[su_heading style=”default” size=”13″ align=”left” margin=”20″]Here at TravelMedia.ie we are very social people. We host events, organise events and attend A LOT of events. When attending events we love to post, check-in, tweet and hashtag our way through the evening. Why? Because we want to share our experience with our friends, fans and followers, and because we know from being on both sides of the fence how important this sort of social sharing is to the event organisers.[/su_heading]
As Ireland’s specialist Travel PR, Events, Marketing, Social & Communications company, we organise all types of events, from small intimate lunches to large glamorous award ceremonies. Our most popular events are our quarterly networking events which are attended by an average of 120-180 trade and media professionals.
Since their introduction five years ago, these events have grown in size, changed in format and, over the last two years, reached people who haven’t even attended – all thanks to a social media presence created by us and our guests.
To ensure that our events continue to reach this online audience, there are a number of different items that we implement for each event. Here we list our top five:
1. Create an event page on Facebook
This may seem like an obvious tip but it is one that we swear by. Once we have decided on a date for an event, the first thing we do is create an event page on Facebook. Over 50% of our RSVP’s come through Facebook.
The best thing about this? Once a Facebook user ‘joins’ an event, Facebook posts on their behalf to all of their friends to let them know they are attending, which results in your event having a much larger audience. Event pages also allow you to post directly to your attendees in advance of your event, meaning you can advise them of any changes or updates.
2. Hire a photographer
A picture is worth a thousand words – and can reach a thousand people. Our photographer is imperative to our events.
Why? Because our event photo albums on Facebook are, to date, our most popular posts and receive a massive amount of engagement and interaction.
Liking, tagging, commenting and sharing – give your fans photos of themselves and their colleagues and they will do the rest.
To make sure that our guests know where to find their photos, we also insist that our photographer wears a very fashionable t-shirt which features all of our social handles and hashtags. Our videographer is also central to our events – we will delve into this in a future blog post.
3. Create a hashtag
What’s the point we hear you shout! When encouraging guests to join the Twitter conversation surrounding your event, you want to make it as easy as possible for them. Creating a hashtag which you use in all posts about your event allows you to pull the online conversation together into one clear stream.
Make sure you use your chosen hashtag in all posts prior to your event so that your guests know it exists. Another tip – make sure the hashtag isn’t already taken. Having a hashtag that is yours, and yours only, will make it easy for you to monitor the conversations taking place before, during and after your event.
To further encourage social interaction amongst your guests, make sure they know how to post about your brand and event online.
We always ensure that guests know every speaker’s handle and hashtag to allow them to engage with them online.
How do we make sure they know? By providing each guest with a ‘Join the Conversation’ business card which features the handles and hashtags for every speaker, as well as our own. We also share this information with them online, prior to the event.
This is a sure fire way of creating even more social interaction and engagement by your guests during your event.
Nowadays people are rarely seen without a smartphone in their hands, even at the dinner table. Use this to your advantage! Give your guests messages to share and engage with during your event.
Planning ahead is advised and having pre-written tweets and posts will help to ease the pressure on the day.
Our ‘media corner’ is now a staple at all of our events. From this desk, members of our team live stream the evenings proceedings by posting images (which come from both smartphones and our professional photographer), quotes and other information to Facebook and Twitter. They also respond, retweet, favourite, like and share social mentions by guests – of which there are a lot!
The most important thing to remember when you start trying to create this type of online presence for your events? Keep it simple. Make it simple for your guests. Give them the tools they need and they will do the rest.
Still unsure? Contact a member of the TravelMedia.ie team and they will be happy to advise you on your best options.