From sheer event logistics to polishing your talking points and triple checking every detail, there’s a lot of planning that goes into hosting or exhibiting at an industry event. You’ve got your flights booked, your presentation ready and you’ve studied the list of attendees forwards and backwards. The last thing on your mind is probably Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform. But it should be!
From the build up to the event to the online conversation in the days that follow, social media is a strategic marketing asset that businesses can’t afford to overlook. Why is that you ask? Incorporating social media into your event marketing plan serves three important purposes, or what we like to call the three “I’s”:
- Inform and Intrigue Attendees – The weeks and months that lead up to your event are the ideal time to begin laying the groundwork to generate “buzz” and drive interest. If the attending audience doesn’t know what you will be presenting, or that you will even be there, how will they know to seek your company out at the event? Now is the time to pique their interest and make sure that you are at the top of their “must-see” list!
- Interaction with Your Audience – You’ve built up momentum leading up to the moment before the event officially begins… but don’t stop now! If your social media presence suddenly goes silent as soon as the event is underway, your company will miss out on an important community building opportunity. Instead, keep the conversations flowing by interacting with attendees and the event hosts if it is a larger conference. You can even reach beyond the attendees to connect with others in the industry that may not be able to be there in person, but are following the event on social media.
- Intelligence Gathering – As important as it is to engage in the online conversation, it’s also important to listen to the conversation. Are the attendees mentioning you within the context of the event? Are they sharing their reactions or experiences—positive or negative–with their followers? This is your company’s opportunity to learn from what is being said and adjust, if needed. And remember, listening isn’t exclusively a “post-event” activity. It can be done before and during the event as well.
Incorporating social media into your event marketing helps to further integrate your company into the overall event experience by driving awareness and the conversation. It’s also an excellent way to analyze your presence and messaging at the event.
As you’re planning for 2017, be sure to include social media in your event marketing. Or give us a call at 630-964-8500 and we can help you make the most of your social media presence.