Paul Martin, director of marketing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at event management platform EventsAIR, explores what he feels is at the heart of event success: social media.
All event planners understand that one of the primary keys to event success is attendee engagement, however there are a number of ways to achieve this and choosing the right approach for your audience can present a challenge.
One approach that has been recognised as an effective option across the event spectrum is the use of private social media tools that encourage attendees to share their thoughts, opinions, memorable moments and experiences with others in a controlled private feed, deployed just for the event.
Such private event forums of social exchange serve to provide attendees with much greater confidence to participate than seen through traditional mainstream platforms.
Although these tools typically capture and display content between attendees through an attendee app, making the content more widely and easily available in real time, using large screens placed in highly visible locations throughout the event venue has proved key in driving social media uptake at events, while also helping to promote broader interpersonal recognition by attendees and further foster engagement and collaboration.
Implementing such social media tools in this easily accessible way also acts as a great ice breaker allowing attendees to move out of their comfort zone in virtual environments that they are highly familiar with and extend to a meeting in person, further developing their new relationships.
These platforms can also serve to lengthen the period of attendee engagement to many weeks pre and post the event duration, enabling attendees to develop connections well before their arrival onsite and continue to nurture their relations well after the event, creating longer bonds.
One of the keys to a successful social media engagement strategy is not to overwhelm the attendees with too many channels that they need to contribute content to, but keep them focused in a few strategically selected streams that are well developed for the desired audience.
Some platforms like EventsAIR will also enable the content contributed by attendees over the course of the event to be used to quickly create a closing presentation for the event to encapsulate the event highlights and leave a lasting memory for the attendees.
With social interaction and engagement at the heart of event success it is expected that technology will only further expand and innovate in this area in the future.
Read in the latest edition of CMW, issue 95, online here: http://joom.ag/TnUY/p30