Jeff Hurt (@JeffHurt) wrote a great piece titled “9 Takeaways From Chris Brogan’s How Social Media Changes Events“. Hurt assembled takeaways from Brogan’s speech at the PCMA Convening Leaders 2011 annual meeting in Las Vegas. We love this topic and thought we’d list Jeff’s takeaways and add a few thoughts of our own.
Takeaway #1: Start designing event websites for mobile
For ongoing events (e.g. annual association meeting, annual customer conference), consider an investment in developing a mobile app for your event. The investment makes most sense in very large scale events – but the benefit is an ongoing relationship with your attendee base and an ability to “push” them updates on next year’s event. Imagine an alert that pops up when next year’s keynote speaker has been confirmed.
Takeaway #2: Use video trailers to give people a sense about the event
We also like the idea of embedding the video trailers directly on the event registration page – give folks a taste for the event, then incent them to register when they’re the most engaged (e.g. after viewing your great video content).
Takeaway #3: Create an event blog
We love the suggestion to use a blogging platform to power your event web site. In addition, event hosts can create additional value by live blogging (to the same site) during the live dates of the event.
Takeaway #4: Don’t promote the same messages in all the social platforms
Takeaway #5: Event email marketing strategies should be short, succinct
We like the concept of “segmented marketing” – that is, determine whether your target audience falls into segments. Define those segments and then determine the tactics and tools that are best suited to those segments. Send targeted promotions to each segment – all too often, we see the “email blast” that is sent to all potential attendees, as a single, monolithic entity. More targeted and segmented marketing content will see higher response rates.
Takeaway #6: Don’t start event email marketing with “If you are having trouble viewing this, click here.”
Takeaway #7: Make sure you’ve populated Twitter with information about your event and event location
We’d also recommend heavy promotion of your event’s hash tag, both on Twitter – and, in your email promotions.
Takeaway #8: Add social sharing buttons to event emails
In addition, we like the idea of suggesting (or, auto-populating) the “sharing text” for attendees. For instance, provide them with the tweet text they can use to promote your event. And of course, give them the option to alter or disregard your text. This way, you can seed your potential attendees with consistent marketing messaging, that they then pass along to their followers.
Takeaway #9: Social media is about engagement and sharing, not one-way broadcast
Completely agree. For sharing, we recommend creating Twitter Lists – one for attendees, one for exhibitors and one for speakers. That’s a great way for each constituency to get to know and learn about each other, before they arrive at the event site.