Social media is a powerful platform for extending the event brand to a much wider audience. It may even help to grow meeting attendance for the next year. There are many ways social media can not only touch on the innovation of your event but also extend its value. Here are a few:
Engage the audience
For many events—those with experienced, motivated and social participants—conversations on social media channels occur organically. For others, event organizers have to take a more active role in stimulating the conversation. Meeting planners can and should be active on social channels during the event to address comments or requests and to act as roving “social” reporters. When event managers engage their visitors online, it demonstrates that social media is an important communication channel.
Social media is a great way for event managers to promote their event and for exhibitors to drive traffic to their booth. Social media allows you to spread awareness and interest before, during and after the event. Promoting through social media in not only low cost but there are numerous platforms to choose from. Linked In is one of many of these platforms. It allows you to connect with people in your industry and to also support one another to make your industry and event thrive.
For social media to be most effective at an event, organizers should provide the best tools and encourage social media use to attendees.
Provide the best tools
Any device with a browser or native app allows attendees to access social media platforms from the trade show, conference or meeting. By integrating a mobile app with social media, attendees can easily tweet and post about the show more easily by embedding hashtags in messages automatically. This allows organizers to monitor the messages more efficiently. Providing a mobile app also allows your event to live on after the event is over. Attendees can still connect to one another through the app and social media outlets that are connected to the event. Event organizers are able to keep the excitement going on social media pages and keep the attendees engaged well after the event has ended.
Encourage social media use
Event managers can do several things to motivate attendees to tweet and post on social media channels during the event:
- Educate attendees on “how to” access social media channels on the mobile event platform to increase participation from the "newbies."
- Project live Twitter feeds (of the conversations taking place using the official event hashtag) or Facebook posts (from the event’s Facebook page) onto screens within the meeting environment to motivate attendees to participate.
- Remind people to tweet and post during various intervals or via broadcast messaging on the mobile event guide to boost activity.
- Make social media usage a condition of on-site game play or reward individuals who tweet and post the most during the event to ignite social conversations.
- Issue a general “shout out” for all attendees to tweet so that the event starts to “trend” on Twitter as a way to excite the audience.
Social media has become an important way for planners to increase the visibility of their events and promote communication. Most of the access to social media channels during an event is through mobile devices. By deploying a mobile event guide that integrates social media functionality directly into the platform, planners can take a more active role in facilitating, encouraging and tracking usage. Cultivate enthusiasm at your next event with social media to ensure your event remains innovative and your attendees remain connected.