In the event industry, people have always been social by nature – whether establishing personal connections at live events, understanding a client’s meeting objectives, or negotiating business deals with vendors. It’s an innate part of what we do and our attendees follow this process too.
Here are our 10 key reasons we believe event planners should not ignore social media!
1. Social media is the perfect medium for people who like to attend events and conferences because it allows networking opportunities and provides educational content.
2. Most attendees are using social media sites today such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Attendees will probably be talking about the event in advance, during the event, and after the event on these social sites, whether you know it or not.
3. Promotion on social media drives attendance. With the ability to share, and such a huge reach, it’s an essential part of attendee growth.
4. You can easily create event advocates – attendees can share your event with thousands of contacts at the click of a button.
5. One of the most beneficial aspects of social media for event planning is that users self-select what topics they are interested in and what they care about. Understanding and identifying this information is a great way for planners to target the ideal attendees based on their interests rather than just traditional criteria like job titles.
6. Online forums such as LinkedIn groups and Facebook allow attendees to communicate and collaborate before and after the event. This can change the dynamic of the event in a positive way, as more meaningful dialogue and participation can occur if attendees have a higher common knowledge point at the start of the event.
7. Reach those who do not or cannot attend – all the people on the web who weren’t able to attend the event in person can now follow the live updates and engage via social media and hashtags.
8. Speakers will be better prepared to tailor their message to the audience and deliver a great presentation if feedback about their presentation is being posted on the Internet in real time via Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
9. Easy feedback! When they are armed with social networks that act as a global online publishing platform, attendees can easily publish their feedback for the world to see.
10. Events and conferences are largely successful over time because of their good reputation with sponsors and attendees. In that regard social media represents a huge opportunity to improve your reputation and success. That can be as simple as hearing feedback from attendees and making changes based on that feedback.