If you are in the Conference and Event Industry chances are good that you’ve had to struggle with the issue of delegate engagement. By using Social Media effectively you can create better delegate participation and create relevance and meaning at your next event.
Whether big or small, Events are great platforms for creating conversations around your Brand, Conference, Speakers or Specific Topics. Because Social Media is just one big conversation, it is easier than you think to integrate this into your next event.
More and more Companies are using Twitter and #hashtags to create a BUZZ around their events before and even after the event has taken place. It centralizes the event and allows the delegates to discuss the event, topics, and speakers, and for marketers it is an opportunity to effectively measure the success of the event.
First let’s look at the infamous #Hashtag
What is a #hashtag?
It is a simple keyword or phrase, without any spaces and with the # (hash) sign in front.
How does the #hashtag work?
#Hashtags act as the facilitators to any conversation and ties the conversation into one stream. Even if Twitter users are not connected otherwise, their tweets and talk about the same topic will then appear in the same Twitter stream. If you then search Twitter for a specific topic in Twitter Search the conversation about your search will appear, e.g. #conference.
How to choose your next Event’s #hashtag
- Make sure you keep your #hashtag short. When tweeting about an event or topic you are only allowed 140 characters, so give your delegates room to manoeuvre.
- Create your #hashtag as soon as you’ve planned your event. This allows for time to create a buzz around the event. Consider having an incentive for using the #hashtag and promote this at registration of the event.
- Be strategic when creating your #hashtag and collaborate with partners that already have a big following. This way you will generate more impressions faster.
- Check for availability to make sure you’re not picking a #hashtag that is already in use, and be careful not to hijack words and topics of a sensitive nature and best avoid using sentiments like love.
- By using industry keywords you can gain the interest of a larger network. For instance if you notice a #hashtag of interest used in a tweet that appears in your main Twitter feed you might start following that conversation purely out of interest.
- Create different #hashtags for the various breakaway sessions. This makes conversations around specific topics easier and more fluent. Some speakers might prefer to also have their own #hashtag.
How to promote your #Hashtag
- Use all your marketing channels to promote your event and #hashtag and post regular updates about your event, e.g. let your audience know when you secure a new speaker.
- Promote the use of your #hashtag before and during your event by using visual displays.
- Prominently display the conversation feed during the event.
- Consider printing a Daily newspaper with the best Tweets, this can also easily be turned into a fun contest.
- Remember to set goals and track your success throughout your campaign.