We are all conscious that social media is an important metric which we should always use when planning an upcoming conference or seminar. However, we have the feeling that many professionals are still uncertain as for how to leverage this powerful medium in the most efficient manner. Much like other approaches to successful meeting planning, the key takeaway concept is to work smart as opposed to hard. Let us look at some effective measures which can help to increase the attendance rates of delegates, encourage proactive participation and guarantee a higher ROI.
Clear and Concise Planning
Although social media portals are excellent tools, they can become digital nightmares if the correct planning procedures are not respected from the very beginning. Although this may appear more like “Marketing 101”, the fact of the matter is that dedicated stakeholders need to be aware of their responsibilities. They should be presented with a bespoke framework in regards to their approach. Some areas to cover will include:
- Which portals to employ
- The best times to post updates
- The goals of the campaign itself. Examples here can be to increase the number of attendees, to target those already attending or to update event information in a timely fashion.
It is also wise to use one conference title in combination with a dedicated hashtag, as this will help to prevent confusion while enhancing overall brand recognition.
Of course, the list for your proper framework will (and has to) include many more areas.
The Importance of Current and Previous Personalities
Keynote speakers and other respected industry professionals will provide a conference with the clout that it requires generating interest. However, listing names may not be sufficient. Let us not forget that one-half of the term social media contains the word “media”. As opposed to constructing a brief textual synopsis of the individual, it is better to embed a head shot with a particular relevant quotation. Additionally, encourage these personalities to contribute to online posts before the conference itself. It is very likely that they will bring up some interesting points which can then be explained further on the day of the event. Not only will this attract visitors to the page, but the speakers themselves can enjoy a bit of ancillary publicity.
Crowdsourcing and Engagement
Modern delegates are more interested in a particular event if they can contribute actively prior feedback and suggestions. This interaction is the primary reason why crowdsourcing opinions are one of the best (if not lesser-known) tools available. Polls in regards to content, a voting campaign presenting several potential guest speakers and similar topics are all excellent ways to connect with a potential audience while simultaneously learning more about what they are most interested in learning.
Integration on the Day of the Event
We have thus far spoken about previous actions to be taken. However, social media services are just as important on the day of the conference. For instance, both Twitter and Facebook Live can be utilised to stream virtual feeds (as can other webinar software). One interesting advantage of live social media is that speakers can also address questions from the digital audience; further demonstrating their prowess as well as the popularity of the conference itself.
Post-Conference Social Media Evaluation
Once the event is finished, social media can likewise be employed to obtain valuable feedback from the attendees. A handful of common questions can include:
- Did you feel that all topics were sufficiently covered?
- How knowledgeable were the guest speakers?
- Was the venue in question appropriate for your needs?
It is also reasonable to add in a couple of open-ended queries such as suggestions for future conferences and topics.
Social Media and Conferences: One Spoke on a Larger Wheel
It is wise to always include Social media campaigns alongside strategies such as automated emails, blog posts, website updates and directly speaking with those who have already verified their attendance. The main takeaway points from this brief summary will include advantages such as:
- Increased engagement
- Real-time updates
- Valuable visitor feedback
- Increased ROI
As conferences further spread into the digital domain, we should only expect the impact of social media to increase well into the future.
Congrex Switzerland is an internationally operating agency delivering customised solutions. This encompasses the overall organisation of conferences and meetings including the management of hotel rooms and the strategic consultancy. Annually Congrex Switzerland organises approximately 33 events with over 73’000 delegates. Amongst our clients are international associations, governmental organisations and corporations.
If you wish to receive additional information about Congrex Switzerland, please feel free to contact us.