Event Marketing and Twitter: Fad or Here to Stay?

US Adult Twitter Users - eMarketerI recently came across some research from eMarketer about Twitter. eMarketer found that in 2008, there were roughly six million Twitter users in the United States, or 3.8 percent of Internet users. In 2010, it projects that about 18.1 adults will use Twitter, or 10.8 percent of Internet users. Those are pretty impressive numbers!

There's a lot of talk about social media sites like Twitter these days, especially when it comes to promoting your events or meeting services. But for all the talk, is there any action? Pete Roythorne of MEETINGS:review recently interviewed to some professionals in the industry to find out their take.

Experts like Ian McGonnigal, executive director, program strategy worldwide, for George P. Johnson, and Corbin Ball of Corbin Ball Associates agree that social media and Web 2.0 is changing the face of meetings and events marketing as the two become increasingly integrated.

"This is only going to gather pace," Ball told MEETINGS:review. "Thanks to applications ranging from Twitter to user-generated content sites, we are getting increasingly used to a level of interactivity and say in our online lives, and are demanding the same from our offline lives."

Carina Bauer, marketing and operations director at IMEX, agrees. She told the publication that so far the new technologies have had a limited affect on meetings and events, but as they become more mainstream and as Generation Y enters the workforce, they will become more commonplace.

I'd have to agree that Twitter and other tools are growing in popularity. When I was writing my recent post on event promotion via Twitter—which offers five useful tips for how to market events—I found several examples of conferences and tradeshows using Twitter for promotion. But at the same time, my interest in social media marketing might have biased my thoughts on its popularity and usefulness.

So what do you think: is social media for meetings and events overrated, or will it soon be the matter of course?
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