Social media has had an incredibly huge impact in its relatively limited time as a communication tool. People that used to keep in touch every now and then on email can now chat and share photos instantly, anywhere, anytime. How has this phenomenon effected the meetings and events industry? In just about every way imaginable.
Ideal for Event Promotion
It wasn't that long ago I was printing up postcards to tell conference attendees to be sure to come by my booth at an upcoming conference expo. Not only did that take time and energy and expense it was pretty easy to tuck somewhere and forget about. Now using social media sites like Facebook and twitter conferences have a forum for DMOs to communicate with planners in a way that’s instant, convenient, timely and best of all paper free. When you are planning a conference encourage registering attendees to Like the conference page on Facebook and you'll have a great pipeline to communicate important and exciting info to them right away and right into their hand.
Get the word out to Attendees During the Conference
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are the heavy-hitters of social media and it’s a great way to communicate, not just to one contact but to a whole conference of attendees. As an exhibitor at conference I can reach out to attendees and set up opportunities for one-on-one meetings, offer a special gift at my booth and more. Opportunities for planners to reach attendees are even more vast. Set up a page for your conference and a hash tag for twitter posts and let attendees know all kinds of things. Any change to announced speakers? Send out a message. Having a special happy hour? Remind attendees to bring their drink tickets.
Post Conference Surveys and Communications
There is a lot to deal with in your email inbox when you get back from a conference, right? why not reach out to attendees on social media instead to find out what people thought of the conference? Encourage attendees to private message you with specific questions or concerns and you can get back to them right away, which people always appreciate. Send links to event satisfaction surveys through social media instead of email and watch your return rates soar. I use social media after a conference to get in touch with contacts I've made at a recent show, share photos I've taken and tag people in the photo that I met. It’s a great open door to eventually start talking business.
Social media communication is taking over and, in some ways, its overwhelming. Things like privacy and a slower more traditional pace to work-related communications are in real jeopardy but there are definite bright spots too. Things like being able to share blanket messages and images and videos to a whole audience in a dynamic way with a push of a button is just too hard to ignore. Open your world to social media marketing and watch your next event rocket into the stratosphere, just be sure you're hanging on tight!