There is no doubt about it; event planners must use social media and tools to get the word out about their events. If this is news to you and/or you need to brush up on social promotion basics, read this article by Hubspot’s Rachel Sprung.
If you are ready to boost your promotion efforts, these tips and services will get you going creatively.
Tips and Tricks:
1. Create shareable, dynamic video.
If you are relying on text, you’re behind the times, to get people’s attention online you have to use images and video. If well executed, video is the best way to catch your potential attendees’ attention. Your promo video should emphasize the benefits of the event to the potential attendees, they want to know how your event is going to change their lives/careers/businesses. Flashing pictures of your speakers and the venue alone won’t cut it. Testimonials from last year’s attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, or anyone involved in your event are a good starting point.
2. Bank on your speakers for great social content before and during the conference.
What better way to build up buzz for your event than to give “free samples.” Invite your event’s speakers for interviews, guest posts, and/or tweet-ups prior to your event. Not only will you draw attention to the value of your event and drum up interest for specific sessions, but you’ll also help prepare attendees for discussions during the event and provide them with fuel to spark networking opportunities. During your event, you can foster engagement by asking your speakers to chime in on Twitter threads or offer alternative perspectives in the event newsfeed, adding immediate value to sessions.
3. Use Twitter, but be creative.
Promoting your event on Twitter is nothing new, but your prospective attendees will appreciate (and respond to) a creative twist. Why not build a Tweet contest around your event? For rewards you can give away free VIP access, free accommodation, lunch with the keynote speaker, or just a few tickets. Giveaways will get people excited about your event and help build some buzz in the critical few days before your event. Alternatively, you could arrange pre-event tweet-ups to ignite discussion on a key topic that will be covered at the event. In either case Twitter is a versatile platform and your tweets should reflect that.
Cool Tools and Services:
This is the social network for event attendees. Social activity is built around various events, which planners can add to the database of upcoming events. Within the community members can discuss and share before, during, and after the event. This platform also enables people who cannot attend a particular event to follow it and interact with relevant discussions and links. This is a great way to build a following from year-to-year.
Like Lanyrd.com, Conferize allows people to explore events and track them. The spin here is that Conferize emphasizes speakers as well so that prospective attendees can track the activity (past and present) of speakers they are interested in. This tool may be a great resource for building buzz if you are featuring your speakers during pre-event promotion. On this note, encourage your speakers to update their profiles here and begin engaging for the event.
While not strictly a promotional platform, Picatic is a cool way to crowdfund your event. The freshness of the method can be a great selling point for all or part of your event. Additionally, supporters of crowdfunded events tend to be evangelists for your event and will help promote the cause to their social networks. You may not fund the entire event this way, but special activities or speakers come to fruition with minimal risk using this platform.
What tools and/or creative techniques have you used to promote an event successfully?
In the last two posts, we’ve mentioned engagement a bit. But, the frequency and quality of participation of attendees at your event is the barometer of event success, and the subject deserves more attention. Next week, we’ll be featuring services and tips for making the engagement levels at your next event go through the roof.