The days of spending a few minutes registering for an event, showing up, going to a few workshops, drinking a few free drinks, then going home are over. Social media has changed the way event planners can interact with attendees. Now, through social media, planners have long-term, nuanced, shifting interactions with event-goers.
Whether you are planning an annual convention, or a small business retreat, there are many ways social media can be used to make your event unforgettable.
Let’s take a look at some ways social media is changing the event planning landscape to get more people interested in your event.
One of the best ways to get potential attendees to interact with you early on is enabling feedback or crowdsourcing for the conference programming. A great example of this is South by Southwest and their PanelPicker process. PanelPicker is the official SXSW user-generated session proposal platform that allows the community to pitch proposals for the conference programming. PanelPicker turns over 30 percent of the programming selection to potential attendees.
Other simple ways of getting feedback from your audience are by using polls. This can be as simple as a Twitter poll, a Google Form, or a service dedicated to polls.
Almost every event out there, big or small, has an official website. However, few of them take full advantage of the free event listing and management opportunities. You should, at a minimum, create event pages on:
- Facebook Events
- LinkedIn (for business events)
Be sure to select the platform or registration software that fits with your audience. Using these tools serve as a way to communicate with your attendees leading up to the event, reminding them to invite their friends, and revealing what they can look forward to.
As your event date gets closer you’ll want to pull potential attendees off the fence, and decide to attend your occasion. Social Media Examiner accomplishes this by consistently sharing what attendees can expect at their annual conference leading up to the event. They share what speakers will be presenting and any interesting panels that are slated for presentation.
Get together and talk with your speakers to produce teaser content. Most speakers already create regular content for their audience. You can partner with them to promote the event.
Make sure you’re actively promoting the event hashtag and invite users to share their content on Twitter and Instagram. By interacting with attendees before the event begins you build buzz and personal relationships with attendees.
If your event is much smaller, and doesn’t have extensive workshops, or pre-planned speakers, there are still many ways you can energize your event-goers. For example, if your company is planning a company retreat, you can still create a hashtag that employees can use when posting photos or videos of the event. At Adlava, we take time about every six months to have a work retreat called “Adlava Day.”
During Adlava Day, our company gets together at some sort of charitable venue, such as an environmental preserve, or a food bank. We then have a working lunch where our co-workers give presentations, and we share ideas on how to further perfect our marketing strategies. Then after we are done working, we usually end up volunteering for a few hours at the charitable organization where we conducted our meeting.
Leading up to Adlava Day, we post on social media that we are about to have to go on a mini company retreat. This helps build up hype not only in the work place, but among our followers on social media. Then after the event, we post photos depicting our day, the fun we had, and us working together. This is a simple, yet impactful way to build energy around an event.
No matter how big or small the event is, social media is the optimum outlet to create a buzz-worthy occasion.
On-site experience is where social media can really make an impact and get people talking. Pick a hashtag for your event so attendees can monitor the event on Twitter and Instagram. Shorter hashtags are better. But also make sure the hashtag can survive long after the event is over. For example, the annual Life is Beautiful concert festival in Las Vegas, Nevada is a major event people from all over the globe attend. For 2018, the concert’s hashtag is #LifeIsBeautiful2018. However, the other one people use all year is simply #LifeIsBeautiful. By having a hashtag that isn’t dated, it allows people to use it year-long, making the hashtag more relevant.
But, what’s the point of using a hashtag for a small event?
Well, a hashtag is a powerful tool that centralizes discussion around your event. Using a hashtag consistently can help boost the online conversation surrounding your business, as well as keeping user excitement and engagement at a maximum level.
You can create an event within the event by running hashtag contests on Twitter during the conference. Use proper data analytics to show how many people are using the event hashtag and identify top contributors during the event. Share the leaderboard during the event and even consider awarding prizes to the top contributors.
Create your own media during the event. Use Facebook or Twitter Live and Periscope to capture key moments during the event. This will help engage people who couldn’t make it. It also creates content you can repurpose to promote future events.
Take the event content and spread it widely as possible. The goal here is to get the doubters that didn’t attend to view the content and decide to go to the next event. Create content from key moments and share small pieces of presentations on social media.
Encourage attendees to share their favorite quote or photo from the event on any social media platform. This is also a great way to promote sponsors and encourage them to partner for the next event.
Do you need help creating a website and marketing strategy for your next event? If so, we got you covered. Don’t let your next company retreat, or industry convention, become another blip on social media because of its slow website, or lackluster social media profiles. Let Adava create, design and market a brand new website for your company, as well as create a perfect social media marketing strategy that will help get that “buzz-worthy” feedback you deserve. Ignite your marketing today!