Successful events and meetings require a lot of effort. You need great content, flawless logistics, and one of the most difficult parts—attendee engagement. Social media not only encourages participation, but it can also make sure all of your tireless work reaps benefits long after the event has concluded. Try these tips to help your next meeting or event have a lasting impact with attendees and even those who never knew it existed.
Share photos of the event. It might be a simple idea, but it works. From Instagram to Pinterest, and Facebook to blogs, photos are considered premium content. They get shared and can even add SEO value, if tagged and described properly. Try Memorymeld.com, an organized way to share photos of events and invite others to share. Remember, photos that make an impact are interesting and relevant to the event.
Use polls for interactive presentations. We know that people learn better when they get mental breaks about every 20 minutes. A great way to do that is to run an interactive poll during a presentation. Attendees can text responses that will then show up on-screen. Many people are more willing to interact with a presentation in this way, rather than raising their hands and standing up in front of a group. The best part is that the really interesting polls can be shared through social media and hopefully spread throughout your networks, long after the event has ended. Try Poll Everywhere to set up a poll, gather real-time responses, and share.
Blog about your event. Oftentimes, attendees are so busy scrawling notes during a presentation or meeting that they miss the best parts. But when you blog about the presentations to sum up key points, visuals, charts, etc., attendees can relax and really invest in the material at hand, and even feel free to participate (just make sure you let them know ahead of time that you will be blogging about it). Of course, every blog post will provide valuable content that will be indexed by search engines and potentially shared by others for value months and years down the road. Don’t limit posts to only summaries—consider integrating tweets about the event, photos, and interviews with speakers and attendees.
Socialize the event itself. Every event hopes to bring people together and create new connections. There’s an app for that. Bizzabo is a mobile networking app that brings people closer during an event. Attendees can see the conference schedule, get information about who will be speaking, see who is attending each session and learn a little about them—even search for the best people to meet based on profile information. Bizzabo fosters professional relationships before, during and after the event to keep people talking—hopefully about your event!
Invest in a social kiosk. Create a draw by providing an interactive location for your event attendees to share photos and social updates about the event. These kiosks can be customized to include your event’s branding and even add hashtags to every post generated. You can also encourage participation by running a giveaway tied to participating (win an iPad!), all the while gaining fans, followers, and key social data—useful after events have ended.
Wrap it up and share it. Now that your meeting is over, it’s time to tell a great story that people will want to share. Storify lets you piece together social updates from Facebook and Twitter, photos from Instagram, and videos from YouTube and publish them together on one page in one cohesive story. That story can then be shared and even embedded on other websites. If you’ve done your job right, and people have been participating in social media during your event or meeting, you should have a great story to share that can be used to showcase your event and its capabilities. Not only does this create great content but also gives those who missed the event a peek at what they can expect next time!