Event Planners Embracing Social Media and Event Apps

It’s no secret social media has made a lasting imprint on the events industry – it’s become one of the dominant marketing methodologies for any event or meeting planner as an individual or as part of a bigger firm. Here are five tips for marketing events via social media and/or to improve the perceived value of your event with your attendees.

5 tips for marketing events via social media:

1. Let Freedom Ring at your Event:

Embrace social media as your attendees certainly have – don’t try and fight the momentum by corralling your attendees too much. Build in social sharing for and with your attendees and enable this by making sure your event is “social ready”. With a Twitter video screen in the front of the room (if large event) coupled with specific hashtags for the actual event. Also encourage attendees to and let them post on your Faceobook wall from your event app to drive more meaningful engagement. Don’t restrict social media “attendance” at your event, promote it!

2. Staff for Social Media During an Event:

One of the challenges for your firm or you as an individual event planner is social media marketing. Make sure you have sufficient time or staffing to manage your social media marketing needed during an event. This need of course is accelerated greatly by the actual size of your event and attendance. Getting a mobile conference app can help your efforts coordinated. Along with that you or your staff should be managing an active Twitter feed during and event. Make sure you respond to questions or comments via your Facebook page. Along with that upload images and videos to your Pinterest page on a daily basis. And, the more dynamic your attendees the greater are the chance to make your event a sure success.

3. Leverage Facebook as an Marketing Platform

Facebook is a powerful marketing platform for advertising an event (great built in targeting by location, demographics and much more), as a two way communications platform (comments, likes and shares) during an actual event. Don’t forget to include a share function for your attendees after they pay for your event. It can be use as a gentle reminder to help to drive incremental visibility via their network of friends and connections. Don’t muck up your sharing an event with prizes or other inducements. Keep it light in terms of a share request: “thanks for supporting our event – please share if you want to underscore your enthusiasm….”

4. Social media engagament:

Great Event Marketing with Social Media is about Engagement not Broadcasting. Use a event planning app and assign teams to marketing activities. How many Twitter accounts have we all seen that are just an endless promotion of a brand or event? Too many in most cases. Remember that effective event marketing via social media is not marketing per sea unless it’s “educational” – the best marketing is no marketing!. Meaning, engage with your attendees and offer resources that they will share via their own connections. By, engagement, we mean responding back to Tweets or comments via your Facebook page and building rapport with your audience by doing so.

5. Be Event Apps ready:

Make sure you are using a mobile event app for your next event – your attendees are starting to expect this capability, driven in part by smartphone usage at and during events, the increased time pressures on event attendees to be more efficient before, during and after an event and the increased reliance on social media as an “always on” communications channel for sharing and engaging. Also, many of your peer firms and individuals are now relying on an event app to drive a competitive advantage in the marketplace – don’t be left out of the mix.

Event Trends You Should Know in 2023

There are so many trends that are coming hard and fast at us all in the events industry but we thought it would be beneficial to underscore six significant trends that are impacting event professionals.

Content and Context:

Events and meetings are morphing quickly to becoming places where content (presentations, interactions, Q&A sessions, break out sessions, etc.) is presented in the right context. Meaning, your speakers and presenters are sharing content in a meaningful way via a modern mobile event app that adds significant value for your attendees. Most attendees now see content as being free on the internet and they don’t want to pay for it unless there is value added somewhere in the event food chain.

Events and Meetings are Becoming Social Driven:

Whether you like it or not social media platforms are here to stay – your attendees are “live posting” on Facebook and sharing on Twitter during your event and uploading pictures and videos to their social accounts (Instagram, Vine, etc.) faster than you can say “social.” So, embrace social media and integrate it with your overall event when and where you can. This adds value to your event, lets your attendees know your firm is in tune with the times and if done right (hashtag your events as an example and invite attendees to share their thoughts) will drive value for your event.

Your Web Site is Still One of Your Most Valuable Assets:

It’s important to think about your web site and conference app as a strategic marketing asset that should be improved and updated on a regular basis. Yes, social profiles are important but the one constant component of just about every event marketing strategy is a web site. PR, advertising, registration, comments from your attendees, connections with your vendors speakers and presenter all take place via your web site. And, your web sit blog gives real meaningful voice to your business.

Mobile will Continue to Mushroom:

We admit it we are mobile focused with our event applications like an event planning app for event planners. But, look at the significant growth in mobile usage the last 2-3 years – approximately 30% of your web site visitors and social media engagement is now generated via mobile or smartphone users and the experts think this number will be over 50% in the 12-18 months. Your event firm needs to think about how to drive deeper and more meaningful engagement with mobile phone users across all of your marketing initiatives. Make sure you mobilize your event – giving your attendees a much more immersive experience.

Marketing is an Essential Skill for Your Business:

Whether you handle 3-5 events a quarter or more, marketing skills are increasingly much more strategic and important for an event company. It helps to differentiate your firm, drives long term benefits: repeat business, incremental attendees for events, drives competitive advantage, etc. And, the knowledge base for effective marketing is now much more sophisticated in years past; our industry is no longer about advertising and event via a targeted publication (local or national). To be successful today, an event planning firm must be knowledgeable about know now to leverage a content marketing strategy, web site design (basic), direct and opt in email marketing, social media marketing, video, pay per click advertising, public relations and much more.

Event App is now an essential part of your marketing mix. Your attendees are not only sitting in the audience during your event and watching and learning, they are now using Event Apps to engage with your Even: speaker info, agenda, registration and more.  As above, smartphone usage is mushrooming and probably a third or more of your attendees are now using Event Apps to participate in your event in a digital context. Make sure you can leverage this trend.

How To Use Blogging As an Effective Marketing Tool for Events

Blogging is critical for driving traffic and engagement via your web site and the very heart of any social media marketing campaign. Here are ten reasons why you want to include blogging as part of you event marketing mix that will in turn help you find more business.

Reasons to blog for event marketing:

1. Blogging drives brand value for your event company and helps you to promote your company as a thought leader in our industry. Your clients want to know you are knowledgeable about events and a blog lets you communicate with and build rapport with potential customers. The belogs also help you drive people to download your mobile event app.

2. Blogging is so critical to a successful social media marketing campaign. Enabling you to share your content with your social connections via Twitter, Facebook and even Pinterest (via images, pictures or videos) – think of a blog as core content to be shared with your connections.

3. Build in a keyword strategy with your blogging which will in turn help you to show up in search engine rankings for targeted keywords (use local or GEO targeted terms when you can) that your potential customers may use to find an event professional.

4. Involve your team with a blog – your customer service and/or sales managers (or staff) can all take turns doing guest posts via your company blog that will let them ‘talk about” a topic that they have an in-depth understanding of the best event app features.

5. Use guest blogging to help promote and or cement your relationship with vendors who you work with – guest posts will also help to give you blog a broader “voice” and broaden the topics that are being referenced. Thes can very crucial when you do conferences and show that you you can manage a wide set of audience.

6. Think about blogging as being more than a one way conversation for your event firm – comments and social sharing impart a broader reach for your blog and make your web site much more dynamic. Blogs are also very effective in promoting your conference app acceptance by the user.

How to write blogs for your event:

7. A blog is an essential part of your overall content marketing strategy – driving traffic to your site, giving you a greater “voice” for your business that will be amplified via social media as others in your industry refer back to your blog and web site.

8. Blogging can be more than text – whip our your smartphone (it’s done every day by many of your peers) and do a “VBlog” that will just be a short interview or Q&A session about a specific topic that you think customers will find interesting. Share how you benefir form the event planning app and how it makes you make your client events a success. Then, just upload into your WordPress blog or web site and don’t forget to share it via a YouTube account.

9. Use WordPress for blogging (we do) – it’s a free platform and can be easily integrated with your web site design or you can use WordPress for your web site. And, there a tens of thousands of plugins that extend the functionality of WordPress.

10. Use social media to “ask” your customers what they would like you to blog about – this will help to drive better engagement with your social media accounts and give you fresh topics to use for Blogging.

11. Remember Event App usage will be one of the ways attendees access your blog – make sure it is mobile ready and can be accessed via top tier smartphones.

A blog should again be an important component of your overall marketing strategy and tactics for your event company – it does so many positive things for your business and again, positions your firm as thought leaders and experts in your field!
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Fostering Attendee Engagement at Your Next Event

Every event planner worth his or her salt knows attendees at any and all events love to network with each other. It’s a great benefit to many, affording opportunities to learn from their peers, find and make new contacts for potential business and/or just cement new or existing relationships with execs in the event industry.

How you actually structure your event or conference has a significant impact on the networking that you attendees are able to do. Remember many attendees get bored watching yet another powerpoint presentation. They welcome an opportunity to interact with others, which in turn breaks up some of the potential monotony. So you might need to upgrade your event app for better engagement.

Here are ten ideas that should help you keep your attendees engaged at your next event.

1. Setup your table seating so those who are in similar industries or organizations can sit together – it’s great to encourage groups of people that come together to break up and sit with some new faces, which in turn fosters more networking.

2. Make sure your attendees are aware of the allocated time during or after an event that will enable them to network with each others. Keep them posted with you mobile conference app.

3. Think about using Facebook and Twitter as virtual water coolers for your attendees. Assign hashtags to your event ahead of time. Enable attendees to easily connect with and engage via social media with others. This will also help to drive greater visibility for your event.

4. Set up group break out sessions or chats during your event that are tailored for specific types of attendees that are attending your event. This helps to foster discussion and engagement and a lot more focused networking opportunities for your attendees. Use the best event app features like notifications and games to keep the ettandees engagaed.

5. Build in R&R time and breaks in your events on a regular basis – these help to keep your attendees interested in the event and some “down time” that lets them network with others, or not, depending on their interests and objectives for your event. Some may just want to take a break and off time helps to keep them refreshed and engaged with the event.

6. Use Q&A Sessions during your conferenc that will also help to drive deeper engagement with your attendees and let them get some sense of others around them (depending on the size of your event). Remember some peer to peer interaction amongst your attendees is a good thing. You event planning app will help you maintaining the database and give people share contacts.

7. Build in social time into your event – with refreshments served on a regular basis. Allow an informal meal or sit down dinner that has no fixed agenda for it and no speaker presentations during the meal.

8. Be aware of the type of space you have selected for your event – if you have a large conference or event set up some informal break out areas that let your attendees gather in smaller groups, which in turn drives networking opportunities.

9. Mix up your presentations and speakers so the event is at a varied pace, giving attendees the opportunity to listen and learn, with frequent breaks that let them relax and again network with others.

10. Have a meaningful mobile device strategy so that attendees with mobile event app. Update then to know when to use their mobile devices and when not to. You want them paying attention to your presentations and networking when/wherever possible.

If you follow these ten basic steps is should help to foster more networking for your attendees and also improve the overall value of your event – keeping your attendees refreshed, engaged and ready to come back to your next scheduled event.

Event Success is Much More than Just Attendance!

Many event professionals and marketers just measure and think about whether or not an Event was successful in terms of specific metrics with a great deal of focus on attendance. There are a tremendous number of variables that go into making an Event successful. There are multiple ways in which you use your mobile conference app to analyse event asuucess. Here is a short list of some of the most strategic issues you should review and carefully analyze to drive downstream success.

Event success measurement strategy :

  • Did you have the right Speakers and how was their presentation in terms of receptivity and enthusiasm from your attendees?
  • Did you have the right agenda and where or how could it have been improved?
  • Were the topics/subject matter covered in your events the right ones?
  • Which partner did a good job co-promoting the Event and would you want to work with them again?
  • Did you front end lead generation for attendance convert and was the budget right for a specific event?
  • Will you use event app analyze the back end feedback from your attendees and do you have the right metrics identified for improving the Event?
  • Which of your marketing channels and methods deliver the best marketing ROI for your Event?
  • Was the venue right for your Event and did you get the right kind of support and assistance from the staff?
  • Was the time of the Event right and the duration? Did you have sufficient space between speakers to give your attendees time to catch their breath?
  • During the Event what kind of attention and engagement did your Event generate via Social Media Channels? and what can you do to improve this metric moving forward?
  •  During the Event did you utilize Twitter to engage with and drive attendee engagement?
  • Was your staffing right for the size of the Event and were they able to coordiate using your mobile event app?
  • What kind of feedback did you get from the Speakers and Sponsors in terms of what worked and more importantly, what didn’t work?
  • If it was a virtual Event, how did the Event Platform work for you? Did the technology work for the attendees? and did you have the ability to poll them during the Event to make it more interactive?
  • What was the feedback from your staff using some kind of a formal debriefing after the Event?

If you look at these different metrics and analyze them carefully with some kind of an operational plan. Measurement will help you understand where the holes were and how you can improve the next Event. Make methodical adjustments to the Event itself, front and back end marketing,  speaker and sponsor participation. Use event planning app and integrate you marketing plan to generate publicity and attendee registration.

How to Use Email Follow Ups after your Event

Your Email follow up should be written ahead of the actual event. Review your event synopsis, session descriptions, speaker presentations and blog posts so you have a good sense and understanding of the event, enabling you to create a compelling email message. Here are five email follow up tips:

1. Make sure you personalize your emails by including the name, company and/or other specifics (unique details) that will make your message stand out and resonate with the recipient. You want no more than 3-4 short paragraphs in your email with a clear call to action in the message (as below).

And, the signature in the email should be from the primary contact person within your organization who had the most interaction with your attendees; not from your CEO, as this will help to personalize the communication more.

2. The event follow up email should be sent in a timely manner behind the event – no more thank forty-eight hours after the event and if possible, sent out the same night the event concluded.

This will enable your message to reach the attendee when the event was still fresh in their minds. You may want to send out daily emails to attendees who have visited your both the same day and you can use this opportunity to invite them to an party you may be hosting during the actual event. You can allign the followups and contacts using your event planning app.

3. Include a compelling offer of some type in your email that you know will have impact on the recipient – this can be a product or service discount with a limited time offer, access to some kind of a White Paper, a contest or some type of a promotion.

4. Utilize A/B testing to see which email and offer resonated with the recipient. Testing is the best way to see what is working in terms of your offer and messaging format, text versus HTML formatting (plain text can be more compelling for some), the usage of graphics in the email, button placement, the actual Headers in the message, calls to action clickthroughs and registration for White Papers. Test and retest – it will help you to improve your downstream marketing ROI. And don`t forget to link it with your conference app, to promote downloads.

5. As your recipients to comment back on your Facebook page or Twitter account what they liked or didn’t like about your Event; or, any facet of your business. Many will do this whether you invite them to or not. So, being more aggressive with your social media customer relationship marketing may help to garner some great feedback and also more followers via your social media accounts.

If you get negative feedback about your event respond back to the sender via the social media platform as quickly as possible and ask them how you can offset any problems they may have had. These negative comments via social media can be turned into a positive if handled promptly and courteously. These people will also comment publicly in most cases about and how you addressed the problem, which can reflect positively on your company. Keep promoting you custom event app using all your social media channels.

Make sure you are monitoring your social media accounts and you may want to use a third party app for monitoring multiple social media accounts like HootSuite.

How to Promote Events on LinkedIn

LinkedIn now has over 675 million members and is growing rapidly. And, recent changes to the platform (status updates capabilities, more robust capabilities for connecting to other platforms) make it a much more dynamic platform to promote your event. Most importantly, this community can drive high quality traffic and registration for any event. Integrating linkedin with your conference app will expose your event with professionals who are highly targeted for any event, if your marketing is done properly.

Using the LinkedIn Company Page

Setup a company page that is informative (About Section, Products/Services, Careers). You can now add “status updates” to LinkedIn Company pages and you have to enable (authenticate) a staff member. Once this is done you can enable status updates to this page.

LinkedIn suggest that you use status updates for news and job postings, which are good to do. But, you can also use status updates to promote your event – don’t overdo this, post no more than 2-3 times a week and make sure you have other status updates that have good content that will inform your followers and connections.

Make sure all of your staff are connected to your company page on LinkedIn and ask them to promote your event via their individual pages – the more activity the better; again, assuming your staff are updating their personal pages on a regular basis with quality content. Event planning app can help you coordinate these activities in most efficient way.

Think of the new company page as an additional social network that allows and enables you to build connections and followers, which in turn help you to promote your company and events. Use LinkedIn’s Advanced search to follow companies in your market space, that are located geographically near you, companies you do business with and even competitors. You’ll build connections over time via LinkedIn and this will help you to promote your events and drive market awareness.

Leveraging LinkedIn Groups to Promote an Event

There are several hundred thousand Groups that you can connect with via LinkedIn, although you are limited to approximately fifty groups that you can belong to at present. You want to join Groups within LinkedIn for event marketing purposes that comprise individuals who are part of your target market demographics.

These Groups are dynamic with a “water cooler” conversation component – don’t over promote yourself or your event. We’d suggest posting once a week to promote an event and start about two months ahead of your event and link to the registration page and use a URL shortener like Bit.Ly that will let you track clickthrough traffic via specific Groups – enabling you to understand which Group drove the most traffic. Use your event app sharing option for ease of use.

As your event gets close (say two weeks ahead of the event) you can post more frequently to your Groups – but don’t overwhelm the Group with posts. Also, message the Group Administrator and you might want to offer a free pass to your event to the Admin in exchange for their featuring your Event via posts to the group with a recommendation.

Use a Short and Compelling Title for your Event Promotion on LinkedIn that stands out – get creative with your Title and put a “what’s in it for me” component in the Title. Keep your Event post via Groups short and compelling – use capital letters for key words and make your post short and powerful. Use the best event app features and link all you emails with your linkedin ID.

To summarize: setup a Company Page that is complete and compelling (should resonate with your target market). Use LinkedIn Groups to generate visibility for your Business Page and to “gently” promote your Event. Make sure you do frequent status updates (2-3 every day) via your Company page – these should be informative and educational and resonate with individuals in your market. A white label event app is the best way to enhance you event promotion initives in the most efficient way.

How to Use Facebook to Boost Event Attendance

Facebook marketing is a great way to promote your event. Critical to create and build a dynamic business Page or Fan page (personal) for your company – meaning, you have to do some front end investing in your Facebook account(s) to leverage for event promotion.

Fan Page vs. Business Page

There are significant trade offs for Fan page versus a business page; the former has much more functionality but it’s “personal” and may not be the best way to build a brand for your business. But, if you and your staff have personal Fan pages you can blend your Facebook marketing to promote conference app that encompass both personal and business pages. Be forewarned, it can take much longer to build an audience of fans for a business page – requiring front end investment to build followers.

Don’t forget to “like” other business pages and “friend” fan pages of event companies or individuals who may be attendees or sponsors. Connections and engagement (recognizing those that “like” your page as an example) on Facebook help to build a “virtual community” – the more connections you have (as long as they are targeted) the more “reach” your messages will have via Facebook.

Leveraging Facebook for Front End Registration

We would recommend using status updates and promoted posts to drive front end registration for your event. Start marketing the event on Facebook 2-4 weeks ahead of your event and you might want to offer some kind of incentive in the updates and promoted events to drive a sense of urgency with your attendees.

You want to post the registration on a reoccurring basis but you don’t want to promote it so heavily that you turn off your Fans with boring repetitious “ads” for an event. If possible, try to create some kind of viral component for your event. Giving discounts to groups of people and compensating them by sharing the event planning app an individual for referring some number of her/his friends to register for your event.

Think Visual when Marketing on Facebook

Facebook is a visual platform – the vast majority of updates have some type of image associated with them. So, develop a high quality graphic to use on Facebook and your other social networks and don’t forget about adding this image to your Pinterest account and cross promoting via Twitter. You can make sure your mobile event app has links to share the images and videos.

Your graphic should be visually appealing and should incorporate the event information; i.e. date, time, web site, phone, location, hashtag for the event. Don’t just link to your home page in the graphic – link right to your registration page so your attendees can register easily.

Facebook is also a great place to post photos that are happening in real time (Twitter too) – make sure you use the hashtag associated with your event. Your attendees will enjoy seeing photos of themselves and the overall event – so, create an album of all pictures taken during the event and upload these to your primary Facebook account.

And, if you’ve taken videos during the event don’t forget to upload these to a YouTube account. Share these by pointing to them in a status update on Facebook and your Twitter account. And, you can and should also upload these videos or any images that you have taken during the event to a Pinterest Board that reflects the name of the event. Use your event app to make sure nothing is missed. You can then share the Board via your Facebook and Twitter accounts – which will drive post event engagement with your attendees!

How to use Twitter During an Event to Drive Attendee Engagement

Front end event marketing should be an integrated marketing process. Meaning, you should use Paid Promotional Services, PR and of course all social media accounts, with emphasis on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And, make sure you leverage the accounts of your presenters as well – ask them to promote your event and select a hashtag that is event specific.

During the Event whether its’ an online event, tradeshow or a standard event, a strong Twitter presence will help you to engage your attendees – make sure you have a dedicated individual who is monitoring comments (Tweets) about your Event. Though your event planning app gives you great access to socialising your event.

And, make sure you publicize a HashTag that is identified solely with your Event. This will enable you to monitor what is being said about your event in real time and you can also respond back to and/or ReTweet the Tweets to drive more engagement.

How to Leverage Twitter during the Event

  1. You will need to use some kind of social media platform to monitor what is being said and respond to these Tweets during the Event. HootSuite can be a great tool for monitoring the “conversation” during an event. It’s a low cost high value platform to utilize for all of your outbound social media marketing and/or content sharing.
  2. Make sure you respond back to questions and comments about your event. If something is interesting you should ReTweet it out immediately and may want to do this more than once during the event for emphasis. Your event app can be one point where you can ask people to share there tweets and analyse the tweets and shares ou had,
  3. Require and/or ask your staff who is attending the event to engage with your attendees by posting and sharing images of attendees before and after the event and ReTweeting their Tweets as well. This drives engagement with attendees during an event.
  4. Think about using a service like Visible Events during your Event – this provides real time tracking of your events for your attendees and can really drive engagement by motivating your attendees to jump into the virtual conversation during the event.
  5. Share the speaker’s presentation at the beginning of their session using your conference app – enabling attendees to follow the presentation and not have to worry about taking notes during the session. Make sure you have the presenter’s permission to do this prior to the event and upload their presentation before the event to Slideshare – this will also drive engagement with the speaker’s presentation after the event.
  6. Think about running Promoted Tweets during your event (there is an associated advertising costs of course). These can be a great way to expand the visibility of your event – make sure you use the event specific hashtag you have selected previously. And, make sure you have keywords integrated with the Tweets you are sending out.
  7. Recruit your vendors and attendees as part of your overall twitter marketing activities and ask them to mention our account and event specific hashtag. Ensure that you can add your vendors using the best event app features and alligned with your social media feed.

Think of Twitter as a broadcast channel held in the hands of many of your attendees. This is not an exaggeration, as 30% of status updates for Twitter are now done via smartphones. And, it’s critical to make sure you utilized a hashtag to identify your event and then use this for all Tweets about your event – ensuring attendees can follow the “virtual conversation.” The event app cost is best justified if you are able to utilise its full potential with sharing and analytics.