Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Make sure that everyone who follows or likes your event on Twitter and Facebook is rewarded for their interest. Offer fans and followers special discounts or content. To incentivize people to register for the event, offer them early-bird discounts, invites to pre-event parties, or other rewards. If you really want to boost the power of word-of-mouth, you can use tools like Meteor Solutions to identify your key influencers, then actively motivate and reward them for sharing information about your contest.
Don’t forget to use a social registration service like EventBrite, which not only makes registration easier and more streamlined, but allows attendees to share their event activity with friends. Other popular social event invitation platforms include Plancast and Twtvite. Most of these services are highly integrated with social networking platforms and can be configured with user caps and privacy options.
Geo-location sites let you set up a page with rewards including badges, coupons, specials, or gifts. These location based services are easily integrated with other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, so checkins will be shared with larger networks. When attendees come to your event, you can reward them for checking in at different stations, panels, or activities. Rewards such as free ice cream, a gift card, or other small incentives can be redeemed after the show.
Don’t forget to set up a livestream during the event using Facebook or UStream so fans can follow along online. Facebook enables you to store this stream so that people can watch it after the event proper. You can also create a YouTube channel for the event to post videos before, during, and after. Encourage non-attendees to ask questions through Twitter or Facebook during the event and answer them live.
Consider using online surveys to ask attendees for feedback on panels, venue, speakers, topics, and other facets of the event. Facebook polls are fun, easy ways to get quick responses and feedback from attendees. Be prepared for honesty. If someone has a negative comment to share, make sure to address their comment or concern and store the information to improve next year’s event. Lastly, pull total social media stats from sites like Search.Twitter.com and Social Mention, or set up Google Alerts ahead of time. If the results are positive, don’t be shy about publicizing some of these metrics to highlight the reach and impact your event had.