Looking to use new tools to more effectively get the word out on your next event?

Whether you are marketing at a trade show, regional conference or an informal “tweet up”, an important part of many companies’ marketing strategy is event marketing, which focuses on face-to-face interaction by attending, sponsoring, exhibiting or speaking at tradeshows, industry networking events, conferences, etc.  Even though the focus is face-to-face interaction, effectively integrating social media marketing into your online marketing strategy provides a great opportunity to increase the value and success of an event.

Whether you are marketing an international trade show or an informal ‘tweet-up’, there are a variety of social media tools out there that can help you boost attendance and generate widespread buzz for your event marketing efforts. Social media marketing efforts can aid your event marketing campaign before, during and after the event.

Before the Event. Event planners need to focus on expanding their universe of prospective attendees while attracting new attendees, exhibitors, sponsors and advertisers. Social media can help build interest and awareness around your event.

The use of social media platforms, such as video marketing, EventBrite, Facebook events, e-mail marketing campaigns, tweets and Blog Marketing aid in your marketing efforts and drive targeted traffic to your event’ s landing page. When sharing links to your event through all your social networks consider using a shortened URL that you can track, so you can get an early gauge on conversion (what percentage of your invitees register).

During the Event. Social media can broaden the conference’s engagement for attendees and those who are unable to attend in-person through the use of social networks. You have probably been to an event where they were broadcasting live tweets or other status updates during the event. Microblogging formats like twitter allow attendees to comment on the proceedings as they occur. Ask attendees to post to your photo galleries, either on your site or on public forums like Flickr – This is a great way to generate buzz and encourage engagement at your event.

Enhance the reach of your event by making content about it socially shareable. To this end, create a unique event hashtag (such as #AMACONF) to aid searchability across social media platforms. Hashtags  enable Tweets about the conference or event to be organized and easy to find and follow.

After the event. Social media enables event marketers to remain connected to attendees, extend the impact of exhibitors and advertisers, and market other products including future events. Post videos, photos and other content on your site to attract a broader audience and to help build a community to contact for future events. Enhance live events by providing concurrent commentary and capturin ideas using Twitter, live blogging and live streaming. For example, moderators at live panels can incorporate comments and questions sourced from Twitter. Encourage speakers to share their presentations via a service like Slideshare following an event. Not only does this extend the reach of your content from this year’s event, but it can serve as an enticement to get people to register for next year.

Remember: As with any marketing program, it’s critical to measure your results to determine their effectiveness. Among the salient measures to track are participants, web analytics content sharing, media attention, revenue and expenses. Also, consider doing a survey following your event to find out what you did right, and where you could use some improvement. Keep it short and sweet, but get feedback as close to the event completing as follows. If you can offer an incentive for completing the survey, your chances of getting a response are much better. Use feedback to improve your next event.

In conclusion, social media can be an important component in the event marketing mix since it has the potential to provide benefits for both marketers and consumers before after and during an event. By using social media to enhance your events, you can extend your reach while providing additional means to connect with your firm.

Check out The Net Impact’s social media marketing services to help boost your next event!

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