There are so many perks of using social media that the list may seem endless. This varies, however on your ultimate goal or what you plan to achieve regardless of whether you are hosting your event in Malta or not. With so many new social network sites cropping up all over the internet, an event marketer may feel overwhelmed to say the least.
So you already have and manage your social media portals on a daily basis. Prior to an event, however, it is of utmost importance, if not crucial, that you integrate social media in your event marketing plan. Why? The main reason is that you can extend the value gained from one single event today than ever before – pre-event, during the event and post-event.
Stay focused on the prize – engagement
What you must keep at the forefront of your thinking is that engagement is the ultimate goal. It is rather pointless to waste precious time on 10 posts a day unless each of them aims to engage your fans and followers. It’s more efficient and effective to plan fewer, but more effective ones.
Hashtags are so in. (and often misused). Give delegates the go ahead to start using one, clear hashtag that will be associated to your meeting or event.
Treat your event hashtag as you would your logo. Include it everywhere – in the event backdrop, pre-event posts, all your signage – and basically any marketing collateral you are producing. The idea is to be consistent so it’s a good idea to spread it as widely as possible.
Create a sense of community
In order to engage delegates, one should create a sense of community that they aspire to being part of. You can create this sense of community before the day of the event – at times several weeks before the event – and this is where the hashtag comes in handy.
The Selfie Centre
Brand large full-sized mirrors with hashtag stickers where people can take photos individually and in groups holding quote bubbles with your event hashtag. This creates immediate engagement and strenghtens the power of your hashtag as they will further post them on their own social media profiles thus spreading the hashtag even wider.
Digital screens and SocialWall
Something that can work with all levels of social media users is the SocialWall. This is an event technology that displays any content related to your event hashtag on a digital screen that is visible to your delegates. Attendees get their own chance to see their names and posts on the big screen – and let’s face it – it’s fun!
Create photo challenges
Display various challenge cards within the event area and vary the type of challenges – always connecting them to social media via the hashtag as the main hook. These can also serve as warmers that help guests relax and ice breaking conversation starters or networking exercise.
Reward hashtag usage
Where there’s a challenge, there’s usually also a reward. Create a form of social currency where one use of the hashtag results in a reward. You can set up a Twitter-activated dispenser that releases a gift everytime one of your delegates uses the hashtag. This could include upgrades to VIP treatment during the event itself to create even more aspiration and engagement.
Engage via polling
Many conferences and meetings will inevitably have some form of ‘question time’. In order to facilitate Q&A time, try combine in-app polls where attendees ask questions or comment without having to raise their hands – pretty neat, huh?
Engage your speakers
This one might sound pretty obvious, but it would help if you first manage to engage your event compere, panellists, speakers and keynote. Not only can they drop hashtag hints during the event – but they will most likely be influencers who might take the engagement and exposure further. This one’s powerful.