Using social media during events is a no-brainer, but I find that many events still fail to take full advantage of all that social media has to offer. There are many possibilities, so here is just the tip of the iceberg based on my experience over the years.
Get the most out of your Twitter handle
Connect your Twitter handle to your registration system such that it tweets out a message like “I just registered for the SAP WorldTour. Will I see you there? [add URL]“. This is a very powerful way to get more attendance. Also distributing discount codes, tickets and early birds via that method is equally effective. Make sure you include a field in which attendees can enter their Twitter handles on your registration page. You may also want to include a checkmark box that gives you permission to promote their attendance. Then you can connect with them, retweet their tweets and publicly thank them for registering for your event.
Facebook as a visual repository
Facebook can be used for your event from adding photos, to inviting guests, to collecting RSVPs, the site makes it easy to get people together for your event. You can also link the Facebook page of the event to your Twitter handle, to attract more traffic to your page. Make sure you engage with your fans! Post real-time updates and answer posted questions, tag pictures and encourage attendees to vote by “liking” the best wall posts and offering a Facebook-only discount for Facebook “likers”. After the event, you can provide an event recap with photos and video. Thank people for participating, collect feedback by posting “Questions” or a survey link, and invite them to stay connected by subscribing to your company’s blog or e-newsletter.
RSVP your event on LinkedIn
Once you’ve done that, you can point out whether you are presenting, exhibiting, attending or organizing the event. Communicate the LinkedIn RSVP Page and encourage people to ”RSVP” so their networks know. Start up a discussion asking for input/feedback on your event and add a link To your event. The great thing about using social tools like LinkedIn is that word spreads quickly – even to people you’re not connected with.
Encourage people to share via Foursquare
Via the check ins, you can see which areas of your event are most popular and lets attendees find each other and meet easily. When users check-in to locations, they earn points. These points can be converted into for instance discounts for other upcoming events. Or reward the first person who checks-in. Another possibility is to use Foursquare badges. Although this won’t be an option for most events, it’s definitely worth looking into. Be imaginative in your approach, think about how attendees would earn their badge or what the badge entitles them to.Whatever you choose make sure you announce it well beforehand to maximize the buzz!
Video and Audio Materials to Drive Awareness
Creating a video of your best presentations is a great way to build awareness of your event, and a way to give your sales team something to talk about when calling up prospects. It’s also a great way to help prospects realize what they can expect when coming to your event. Consider the difference between a printed brochure with a bunch of heads on it versus a series of video posts that show highlights or the entire presentation of presenters.
Monitoring the conversation around your event is critical
Tweetdeck for instance makes this simple by allowing you to monitor several keywords, hastags, and people at once. You can also set up Tweetdeck on large format monitors for attendees to see what content is buzzing in the twitterverse while they’re at your event.
As said there are lots of ways that social media tools can add to the experience. Events extended by social media get talked about more, get more coverage and get more exposure. If done right, your event can become a global experience!