June 1, 2022

We’ve dedicated a number of blog entries over the years to the PR value of industry conferences such as HIMSS, HLTH and ViVE. These shows provide a unique forum and opportunity for us to connect our clients with key members of the media to build relationships, exchange ideas and inspire content creation (in-person!). But, there is another kind of conference that provides just as much value for our thought leadership-driven public relations work, and those are client conferences; events that our clients host for their own users.

Now, you may be thinking, client conference? Isn’t that just an opportunity for vendors to wine and dine their customers while trying to upsell them?  To some extent, yes. But, for the PR pros at Aria Marketing, it is so much more. When a member of our team attends a client conference, it gives us the opportunity for:


  • Cultivating thought leadership and pitching concepts: As we attend sessions throughout the day, we listen for ideas that can be transformed into pitches. We mine the presentations for key insights that can be woven into our media relations and for unique points of view that we can leverage to help our clients participate in industry conversations.
  • Hearing about new product and company news: Often times our marketing contacts are not aware of every aspect of a product’s road map or a business’s strategic plan. The conference gives us an opportunity to connect directly with product managers and executives who can inform us of news coming our way so that we can strategically plan our press release pipeline.
  • Connecting with our clients’ clients: Customer stories are PR gold as the media loves a good case study. Unfortunately, these are often hard to come by for numerous reasons. But, at a user conference, we can hear the stories from the customers themselves and we can approach them directly to discuss the benefits of engaging with the media.
  • Facetime with executives: We typically have sporadic interaction with members of our clients’ C-suite, so a conference gives us a chance to say “hi” and remind them of our value. As a PR agency, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle (especially with some of our bigger clients), and conferences are a great time to once again make ourselves known to the folks that keep us in business.

I recently returned from my first post-pandemic, in-person client conference in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina (I had never been!). It was a nice reminder of what I had been missing for the past couple of years and of how valuable these events are for my team and me. I came home with new ideas, new connections and a greater appreciation for shrimp and grits. So, for all you healthcare IT vendors out there, please do consider inviting your PR partners to your user conferences, and for all you PR pros, don’t forget to ask for an invite. You won’t be disappointed!

If these ideas resonate with you, and you are looking for an agency to take your company’s PR presence to the next level, I’d love to connect to talk about how our team can help. Reach out to me at rhomer@ariamarketing.com . You can also follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest Aria updates!

Blog post written by:
Ross Homer
Author: Ross Homer
Senior Vice President