Using Social Media For Your Event

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No matter which channel you use to communicate to your customers, it’s best if you have a plan to reach them on their preferred channel when you want them to come to your event. For many businesses, the quickest and cheapest method has shown to be Twitter or Facebook or wherever social network the majority of your customers are.

Jay Baer at Convince and Convert picked seven of the top 39 suggestions from a speech he gave the previous week. His seven are listed below, along with a short summary with our remarks following. There’s a lot of great ideas in his published list, but everything can be improved.

Get your potential attendees interacting with you early on by enabling some measure of feedback or crowd sourcing on the conference programming.

Really great way to reward your most avid fans and even spare yourself a little bit of time with your planning process. Be sure to simplify the process so no one is confused.

Almost all events have an official Web site. But very few (except for the geek events) take full advantage of all the free event listing and event management opportunities.

Being everything often means being nothing unless you’re talking about event promotion. Get out everywhere. Post to online calendars and newspaper listings. Don’t limit the places you put your info.

As the event draws closer, you have to pull potential attendees off of the fence with content hors d’ouerves.

Start asking questions of the attendees. Don’t just present them with data to consume, allow them to share in the creation. Give them a problem to solve that can only be done with other attendees guarantees a passionate audience.

Pick a hash tag for your event, so attendees and remote watchers can monitor on Twitter. Shorter the better, please. Then, start your conference with an unofficial Tweet-up. It gets your likely content creators motivated and excited.

Enlist the help of industry insiders or local know-it-alls to get a head start on the amount of conversation you might see, based on existing sharing patterns.

I’m a big fan of voting via text message, and I’d like to see more events more toward session evaluations through that same interface.

Yes, make the information you have on hand more accessible and transparent by using efficient technology. Involve people in the process of everything.

Create your own media during the event.

I wish this could be shouted. Like Baer says, live stream your event, set up a Flickr gallery, and interview speakers, sponsors and VIP attendees. Make it short, make it interesting and make it easily shareable for your audience.

Take the conference content and spread it as widely as possible. Your goal is to get the doubters that didn’t come this year to view that content and decide to go the next year.

We’ve found that using a hash tag does much of this aggregation for you, as it broadcasts the event’s happenings to interested parties. Make it easy for people to find out what happened and be sure to post both audio and video versions of your presentations.

Anything we missed? What would you suggest?