and incubators. The toolkits included a press release template with a quote from Techweek’s director and social media suggestions and other promotion recommendations to maximize exposure of the brand among the winners’ networks. Walker Sands also created a special social button to allow honorees to instantly share the news on Twitter with a pre-written Tweet.
Together, the integrated press and social media campaigns drove more than 800 click-throughs to key pages on the Techweek website, including the schedule, speaker list and registration page. The campaign raised event awareness and ultimately positioned Techweek New York as a premier tech event on the east coast.