by Ioana and Raluca
So, why did the chicken cross the road? To attend an event, of course, one well thought-out wonder of a gathering that would send the chicken and all of its feathery and non-feathery pals abuzz. Well, when buzz’s the word, plan’s the sword by which chaos – the greatest enemy of all events – will perish.
A plan, dear friends, is the secret to reeling in the crowds. It will keep them connected and engaged, head over heels in love with your ideas and plans and coming back screaming for more, more, more…. :-). Provided, of course, that you don’t forget to fit social into it with ample room to develop and to incorporate spontaneous bursts of creativity as well.
Like all good stories, the social@events one relies on a strong BEFORE, a stronger DURING and a memorable AFTER. Where do you get that? Read on:
- Where and who and why? Based on the topics you are planning on approaching during the event, create a calendar of Facebook and Twitter posts inviting your target audience to register and participate in the conversation. You could, for instance, come up with a short video to motivate attendees to join you, raise interest in the event agenda and in your key speakers. Creating an event on Facebook and managing all your event communication there is a good idea as well.
- Where’s your message at? This is to say that you need to make sure your event’s landing page contains links to the social properties you are planning to use. Also, don’t forget about the birdies in this story and do include your unique event hashtag (e.g. #awesmegaloreyay!) or your entire Twitter feed on the respective page. Make sure the hashtag is also featured on all your materials (venue, promo materials)and presentations.
- Is that you? Back to the buzz: you need to put a name on it so you know it’s yours. So, choose your event hashtag wisely and tweet a lot to promote it. If you’re partnering with influencers, invite them to do it as well. If you’re sponsoring a bigger event, use the already created hashtag to announce your presence and the awesomeness (speakers, contests etc) that will unfold at your booth
- R.E.S.P.E.C.T! Once you’ve gotten to know who your participants are, send them a thank you e-mail also including the social accounts that you’ll be using during the event as well as the event hashtag. Encourage them to use the hashtag during all activities you’ll be organizing on your on social channels as well.
- How much is a lot? Make sure you have the right measuring tools in place to see whether your efforts paid off and to identify areas of improvement. Believe us, you can always do better and numbers will show it! Also, keep in mind the objectives you set off with, the metrics that you chose to concentrate on and any benchmark (i.e. prior events of the same scale) that might help you draw a comparison.
- Rock the social stage. Tweet about your speakers, customers and influencers. Engage in conversation with them, re-tweet interesting content: quotes and graphs make really interesting and sharable material. Posting on Facebook a photo or video content that gives your followers a sense of what’s happening on site will keep the ball rolling as well. Briefly put, chirp like there’s no tomorrow!
- Mind the gap. Monitor conversations around your event so as to be able to reply to questions related to your products or agenda. You might want to know the backstage details of the events, such as wifi passwords, location of your booth, speakers etc so you can send directions out promptly.
- Show the magnificence within your content repositories. Make sure you pre-can plenty of tweets/posts focusing on assets that you want to promote: ebooks, videos, infographics…don’t be shy! This is the perfect opportunity to showcase them all!
- Do we have a winner? Contests are great at events, especially for driving visitors and engagement. You could, for instance, invite attendees to re-tweet a picture of themselves next to your booth for a chance to win various branded items. Take it one step up with Vine and organize a contest around the coolest video highlights from the event.
- Drop it like it’s hot – don’t forget about all the other cute stuff you could tweet/post about while at an event 😉
- Signed, sealed, delivered. Upload photos from the event and take the opportunity to remind participants of the main topics discussed and thank them for their participation.
- Now what? If you’re going on a tour, post and tweet details of your next location to start engaging with the local audience.
- Question a day keeps the doctor away. Ask participants to pitch in ideas for improvement or development of future similar events.
- Will you? Get a sense of the brand love out there by asking participants to post or tweet a photo of any item proving their presence at your event. That’s bound to be more persuasive than a mere statement about the size of your audience. If the trinket’s worth keeping, than the event’s worth going to, don’t you think?
Now that we’re all set, shall we do it like this?
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net