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Sunday, 19 February 2012

How to Increase Event Participation, Connect with Your Guests, Promote and Enhance Your Event Using 1 Simple Social Media Tool

Guest management is a hassle, and word of mouth is the most powerful promotional tool for any conference, fashion show, networking event, banquet, seminar… the list goes on. Event management systems don't provide a good solution to this. Luckily, guests can be given a social media tool to communicate with each other before, after, and during your event, that in turn increases word of mouth and promotes your event: a Twitter hashtag.

What is a Twitter Hashtag?
Twitter hashtags are the weird looking #someword things that appear in Tweets. They allow Twitter users who may not even know each other, or be in the same city, to communicate with each other about different topics of interest. In this case, the topic of interest should be a specific event.

What should an event’s Twitter hashtag be?
Your event’s hashtag should be something unique and short. If your event is called 2012 Gala and Dinner, your hashtag can be #12g&d.

How should a Twitter hashtag be used for an event?
This is where most event organizers get it wrong. You need to provide your guests and attendees with the events Twitter hashtag as soon as possible. Most event organizers make the mistake of waiting until the event has started and saying 6 words at the beginning of the event “Please use hashtag #12g&d to tweet”. Wrong.
Your attendees need to be provided with the hashtag the moment they register for your event. VenueWize automates this by including in it’s confirmation email to guests that have purchased tickets or registered.

How does a Twitter hashtag benefit my event?

If the above steps are taken and a Twitter hashtag is provided to attendees the moment they register for an event, then something like the following is likely to happen:

Mike tweets: “I just registered for #12g&d really excited to go”.
Sarah tweets: “I hope #12g&d has snacks =)”
Andrew: “#12g&d here we come!!!”

Now Mike, Sarah, and Andrew’s followers all know about #12g&d and this will increase awareness of your event. Mike, Sarah and Andrew are having a conversation. Mike can search Twitter for “#12g&d” and will find Sarah and Andrew’s tweets, and may choose to reply to their tweets and become friends with them weeks before the event has even occurred.
The best part hasn’t even happened yet. Twitter hashtags will increase participation at your event, since during the event, attendees will be tweeting their thoughts about various speakers, booths, exhibitors, foods, songs, & literally anything and everything. This again, allows attendees to connect, on a digital level when they’re in the same room, or even sitting two seats apart, and takes the fear and awkwardness out of meeting new people.