Here at Eventility we have first-hand experience of helping thousands of event organisers to manage and promote their concerts, sporting events, seminars, conferences, fundraisers, clubs and groups. You name it – we’ve helped someone to run it!
As you probably already know, events and social media are a match made in heaven. Online platforms are ready-made for event management, whether it’s organising or promoting an event, encouraging engagement on the day itself or extending the lifetime value of the event for days, weeks and even months afterwards.
To highlight the many creative ways we’ve seen our members use social media to boost the success of their events we’ve put together this stunning infographic (below). Here are some of the key points in black and white.
1. Organising an Event
It’s crucially important not to think of social media just in terms of promotion. That would be a big mistake. Social media can also play an important role in the organisation of events by, for example, providing an easy way to invite people and collect RSVPs. This has the added bonus that once your invitees register, it’s easy to keep them updated and send reminders via email or SMS.
Social media also enables you to involve attendees in the actual organisation process. By asking your audience to vote for their favourite talks, speakers, bands or activities, you can build up an event programme that you know people will enjoy. By being so open and democratic, you’re also likely to increase the affinity your audience feels for the event.
2. Promoting an Event
Every month millions of people search online to discover new and upcoming events. It’s critically important to make sure that your event has a strong presence and is easy to find on Google. Getting listed is the first step – Eventility has over 37,000 search-engine friendly events listed online – but this is only part of the picture.
Social media needs to be tied in to the registration process, so that attendees are encouraged to share the event with their networks on Twitter and Facebook. As 71% of us are more likely to buy a product when it has been referred via a social network, recommendations can be extremely valuable.
3. Encouraging Engagement During an Event
So, let’s assume you’ve done a great job of getting people to your event. The work doesn’t stop there. Generating online buzz on the day itself will ensure your attendees get the most out of the event and, most importantly, help you to reach a much wider audience. People love sharing photos, videos and news from live events, using Twitter, Facebook and other tools, and each time they do they will be tacitly recommending your event to their friends and family.
Promoting the event Twitter hashtag (e.g. #eventname) and displaying tweets on a big screen or TV will encourage attendees to interact with one another on Twitter. In effect they will be creating a live, public conversation about your event. To take it a step further, you could also offer prizes to the most active (or amusing!) Twitter users present.
Social media can also be used to get persuade attendees to visit certain specific locations or take part in particular activities. For example, you could offer rewards for attendees that check-in at different locations within the venue using Foursquare or Facebook, or even run a social media scavenger hunt where attendees need to check in to a series of locations.
4. Extending the Lifetime Value of an Event
Even after the event has finished the buzz doesn’t need to stop. Uploading videos, photos and presentations to social networks will keep the event fresh in the mind of attendees and may entice others to come to future events. People tend to stay engaged for 1-2 days after an event, so that’s your window of opportunity to encourage them to talk about it online, or share your content.
What’s more, social media can be a valuable source of feedback. Take time to ask attendees what they thought about the venue, the refreshments, speakers and entertainment. You’re bound to learn something that will help you improve things next time around – and, most likely, you’ll get lots of positive feedback which you can share, or possibly even use on your marketing materials.