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Social Media for Event Management

Last updated October 12th, 2018
Digital world depicted by Facebook

“Social Media is the answer to the prayers of [event] planners that are looking for unique and creative ways to enhance engagement...It gives a new voice to participants and allows for new dimensions of communication”  Jessica Leven in Social Media and Events in 2010.

Social media sites are internet pages where people interact freely, sharing and discussing information about each other and their lives, using a multimedia mix of personal words, pictures, videos and audio. They appear in many forms including blogs and microblogs, forums and message boards, social networks, Wikis, virtual worlds, social bookmarking, writing communities and scrapbooking.

When planning your event it is becoming increasingly important to have a Social Media Strategy because for the Event Manager, social media provides exciting tools that can be used before, during and after the event.

Before

By utilising social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, you can create a real buzz for your event. Well planned tweets and posts can build up excitement surrounding your event as well as sharing useful information such as registration deadlines and onsite tips. They also enable people to connect online prior to the event.

Social media can help to promote your event or course by empowering others to spread the word for you. You are no longer reliant just on own databases but now have exponential networks working to promote your events. People may register for your event if their contacts are attending.

During

As long as you have the right technology in place, using social media can be extremely effective during the event itself. By using a microblog such a Twitter, you can monitor the audience’s reaction to the event or speaker.  The Event Planner can also gain honest, live feedback which they can act on to improve the experience. A hashtag (#) is a way to unite global Tweets around a particular topic.

Basically, these are tags that help those who seek similar content discover your Tweets.  Use Twitter Search before you create your hashtag to ensure it is unique: for example #FF is a well-used hashtag for ‘Follow Friday‘ when users recommend other accounts to follow.

Top Tips on using your hashtag:

Hashtags can also help connect people who are interested in the content of the event but cannot be there in person or are watching over a live stream.

After

Social media creates an environment for experts to share their expertise long after their presentation ends providing a legacy for your event. It has created platforms for continued learning and has made it easier to stay in touch.

Events will become communities that will last for weeks and months. It is also possible that new events will emerge from online communities. In conclusion, social media has transformed the events world and given the Event Manager a lot to think about.

Attendees now expect to connect with other delegates before, during and after the event. But, used wisely and with careful planning, social media can be the Event Planner’s most powerful tool.

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