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.

Using Public Relations for Event Marketing

Public Relations or PR can be a great way to publicize your event – it’s low cost, with $300-500 including outsourcing your PR creation and distribution of your Press Release.

Before you even start on your press release activities think about what your PR goals are – what are your goals for the event (leads, brand awareness) and metrics for PR success; i.e. web site visits, tracking event attendee form requests, event app downloads, 800 number calls, etc. And, how many Press Releases do you want to do for the event itself?

Noise level issues – if you are participating in a large event as one vendor you have to think about the noise level relating to the specific event itself. Your PR is probably competing with other Event Sponsorship companies and you need to come up with something that is unique and compelling that motivates attendees to attend your sessions and/or engage with your company during the even.

A great event focused Press Release typically has these elements:

  1. It’s succinct and provides some kind of value for the reader; i.e. “attending our event will enable your business to much more successful or better informed about topic(s) that will help your business. It’s called “WIFM” marketing – what’s in it for me.
  2. Should compel the reader to take some kind of action: pick up the phone, download conference app and call you to register for an event (if limited in size), clickthrough to your web site (with an embedded link to the registration page) – your call to action needs to be very specific.
  3. Includes something that’s newsworthy in the body of the PR – announcing your event is great but try to include something has implicit value in the actual PR itself.
  4. Has an integrated short About section about your event company that includes 2-3 sentences about the company, links to your web site and all Social Media Accounts, an email address and of course your phone number. Make sure this section is short and sweet – not 8-10 sentences long, with too many words.
  5. May or could have an embedded image or video – the latter might be a 1-2 minute introduction or overview about your event.
  6. Mentions Speakers or Special Guests that are being featured via your event and you may also want to integrate a quote form the Speaker or Guest in the body of the  press release to promote the event planning app.
  7. Incorporates and includes links and/or references to all of your social media accounts in the About Section.
  8. Has 1-3 backlinks to your site to drive search engine rankings – these links should be embedded with keywords that you want to optimize for, which are in turn consistent with your overall SEO marketing strategy.

Don’t forget about leveraging social media with your PR campaign or process.

Upload your Press Release to a page on your web site and publicize it via your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.

And, don’t just send out a Tweet about your PR one time – people are busy and may not see it. Rinse and repeat your social media marketing and you should even try to send a PR announcement out during an odd time (nights and week-ends as an example) to get the viewer’s attention and get your mobile event app downloads.

Using Paid Promotion Services for your Event

Paid promotions can of course help you cost effectively promote your next event. They are not only a way to drive event attendance but can also be used to help you build an attendee list – getting new names into your database that can be used over and over again. Here are some marketing platforms, event app and paid promotions ad networks and/or processes you may want to test for your next event.

Banner and Display advertising networks

These types of ads can be setup easily using Google’s PPC Ad Words Advertising or third party networks such as Buy and Sell Ads. Simply put, these types of ads enable you to either advertise via keywords using a Google Ad Words campaign (they also have a Content Network that enables you to select web sites) or buy a demographic target.

You may also want to consider Facebook paid sponsorship of posts ads

Which can be very targeted, especially if your event is local and/or LinkeIn’s network, which also has good targeting. Facebook Ads can be very cost effective and like Google, they have very robust reporting for your ads that lets you track your costs and understand who you are reaching.

Think “local” when using Google’s Ad Words

If your event is locally targeted by a specific area or region use keywords that have some type of local name; i.e. the city, county, or area where your event is located. Try to avoid very generic keywords, as these can be much more expensive.

A great tool that we recommend using to understand where your direct competitors are advertising and what keywords they are targeting is – their low cost service (under $100. a month) lets you “spy” on your direct competitors – enabling you to generate a list of keywords they are using, what their media spend is (total costs) and even where they are advertising. You can promote your mobile event app through paid ads.

Listing and Advertising your Event Online

Can be a great way to drive attendance. Try Craig’s list ads – they are either free or low cost depending on your geographic area. But, be aware, you may have to keep uploading a new ad at least once a week or more frequently. Be sure to list your event web site, contact information and utilize a short 2-3 sentence description of your event that is informative and compelling.

Don’t forget to list your Event within your Facebook Business or Fan Page

You can also list your Event in your activity feed with LinkedIn. LinkedIn is one of the best ways to promote your conference app.  Facebook listing can drive significant traffic, depending on how engaged your Facebook presence is. And, you should also list your event with your local newspaper and make sure they give you a listing for the event via their web site.

Mobile or SMS Advertising is emerging

It is a great way to advertise an event. There are many mobile ad networks to choose from – make sure you have very good targeting capabilities with whoever you choose and they have some kind of integrated analytics that enable you to measure your media costs.

To summarize – there are a tremendous number of services to choose froto promote your event planning app. One of the most important marketing processes you should integrate with each is testing your marketing “return on investment.”  You may find significant differences from one platform or process versus another – stringent testing will save you marketing expenses!

Selecting Webinar Platforms for a Virtual Event

If you are weighing holding a virtual event via a Webinar you have four primary platforms to review for holding virtual events. Here is our review of the primary platforms below. Be forewarned each of these platforms has an associated learning curve – expect to spend some time (3-5 hours) just learning how to use the tools for each platform, understanding the user interface and working with “virtual attendees.”

WebEx Platform

WebEx has great collaboration tools that enable you to easily interact with your audience. The mobile event app can leverage the platform for meetings, online events, webinars, virtual meetings and it can also be used for online training. It can definitely be leveraged to help you improve your productivity and can also be used to via any Smartphone; they have a highly rated mobile app for: iPhone, Android, iPad and Blackberry.


ReadyTalk is a direct competitor to WebEx. They have a self-hosted (minimal support) version and price plans and features that let you select a full-service package or one with a dedicated operator to help you manage your virtual events or meetings. They also have an unlimited conferencing audio broadcast capability. We like their interface and service – they are clearly focused on providing a service with a minimal learning curve and that is easy to use. The event apps can integrate this app and similar features to enhance the user experience.

Adobe Connect

Adobe Connect has an integrated all in one platform that lends itself well to web conferencing and virtual events, with the ability to host very large events, with up to 1,500 participants in a virtual event. Their platform is geared for front end market analysis – you have the ability to collect registration information and then overlay this with behavior during an event. Giving you a good snapshot of the attendees that are participating in your online event. You can share the event link with you conference app before the event and keep the attendess posted with notifications.


Citrix provides Go To Meeting and virtual webinar services. Their service can be used for small events, with just ten attendees or with groups up to 1,000 attendees. This is a pure web-based platform and it can also be used for training events. We like their unlimited usage fees with a flat monthly fee that make this service very cost effective. Their GoToMeeting conferencing software is integrated with the internet, audio and even HighDeffinition Video, with collaboration with up to twenty-five people.

Again, each of these virtual conference app platforms has an associated learning curve. Create an account and test it with a virtual meeting or event with your staff to make sure you are comfortable using the platform.

Making Sure Your Next Event Garner Mindshare with your Attendees

Sharing the purpose of an event can vary from fun and promotion to awareness and motivation. Many events are organized to support a fund or brand launches. Thus the methods of connecting with the attendees can vary depending on the reasons.

Following tips can be used for connecting with various type of events:

1) Encourage and motivate your attendees to share content via your Facebook Account. Ensure your event app has social media share buttons. You may want to stimulate them to do same with some kind of a contest that “rewards’ the best content with a prize or discount on another event. Be creative!

2) If you look at broadcast TV today you’ll see hashtags proliferating everywhere for just about any kind of product or service you can think of. Setup a hashtag for your event ahead of time and reference this in your marketing materials. Encourage your attendees to mention and reference this hashtag in their “social mentions” of your event. Ensuring you get maximum exposure for your event that isn’t diluted and that stays front and center with your attendees. You event planning app can help your attendees get access and share the most important happenings of the event.

2) Focus your attendee’s attention by making the most of the site lines in the room – what is the total square footage in the room and what percentage are your site lines of this square footage? Make the presenter podium or stage stand out by ensuring the site lines in the room are focused on the presenter and not other areas of the room.

Check out the site lines from every key table or area of the room – if the sites lines are bad then ask your vendor for a better room. And, don’t forget to use lighting to direct the attention of your attendees towards the speaker.

3) Give them something memorable to talk about socially (feature random attendees in the audience via your Facebook and Twitter accounts) and that they will share with co-workers, friends and family. Add event app gamification and link it to rewards. The more you can make your event go viral (via social sharing) the more digital mileage you will get for your event and you will also make a lasting impression that may drive attendance for your follow up events.

4) Use web based survey tools to (Web Monkey is great) with your attendees – these may drive more usage than surveys done with old fashioned pen and paper and they can be easily aggregated and understood for trends, complaints, high fives and open ended solicitations.

5) Give attendees something memorable to take home – this doesn’t have to be expensive, as long as it is catchy and cool. Some times the most memorable products that people collect at events are the simplest. Think about your location and incorporate something that connects with the location or a product that can be easily customized. We live in an age where people of all types love anything that reflects personalization. Upgrade your conference app where attandees as well as the speakers can create and share there experiences.

6) Over deliver on your Event. Add an extra speaker, extend the schedule by one hour or more (pre-announced in the morning) with a presentation or two that will be perceived as having significant value by your attendees. The payoffs can be significant – your attendees will be pleasantly surprised and the extra value will stand out in their minds, which in turn will drive more attendees for subsequent events.

Having a white label event app is one of the major factors that can help you connect with your attendees for a long time. It will not only give them a chance to stay connected but also leverage your brand.

Seven Tips for Great Audio Visual Presentations at Your Next Event

Event planning needs a great time management and user exeprience feat. Every step from speakers to attendess and venue to audio needs careful planning. Lets take a look at

1. Understand your audience

Understand the size of your audience and anticipate what type of equipment you will need that will serve your audience well. Read, provide a good audio and video experience that will “wow” them and make sure your event is on their must attend list for next year. Manage your service providers thouroughly with an event app.

2. Having high quality audio

It is one of the most important aspects of your event. This means your attendees aren’t deafened by the audio feed at the front and those in the back aren’t straining to hear what your speaker is saying. Talk to your hosting provider ahead of the event and do an “audio walkthrough” of the room to make sure there is no dead air in the room.

And, if you are going to do lots of Q&A during the event make sure you have a designated person and a mobile microphone to ensure everyone in the room can hear what is being asked.

3. Sufficent time

Ensure you have sufficient bandwidth that will address the needs of and the size of your audience. If you are streaming multiple presentations during the event anticipate the number of attendees and “over estimate” usage to make sure you have sufficient bandwidth. And, remember not everyone has a provider that offers unlimited amounts of bandwidth via their personal smartphone or tablet – they are going to look to you to provide this during the event. You may use a conference app like Grupio to host the presentations and questioneers for future.

4. Keep backup

Anticipate you may have AV or bandwidth issues during your event. Make sure your facility provider can bring in more equipment if need be and your bandwidth provider can make adjustments in the bandwidth they are providing (you will be surprised how quickly some can increase bandwidth easily). Also, make sure your facility provider can easily swap out equipment that may malfunction during the event – underscore the importance of this with them verbally and/or have it referenced in your contract.

5. Keep everyone updated

Brief your speakers ahead of time and make sure they understand how important it is to speak to the virtual conference attendees – this is a critical part of your presentations. If you are filming the event – do a video tutorial with the presenter if he/she has not worked extensively with video previously and/or may not be aware of how to address a virtual audience. You can send the notifcations and updates using the mobile event app.

6. Plan in advance

Understand what your meeting or event objectives are ahead of the time. This may sound simple; but, its not. Once you know what your specific objectives are then you can figure out what kind of audio and video equipment you will need and/of (small plug) if you want to use a mobile application that may enable your attendees to “participate” virtually with minimal usage of audio or video equipment.

7. Maintian optimum length of event

If your event is being setup as a primary virtual event then don’t expect “participants” so spend eight hours in front of a computer viewing your event. Anticipate that people will spend a few minutes or an hour or two watching and engaging with your event – no one will spend eight solid hours watching your event in a continuous stream. Also, ensure your virtual reservation process is not cumbersome and one that requires participants to re-register over and over again.

Event planning is a great management task, your event planning app will be best method to master the skill. Grupio helps making the event planning easily manageble. From team managemnet to vendor management everything is in your hand with Grupio.

Leveraging Pinterest as an Event or Meeting Planner

Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social networks on the planet yes, it is a social network – it has comments, likes and “repins” which make it social. And, it’s now one of the top fifty web sites on the Internet, with millions of visitors per day.

Tips on leveraging Pinterest:

1. Optimize your profile properly

With a great and compelling description, link back to your web site, integration of your other social media accounts, set up multiple “boards” (these are collections of pins which are images or videos) that represents your brand as an Event Planner properly and don’t be afraid to show some personality with your Boards. The mobile event apps deliver the best linking between your social accounts.

2. Use your Smartphone and/or digital camera

Take images of and/or videos (keep them short less than 1-2 minutes) of attendees, short video clips of presenters, interviews of attendees and upload these to an “Event Specific” Board that you share with attendees. You can also solicit images from attendees from your conference app and share these on a Pinterest Board as well – everyone loves to be “famous” for a few minutes. Make sure you don’t share something that might embarrass an attendee later – those late night pictures at the bar may not be a great idea.

3. Share your Pins

Use images, videos and Boards across all of your social media accounts and make sure your Pinterest account (like other social media accounts) is featured via your web site, marketing materials and email signature file, And, don’t just share a Board or a Pin one time – there is nothing wrong with frequently sharing content across your social accounts, as long as you are not sharing it too frequently and you are interspersing other content as well.

4. Remember Pinterest is a social platform.

Meaning, comment on interesting Pins that you find (this also drives visibility for your account), “follow” others on Pinterest who are following you and when you repin an image make sure you “like’ it as well which underscores your implied value in your social “action” if you will. And, remember others can “see” your likes and level of social interaction and engagement on this platform – social media is very transparent and Pinterest is no different.

5. Add Pinterest’s Pin It Button

Add the pin it button to your mobile event app and website. Use your  smartphone shorcuts to makes it easy for you to share images and videos that you like via your Pinterest account. The button is free and works great via any top tier browser (IE, Firefox or Chrome) and it works with 95% of the smartphones on the market today.

6. Use live videos:

We’ve mentioned this earlier – but, important to underscore. Most use Pinterest for images and forget about videos – but, videos can be uploaded to your Pinterest account and you might even want to create a Board with nothing but video content. Ensuring your account stands out from others. Again, keep your videos short – many of your “visitors” don’t have a lot of patience and the best content is content (videos) that is engaging and that resonates with your target audience (not to sound too geeky).

Six Creative Ideas for Event and Meeting Planners to Drive Competitiveness

1) Write a blog about your experiences and share it with your target audience. Set up Google Alerts with specific Keywords that reference topics that your audience would like to hear about – use these keywords, topics and content to spark your creativity. A blog is one of the most underused social media marketing methodologies and it can be shared across all of your social media accounts including: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. You event planning app is the best method you can use to channel all you social media posts.

2) Subscribe to your competitor’s Newsletters and pay attention to what they are doing. You don’t want to plagiarize from them but their activities can. This should function as a means to get you motivated and/or as a source for ideas. And, don’t feel guilty about subscribing to their Newsletter, as the savvy competitors will be doing this to you!

3) Get off the grid (the internet) and take a long week-end off. This will do wonderful things for your creativity. You will be surprised at the “creative juices” that will flow as a result of your taking time off. And, if you like the outdoors (or not) get out there and spend some time refreshing your senses. The event app can will help you keep all your ideas on recorn and coordinate them with your team.

4) Follow a good number of design blogs – anyone in Event Planning needs to stay plugged in with what is occurring in the larger designer community. These can be web site design blogs or even architectural design blogs. Both of them will give you some insight with how colors, shapes and forms and function are being used and/or articulated by top tier designers. And, mix and match your selections by using US based designers and some from outside the US – you’ll get a broader set thoughts and topics.

5) Twitter is a great resource for ideas, themes occurring in the Events industry and or competitive intelligence. You can source lists of influential Event Planners easily via the public web. One can also build your own list of people and/or brands you want to Follow via Twitter just by looking at and reviewing the Followers that other Event Profs, Brands and/or organizations are Following via this vibrant social media platform. Twitter and Linkedin are the most appropriate social media platforms for promoting your conference using a confrence app.

6) Listen to your audience (customers, attendees, sponsors, speakers, etc.) by actively polling them for ideas that you can incorporate in your next event. Attendee questionnaires are not always leveraged by many Event Profs – they have a great deal of information, provided they are structured properly (what worked and what didn’t?). They must be read to be properly mined for nuggets of inspiration and creativity.

Every event has to be creatie and give you a chance to explore what people like. You can test the changes in small way before makeing a full fledged change in the event experinec. Feel free to do the changes and keep teasting the effects. Your mobile event app will help you track if people liked your changes and help stay ahead of the game.

How to Establish a Meaningful Mobile Device Management Policy for Your Event

Any and all Events should have some kind of a meaningful mobile device management policy, enabling your speakers and others to feel like they are not competing with a room full of unengaged attendees. Our recommendations include these top ten items:

Mobile Device Management Policy with you event app:

1) Let your attendees know in advance via marketing materials that you will have some kind of mobile device usage policies in place for your Event or Conference and that they will be required to support these policies (phrased diplomatically of course).

2) Discuss potential mobile device management policies for your event app with your executive management team 2-3 months in advance, enabling you to convey these via your marketing materials.

3) To enable support with your attendees, set up some kind of a charging station and check in station to motivate your attendees to check in their smartphones and tablets – this will be a daunting task for some, so be prepared for push back.

4) Make a presentation early in the event (opening bell) and talk about your focus on not disrupting the speakers and presenters – ensuring all attendees have a great experience at your conference. You are trying to garner support of course.

5) If some attendees insist on keeping their smartphones ask them to set their ringers on vibrate mode and ask them to please step out of the room prior to speaking with anyone. You can add these in the introdcustion and even add in notification during break in your event planning app.

6) Understand that some individuals will not play by the rules and if they disrupt your conference or event by insisting on using a smartphone during a speaker’s presentation gently escort them out of the room, without being offensive. But, let them know they are creating a less than positive experience for others around them.

7) If your event or conference lends itself well to smartphone usage, there is nothing wrong with integrating your attendee’s interaction with and participation in the meeting – Twitter Hashtags coupled with an IT System and Display that shows participation via Hashtags shared by the presenter can be a great way to involve your attendees in the conference.

8) You can also utilize and leverage text messages in your Event or Conference app by sharing a common account that you have set up prior to the conference.

9) Be creative at the front end of your conference via your marketing materials and as your attendees what they think your Smartphone policy and procedures should be for the event and remind them of their input at the front end of your conference to get their buy in and support for your mobile policies for your event.

Event aand conference apps are a great way of atying in touch with your atendees. It goes beyond just updating them it a method of connecting with them. Use all the features of the app to get the best out of what we spent event app cost.

Leveraging Your Event Speakers as Part of Your Marketing Mix

If you have multiple speakers at an event you need to think about how you can motivate them to promote your event and involve them in the marketing of your event. After all, it’s in their self-interest to help to promote the event and make it a success.

You may want to incorporate some specifics in the speaker contract that detail how you expect them to assist you with event marketing and event app promotion.

The specifics to leverage your promotion can include:

  • Their Tweeting about the event on a regular basis with dedicated links you provide.
  • Creating some finite number of short (30-60 second) YouTube videos that you can also promote via your social media accounts.
  • Join and contribute to discussions on your LinkedIn account on some defined reoccurring basis.
  • Promote the Event via their Blog and web site.
  • Add the Event he/she is attending to their Facebook page and inviting users to attend

You do have to be sensitive to your Speakers in terms of contractual obligations. If you are paying the speaker, he or she must disclose this contractual arrangement when/if they promote your event or conference app.

Of course another take on this relationship can built on your asking the speakers to promote the event when/if he chooses to do so. Their ongoing marketing is strictly voluntary and you will of course not make any formal requirements as part of their contract.

Motivating Speakers to Promote Your Event

One great way to motivate your speakers to promote your event is by promoting their (rather obvious) speaking at your event. But, you can take this a step further (and drive a lot of good will) by also promoting their books, ebooks, or webinars via your social media accounts, web sites and via traditional marketing processes. The event planning app will also give then exposure to your effort and maintain a mutula relationship.

Your front end marketing activities should drive reciprocal marketing from the speakers. If it doesn’t (and assuming you are not paying them) then you can of course subtly let them know some reciprocal marketing would be great!