The Essential Role Of Social Media In Event Management
Thanks to BlueCotton for this great guest post!
It’s a great time to be an event organizer. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter have made things easier than ever - we’ll explain how.
Event management isn’t a career that you get into if you aren’t a people person. It’s social by nature - you’re equal parts gracious host and energetic emcee; you’re responsible for managing people as much as you are for managing logistics. It stands to reason, then, that social media would have a marked, noticeable impact on the events industry.
“Social media is the perfect medium for people who like to attend events and conferences because it has the main components that make these conferences successful - networking opportunities and interesting content,” writes Cvent’s Eric Eden in a 2011 blog post. “Most attendees are using social media sites today, and they’ll probably be talking about the event in advance, during the event, and after the event on these sites, whether you know it or not...It looks strange if the organizer is not enabling, participating in, and encouraging that engagement.”
Let’s talk a bit about how you as an event organizer can accomplish that, and why if you’re not on social, you’re not doing your job effectively.
Prepare and Promote
There’s a good chance you’ve already heard hordes of people trumpeting the power of social media as a marketing tool. Word-of-mouth marketing, it’s said, is the most valuable way to generate leads and foster a positive brand reputation. If you get people talking about your business and your brand, they’ll pretty much handle your marketing for you.
Events are a great way to get people talking - but social’s also a great way to get people talking about events. By promoting your event across the social networks used by your desired audience, you’ve the potential to significantly improve attendance. Marketing’s only the tip of the iceberg, though - far more valuable is how you can help attendees engage with your event.
Enhance and Engage
Back in 2013, Nissan attended the Geneva Motor Show. It was an impressive, 10-day-long display, and the automotive manufacturer masterfully used a wide spectrum of social networks to make the experience more interesting and interactive for its attendees. It yet remains one of the best examples of how you can, if you’re innovative enough, use social media to connect with your guests on a previously-unforeseen level.
Nissan offered hubs where guests could share their social experiences. It included sharing stations at its vehicle displays that allowed guests to quickly and easily upload photos. And throughout the event, it shared relevant content across all social channels.
And Nissan was only an attendee. Imagine what you might do with more control. Especially with the current prominence of mobile, it seems foolish not to at least try, no?
The topic of social media’s role in event management is a rich one, and far deeper than we’ve time to discuss here. This piece is simply a primer - a resource to get you started. We’ll leave you with this infographic detailing a few of the ways you might tap into social for your own event, and with some simple advice: get creative.
Think about how your guests use social media in their day-to-day lives, and incorporate that into your events. It’ll be a bit of work, sure...but it’s well worth the effort.