Using hashtags properly will increase engagement and attendance at your conference or event.

I got the chance to sit down with the founder of Bizzabo Alon Alroy in New York City this week to discuss his app and a few tips to help socialize events more effectively using hashtags. Structuring your hashtags in the right way will increase social buzz, user participation and can even accelerate attendance in those crucial final days before the conference. Here are a few tips from Bizzabo on creating and promoting hashtags that will achieve these goals.

How to Create Your Hashtag

Relevant: Make sure the hashtag is related to your event and will be easy to remember as well as spell. If the event is using a mobile app or platform like Bizzabo, it can be helpful to have the hashtag stream directly in the app so users can join right in.

Unique: It’s important to pick a hashtag that’s not currently being used or can have many different audiences. Choosing the hashtag #tech for a conference called Tech Startup Conference 2013 can (and will) result in 20+ irrelevant tweets per minute. Instead, using a hashtag such as #TSC13 will allow the event tweet stream to be highly targeted with a very low possibility of getting off topic tweets or users.

Short and sweet: Concise hashtags are not only easier to remember, but give event attendees more character space when sharing on Twitter (though there’s no limit on Facebook). If your event has a longer name like “Social Media Marketing World 2013”, turn it into #SMMW13

Thoughtful: Not every event name or topic will sound good as a hashtag (case in point: the Susan Boyle album party- #susanalbumparty). It’s also a good practice to make sure that the hashtag doesn’t coincidentally form a word in another language, which could result in two very different streams colliding.

How to Promote Your Hashtag

Promote Away: Your hashtag won’t mean anything if nobody uses it! Promote the hashtag by having it everywhere- your event website, marketing materials, advertisements, dedicated emails, the event’s mobile app, social networks, newsletters and every other channel used to reach attendees.

Listen: The hashtag will not only be a way to get attendees to engage with the event, but to get attendees to engage with each other. You’ll be able to track the conversations and not only get good feedback, but possibly even address some of the top topics and issues discussed online in the conferences’ content itself.

Get Creative: Hashtags are still a new tool, so don’t be afraid to experiment! You can offer discounts, create contests, or broadcast curated streams.

Use these tips to develop hashtags for your next conference event to get traction on social media and increase sharing, participation and attendance for your next event!

A little more about Bizzabo…

I had the chance to test-drive the Bizzabo mobile app and it was very intuitive and easy to use. And since it is a free-mium revenue model, I can’t help but recommend this to anyone considering a mobile app for their conference event.

For Attendees

As a frequent conference attendee, my goals are to generate new connections, facilitate connections for others, learn from the speakers and have fun! This app truly provides all of this with in-app messaging between attendees, social network integration for easy social media updates with conference hashtags, and an interactive scheduling feature that updates last-minute changes in the conference syllabus.

Alon showed me how a recent Marketo conference generated 650 social mentions with over 452,000 potential impressions using the Bizzabo app!

For Your Business

As a conference host your goals include selling sponsorships, increasing attendance and provide a great experience for your everyone. The Bizzabo app provides another channel for sponsorship coverage that is probably much more effective than the branded ticket lanyard! Bizzabo also provides a valuable lead-generation feature for attendees that opt-in to the communication and networking feature of the app. Overall, conference hosts can use Bizzabo to:

  • Socialize and mobilize the event
  • Increase social buzz and user participation
  • Enhance communication between attendees and lead generation for sponsors

I was genuinely impressed with the app during Alon’s demonstration of Bizzabo. Take a test drive yourself to see if it might be a good fit for your next event!