In monitoring the Twitterverse recently, I came across a tweet from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (@HIMSS) offering free VIP registration to those who will blog/tweet during its Virtual Conference June 9-10 about the event. How interesting!
You may be skeptical of this tactic at first: Offer registration—VIP registration, at that—for free, just because someone has agreed to tweet about us? So not worth it!
I disagree, though, for two key reasons.
First of all, blogging and/or twittering during your conference is an important component of your event promotion and marketing; plus it's a great way to engage your attendees. But with decreased event budgets and staff, you may not have the resources available to dedicate to social media for your event.
Why not get some attendees to do it for you? In fact, having it information about your conference come from a third-party may be perceived as more useful to other attendees anyway.
Second, the search for getting people to provide real-time commentary on your event will garner coverage in and of itself. HIMSS's offer alone has been retweeted over 10 times in the past 20 hours among twitterers. Obviously, their offer was an easy and inexpensive way to get some buzz going about the event.
Integrating social media to your meetings and events is a growing trend with a number of benefits. If you don't feel ready to take on the task yet, or at least not completely on your own, then enlisting your attendees who already have a passion for social media can be a good option for you.