10 Reasons Social Media Matters to Event Planners
Social media can shape the reputation of your events and your organization. Events and conferences are largely successful over time because of their good reputation with sponsors and attendees. In that regard social media represents a huge opportunity to improve your reputation and success.
Social media is the perfect medium for people who like to attend events and conferences because it has the main two components that draw people to events and make them successful - networking opportunities + great content.
Many attendees that are using social media are likely to be talking about the event before, during and after the event whether you know it or not. This is especially true if your event has a large audience that share similar interests and are already engaged with one another on social media. As the organizer, you should be enabling, participating, and encouraging this engagement.
Promoting events on social media is a powerful way to drive attendance. There are 1.49 Billion daily users on Facebook, 500 Million daily users on Instagram and 590 Million users on Instagram. Want to reach some of them for your event?
Word-of-mouth marketing has new meaning with the advent of social media. Event planners can mobilize registered attendees to reach out to their social networks to invite their friends & colleagues to register for events and conferences. Before, viral marketing would require attendees to actually pick up a phone or proactively send an email to their contacts whereas today, attendees can share your event with thousands of contacts at the click of a button. Use images, pictures and custom graphics along with posts about your event for greater impact.
One of the most beneficial aspects of social media for event planning is that users self-select what topics they are interested in and show you through their engagement what they care about. Think of social media as a preview focus group. They do this by joining discussion groups on LinkedIn, becoming fans of pages and brands on Facebook, tweeting about specific topics, and sharing content they find interesting. Understanding and identifying this information is a great way for planners to target the ideal attendees based on their interests rather than just traditional criteria like job titles and organizations.
Online forums on social media allow attendees to communicate and collaborate before and after the event. this changes the dynamic of the event in a positive way, as more meaningful dialogue and participation can occur if attendees have a higher common knowledge point at the start of the event.
Mobile applications are feeding the frenzy by making social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram easily accessible during live events. This not only increases social participation of your live audience, but now, all the people on the web who weren’t able to attend the event in person can now follow the live updates and engage leading to greater reach and ultimately driving attendance at future events.
Designate an event hashtag and include on all signage, handouts, emails, follow-ups etc for a focused message that is united online.
Keynote and guest speakers are prepared to tailor their message to the audience knowing that immediate feedback about their presentation is being posted in real time via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Attendees are now empowered to become reviewers or critics of events. When they are armed with social networks that act as a global online publishing platform, attendees can easily publish their feedback for the world to see.