Many of us are always plugged in, and research from marketing agency Tecmark even suggests that the average smartphone user looks at their phone over 200 times a day.
That’s a staggering number. And what is a tonne of that usage focussed on? You guessed it: Social Media.
A Social World
Over 500 million tweets are sent, over 80 million photos are posted on Instagram and over 1 million photos are shared on Flickr each day. So, if you could direct even just a small fraction of those posts towards your event, it could make a big impact.
Leveraging social media at your company’s events is a simple way to:
• Build pre-event buzz and awareness
• Increase event registrations
• Enhance the attendee experience and boost onsite engagement
• Encourage post-event excitement and promote future events
• Generate event ideas and feedback
Let’s dive into a simple way to reap many of these benefits with just a single tool.
Live Social Media Streams at Events
The idea is to display a real-time stream of relevant social media posts at your event from popular sites like Twitter, Instagram and Flickr.
The concept of a live social feed is attractive to many event professionals. Your attendees are used to newsfeeds. Displaying them live at your events on interactive displays is just another way to encourage your audience to comment on and contribute to the conversation. It’s a visual story of your event.
At Cvent, we call this SocialWall.
The concept is simple but can make a huge impact at your event. Build your event’s social feed by encouraging registrants and attendees to use an event hashtag. SocialWall, or other tools, will bring in posts using that hashtag. It’s intuitive and hassle-free.
Taking Your Social Streams Up a Notch
And despite its simplicity, there are some advanced features worth exploring too:
• Custom posts. You can help to drive the conversation at your events by inserting custom posts. You might use these to let attendees know what’s coming up next or as a way to promote your company’s brand.
• Sponsor highlights. Sponsorships are an essential part of putting on a successful event. One of the best ways to use these custom posts is to thank and give shout outs to event sponsors.
• Excludes. The main drawback of displaying an unfiltered feed is the risk of something unflattering being said about the event or the speaker. Although you hope your audience will maintain a sense of decorum, you might consider blocking posts that include terms like “sucks” or “boring.”
• Remove. In the event that an offending post makes it through your filters, you may consider having a moderator watching the feed to quickly remove off-topic or inappropriate posts from public display.
Together, all these features will up the sophistication of your events and allow attendees to join in on the conversation right then and there.
No matter the type of event, whether it be a conference, trade show, or industry networking session, social media integration is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s an expectation.
How else do you blend the online conversation into your offline event? Share with us in the comments section below.