How to use social media during your event

I have attended a number of different social media related business events over the past few months. I think they have achieved a varying amount of success in being social at the events themselves. This post may give you some ideas as to how you can improve the experience of people attending your events through the use of social media. This is aimed at events which focus on social media as their subject matter because they should be good at this stuff.  This equally applies to any other event that wants to be great at social media in their event.

As a social media event your event should be very socially enabling for the attendees. A social event should be pioneering the way that all events should be run and you should encourage people to be more social while at the events. Some of the simple things that I would do to make it social would be

    • Make sure EVERYONE can get on wifi, this ensures that everyone can participate in the conversation
    • Capture everyone’s twitter handle and/or blog/website on registration for the event so that you can put it on their name badges
    • Have twitter handles for all speakers on the speakers list and attendees list
    • Have twitter handles and hashtags on every single slide of every deck
    • Put event  hashtags on all your on site signage
    • Have a twitter wall to encourage people to tweet and to get more people engaged
    • Make sure that someone has set up a place for people to check into on Foursquare and tell people to check in. If you have a large event, then set up a foursquare badge and tell people in advance what they need to do to earn it
    • Make sure your hashtag makes sense and relates to the event name, so that it is easy to remember. Make sure the hashtag hasn’t been previously used elsewhere
    • Offer prizes for the best/funniest/most important tweet/quote using your hashtag
    • Use networking app – as this enables everyone to connect before, during and after the event

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If you use social media at the event, you will not only improve the experience for the people attending but you increase the reach of your event’s hash tagged messages. If nobody is tweeting about your event then anyone who is not in attendance will not get any benefit from your event. There will be less buzz, less conversation and potentially a lower attendance for you next event.

Other related posts you may be interested in:

What is social data?

Why complain using social media?

Can social media replace email?

Your turn

How have you used social media at your events to make it better? What events have you been to that have used social media well? What things did they do well?

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