When it comes to promoting your event, it’s no longer a matter of if you’ll use social media, but rather how you’ll use it. It comes down to much more than adding in the details on a pre-determined event page template. There is a good amount of planning and strategy that should go into your campaign before, during and after your event. Below are some best practices to ensure you’re getting the attention of your target audience and hitting your attendance goals.
Increase speaker engagement – Chances are you have at least one speaker at your event, whether they are affiliated with your company or not. In the weeks leading up to your event, have your speakers promote the event of their personal pages. After all, the more people in attendance, the more exposure they can draw to their session.
Use remarketing Facebook ads – Facebook ads can strongly benefit your company when promoting something with a clear call to action, such as purchasing event tickets. Remarketing works by showing ads to people who have already visited your event website, but haven’t purchased a ticket. You can do this by excluding order confirmation or thank-you pages from your ad targets. This is a simple way to stay top of mind for those who are interested in your event but haven’t yet committed.
Design a Snapchat geofilter & implement a hashtag – This is especially pertinent if you’re hosting a session where the audience is skewed toward younger generations, such as med school training events. Through Snapchat’s website, you can design and purchase a filter that is exclusive to your event and encourages guests to stay engaged throughout. If your guests might have missed the Snapchat train, you can still come up with a hashtag that encompasses your event coverage. Be careful not to have more than one hashtag, if possible, as this will dilute the message.
Utilize previous events – Did you hold this event or a similar event last year? Did you receive positive feedback? As a meeting planner you should take some time to go through comments, surveys or any other feedback from years prior, and turn those testimonials into graphics or infographics. You can even create a highlight video with footage from past events as well. Nothing determines event outcome like the success of previous events.
Assign a designated Tweeter – Whether you have a social media team or not, you should still have someone on staff whose job it is to continuously update your channels, especially Twitter, during the event. Assuming you have a hashtag set aside, make sure your representative is actively monitoring the tag and engaging with all those who use it.
Go Live – If your event is mostly lecture-based, this may not be the best option. If it has heavy visual elements, such as cadaver labs or live sessions, Facebook Live may be a great tool for you. According to Digitell, 30% of people who watch a livestream of an event will attend the same event in person the following year. Providing your social media audience with small, exciting snippets might make them realize what they’ve missed out on by not attending.
Gather B-Roll – Even if you don’t have a videographer on-hand, make sure you have a person dedicated to getting various footage that can later be edited for social media bits. Think from a strategic standpoint what content this person should be gathering – interviewing guests, interviewing speakers, filming session content, etc. This will come in handy for post-event sharing.
Ask for feedback – Put together a brief, free survey through a service like SurveyMonkey. This will help you determine where you can improve for the next event, and can even provide you with some positive testimonials to use in promotion for next year (as referenced above). Here are some example questions:
- Would you attend again?
- Would you recommend this event?
- What did you learn from this event?
- What would you improve?
Share content you collected during the event – Write up a blog post, share photos, create a video recap, design graphics with quotes from the speakers—keep the content flowing to keep your audience engaged and ready to attend the next event.
Provide updates – This is especially important if you’re holding an annual event. Don’t let interest completely fall off in the six-month lull between events. Surprise your audience a few months after the event by offering a discount code for early registration, a speaker announcement, or even just a sneak peek into the topics that will be discussed.
Do you have an event idea but don’t know where to start? Contact us to get the ball rolling. We can provide a space, coordinate logistics and discuss the best ways to promote it.