Event planners are quickly learning the value of marketing with social media to attract more attendees to their conferences. All events need one thing to be successful: people. The worst nightmare of any Event Planner is to devote heart and soul into organizing a networking event only to have no bodies in the seats (virtual or not).
If you’re not convinced social media will impact your event, take a look a few reasons WHY you might want to look closer:
Create Buzz- Using social media sites like Twitter and Facebook encourages word of mouth recommendations across several niche markets. The more people talking about an event the bigger the buzz & chance of going viral.
Boost Registration Numbers -Face it, they won’t register if they don’t know about the event. The buzz created entices and gives feeling of “me too”. People want to be a part of what everyone else is talking about.
Community -Events are about networking just as much as the education is. In fact, in some cases the networking opportunity is THE main reason for attending an event. Using social media & hashtags allows attendees to find & follow some new collegues and foster relationships. If it’s a large event, Twitter has been great in helping keep track of which sessions all your friends are in & share what they are learning in real time.
Attract Sponsors and/or Exhibitors -Sponsors want to get in front of people in every form of media as possible. You can add value to your sponsorship package by including sponsored tweets or blog posts. Some of the exhibitors, such as FatBurger or Ford had as much social media exposure at BlogWorld as the keynote speakers.
Create Relevant Content - Follow the Twitter conversations going on about your event and create content around some of the most talked about comments. You can get some great ideas for blog posts and articles from what is being discussed and people are finding relevant.
Feedback – Every event could stand improvement, and what better place to find what’s working and not working than from those experiencing the event for themselves? Using social media for brand reputation is a key tool to a getting an outside glimpse into what people are thinking of the event. Be sure to respond to comments and kudos. Your community is talking about you…know show them you care and you are listening.
If you find that you don’t have time to follow through on marketing your event with social media, then look into hiring a moderator or community manager for your event. You will want someone that is going to not only publicize the fact that you’re having an event but also send out updates on new speakers and seminar subjects, but also provide “power tips” from quotes during the live event, as well as respond quickly to feedback.
Shameless self promotion: I am available to moderate and take on the role as Community Event Manager. My role for the last 3 years has been moderating large teleconference training calls and webinars as well as leading the community for a well known Internet network marketing business opportunity. If you would like more information you can reach me via my contact page or leave me a comment here.
UPDATE: Chris Brogan, a top expert on communities and social media, recently published his own article on how events can use social media. Chris touched on some the same points here and also shared how events can use video production not only for pre-event promotion but also as post-event DVD sales. There are more and more ways to become creative using social media in event marketing. A basic premise that both Chris and I share is when building a community it’s how important it is to stay engaged and keep the excitement going around the event. Chris put it this way:
Here’s the thing about communities, bottom line: if you’re going to build one, realize that you need a community manager capable of making content, capable of keeping the “cocktail party environment” going on the site, and capable of understanding potential business introductions of value that would give all involved some yield for being there.
Now you know a few reasons why you would want to use social media to market your events. Next week I’ll continue on with this series and talk about how to make your events social media friendly and the how & why attendees can use social media to their benefit.
Have some other reasons why an event would want to use social media in their marketing? Disagree with any of the reasons I’ve given? Leave your feedback in the comments. I love to hear from you!
What say ye??
To Your Success,