A millennial writing about social media….weird. But really, when it comes to events and the benefits social media can provide, don’t miss out! Almost every event planner will use social media to supercharge attendance rates and get their event heard, but when it comes to the day of their event they go MIA on social media. Missing out on the opportunity to have real-time engagement with their attendees. I’m here to give you a few ways to integrate social media during your events that will build a community and make those who didn’t attend bummed they missed out.
First things first, give them internet access. Make sure there is Wi-Fi available and give them the password. This may seem like a no-brainer, but this is something that is often mistakenly overlooked. Next, create a simple yet catchy #hashtag and promote the heck out of the two throughout your entire event. Whether that be displayed on signage throughout the room, programs and even on the program slides. Don’t give them the option to forget about your #hashtag.
When hosting an event, you want your attendees to be engaged and that includes online engagement. How do you do that? It’s simple, give them event props. This is a way to give them a WOW factor that they are dying to have their photo taken with and share with their friends. Universal Studios does a fantastic job of this. They often bring in props they have used in movies like the original batmobile car. This is an easy way to make your event picture-worthy and get the selfies flowing. Whether that includes props to hold while taking pictures, large stand-up letters of your event name, unique foods, a decorative backdrop or even stand-out art displayed throughout the room. Give them something.
Now you not only have an event to run but you need to remain present on social media. This is where having a point person is a great way to not only give real-time communication during your event with your building community but also gives you the chance to control what is being posted. In the end, you have a brand and image to uphold. Having someone on “social media duty” is a great way to manage it all.
We are a competitive breed. I might be opposed to doing something, but as soon as I know there’s a competition involved, I’m in. Take a wild west themed event for example. Include a bucking bronco and see who can last the longest. This is a great way to encourage attendees to engage in event activities as well as tweeting their experience with the hashtag and posting photos of friends riding the bronco. Promote those who have participated by live-streaming those images on your program sides and incentivize with some sort of gift package.
Last, but certainly not least. Involve your speakers and make them available! These people are the reason attendees are driving 200+ miles or taking time off work to see your event. Encourage your speakers to take the time to chat with attendees on the sidelines and take pictures. These are people they look up to and idolize. Nowadays selfies are the new autographs, so dangit give the people what they want! For those who didn’t attend, promote your speakers through Facebook Live. This is a great way to show them how available they are during your event, pushing them to lock in their spot for next year so they don’t miss out.
There are endless opportunities when it comes to incorporating social media during your event. Don’t let your event be the that did a great job getting butts in seats, but when it came to real-time engagement during your event you missed out on a huge community-building opportunity.
To keeping your audience engaged,
Multi Day Conferences, Special Events and Fundraisers