It’s your wedding in a month. The first thing you probably do is log onto Facebook and create an event, inviting your friends for your wedding. You can choose the people you want to invite from your friend list, keep a track of who will be attending and who cannot make it, and ensure that your guests are reminded of the event as the date arrives.
If, on a personal level, a social media website can have such a defining impact on your event, imagine the kind of impact it must make on the event management industry! Undoubtedly, it’s impossible, in fact foolish, to ignore social media in the digital age. For an event, its engagement in social media is a must for making a resounding impact.
SHAPING AN EVENT’S SUCCESS WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
An event draws people for the educational or entertaining content it may offer and the networking opportunities it leads to. Those on social media platforms are looking for interesting content and a chance to interact with more and more people; this makes social media the perfect tool to reach out to your potential attendees. Engaging with an event’s attendees on social media platforms and encouraging conversations ensure that people talk about the event before, during and after it via mediums like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
On social media platforms, it is possible to target individuals based on their interests. This gives the opportunity to reach out to a much larger audience, besides opening avenues for event sharing by the audience themselves. An online forum is a favourable space for participants of an event to collaborate and communicate prior to it. This can be dynamically positive for the event, making way for meaningful dialogue. By gauging the tone and nature of these online discussions before the programme, speakers of the event can be well-prepared with valuable information and suitable answers to queries. Even after the event, organisers of the event can continue to interact with attendees and others interested in the subject via social media platforms, taking in questions and analysing feedback. The interaction will ensure that interest in the event is carried forward for a longer duration.
Creating the event’s social media presence, engaging target audience in discussions using hashtags, blogging about the programme, tweeting, retweeting and replying on Twitter, and basically keeping it conversational via social media platforms are great ways to build a buzz over an event. Sharing pictures and videos during the event, allowing people to ‘check-in’ to the event, running contests, etc. keep the event’s excitement high while it’s on. At the end, the important thing is to remember that the social media activity around an event should not be ignored once the event is over. What works for a brand is maintaining the buzz right through and after.
At an age when social media is central to our lives, our events cannot go untouched by its colossal impact. It becomes imperative then to use it to attract, promote, engage and celebrate events via this multi-dimensional platform and reap its many benefits.