Rupert Murdoch said, "The Internet has been the most fundamental change during my lifetime and for hundreds of years." Owning a collection of media and publishing empires makes it easy to feel the changes that the Internet provoked between print and digital, paper and a screen. In fact, almost every industry has changed. The Internet has changed the way we live our lives, the way we work, and the way we connect with eachother.
Meanwhile, event planners are feeling the changes of the seasons as well.
Event production and event marketing was once a fairly small and predictable playing field, and now it's become something more ... dynamic. The number of people in the speaker pool have grown dramatically, and you now have the opportunity to watch someone present their presentation on YouTube, or view them on SlideShare before accepting their speaker proposal. It's exciting. I think it's for the best, but I can imagine that old-school event planners might find it overwhelming.
With that said, it's apparent which event organizers have adapted. One key signal is that they've begin to integrate Twitter into their event marketing. Not just in their initial efforts, but also throughout the event and afterwards
If you're throwing an event, follow these five event marketing strategies for your best chance at success!
Create a Hashtag
Any event that will have any tech-friendly people in the audience should have a hashtag. Remember, anyone under the age of 27 is typically considered tech-friendly based on age alone. Having a hashtag allows your attendees to Tweet about the event. Typically, users will quote speakers and re-tweet any big announcements you make, like if sessions switch rooms at the last moment. Sometimes at bigger tech events, people will even use the hashtag to connect with fellow attendees, or even just to find someone with a compatible charger for their cell phone.
Have Someone Ready To Tweet For You
Assign someone to manage your social media during the event. I run a social media business that gets hired to attend events and Tweet our little hearts out. We post Tweets, quote speakers, post videos, take photos, post updates, re-tweet attendees, and basically act as ambassadors of the event hashtag.
We also work with organizers to make sure that the hashtag is everywhere, on the walls, in their handouts, and sometimes even on their lanyards. Having someone at your event that will promote your hashtag and keep the feed active is essential.
Add Your @ And Hashtag Into All Slides
I've been working with Mequoda since 2007 helping them organize their quarterly events, being their Tweet-bassador at events, and also designing thousands of presentation slides. So, I've played the role of event manager on many occasions, and I've spent my fair share of time behind the presenters podium.
In the past few years we've begun to integrate Twitter into the event starting with simply adding an event hashtag into the footer of every presentation. We also include their @ in the footer, so that attendees can include us in their Tweets officially. We also include it in the handouts and mention it out loud too.
Ask Speakers To Co-Host Twitter Chats
This was an especially brilliant strategy I discovered recently by the marketers of Content Marketing World. For months leading up to their September event, they hosted the #CMWorld Twitter Chat and every week there was a new co-host. The host was always one of their featured speakers from the event.
This is a smart strategy on so many levels. First of all, participating in the chat helps you get to know people who will be attending the event ... so if you're not already registered, you'll want to be. You'll want to meet the people you've been talking with! It's also smart because you can leverage the networks of your speakers, which is typically a huge draw. When they promote the Twitter Chat, you'll be touching an audience you might not have reached all on your own.
Think About a Tweet Wall
I joined Twitter in 2007 when I attended the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco because I was seeing a big wall of people's Tweets and thought ... I want in on that! I never did figure out how to get my Tweets on the wall that day, but I've seen them at major events ever since then. They're actually pretty affordable, too. Tweetwall charges about $50 bucks a day if you want to customize and manage it yourself and don't mind their logo showing up. For $250 you can get them to customize the wall and do everything for you.
If you have any other suggestions that you'd like to add about marketing your event on Twitter, Tweet me at @About_Tweeting.