Meeting attendees get more social media savvy every year, and with this change, the demand to use social media to reach them before, during and after events grows. We've put together five simple tips to help you incorporate social media into your next meeting, event, trade show or convention, with some additional information on how Experience Columbus can be your partner in exceeding attendees' expectations.
1. Know your audience and their preferred channels.
If your organization works extensively in social media, you probably have a very good sense of where conversations your potential attendees is taking place. If you're in more of an early stage, make sure your audience is where you think it is. You can survey your attendees on preferred social media channels, but be sure to ask whether they have private accounts, and if they use their channels for business purposes.
2. Create moments that are Instagrammable.
Your attendees want to share things that make them happy, so consider setting up an enticing physical backdrop or photo set to get them to share from your event. That could be as simple as a photo booth with fun props, but including a local twist makes things even more memorable. Experience Columbus' services team can help with vendor recommendations.
3. Infuse local content in your messaging.
For many convention attendees, what's learned at networking events, offsite jaunts and impromptu meet-ups is just as important as what's taught in conference sessions. Help your attendees find the most memorable local spots by teaming up with your host city's destination marketing organization. When you choose Columbus, we partner with you to create content your attendees will love. See some examples here.
4. Listen and react.
When you invest in social media, make sure you have the capability to stay up to date, even during the hectic times of your event. Being proactive in solving problems attendees may post about, being helpful with advice and building relationships with humor or kindness are all key ways to make a difference in how your audience feels about your event. The Experience Columbus social media team will always be listening to your hashtags, and will answer any destination-related questions. We'll also forward on any questions to which your team can best respond.
5. Remind and reward.
Sometimes, even people glued to their phones can forget to post. So don't be shy - invite them to share by incorporating messages in program scripts and creating signage to display in high traffic areas. Consider a simple contest that incentivizes social sharing - maybe a photo contest where the winner's image is displayed in the closing session, or a video contest in which the winner receives a free registration to the next event.