Considering all the effort you put into managing your event, why does interest in it seem to peak during event time and plateau the rest of the year?
The reason: Your event should be considered part of your marketing mix, and you are probably missing some major engagement ingredients.
In part one of this two-part blog series, I outlined two of the primary online opportunities that people seem to be missing or messing up related to your event’s social media and event website strategy. To complete the series, here are the additional ingredients.
You established an event hashtag and left it out on Twitter to die
The only thing worse than not having a social media presence at all for your event is having a dead one. A prime example is an event hashtag on Twitter with no attention paid to it.
It’s not easy to come up with interesting things to say in 140 characters or less each day, but if you’re going to establish a hashtag in hopes that people join the conversation about your event online, you might have to get the party started.
To do so, include your event hashtag in tweets that contain links to articles your target audience values, links to your blog, questions about their biggest takeaways from last year, and so on.
There is no “you” in “community”
As Friedman states, “The growth of social media communities now enables shows and events to participate in these communities as active ‘members’ on a year-round basis. As such, building year-round communities is a growing trend for shows and show management.”
In an article titled Why Social Networking Groups Fail, Nils Montan, owner of the LinkedIn group, “Law and Social Media Networking,” is quoted saying:
“Many of the Groups I belong to are kinda ‘dead’. The owner starts them and then just lets a thousand flowers bloom without rhyme or reason. Usually people seem to get bored and stop posting and the featured discussions stay up for months.”
If you’re going to create a group, make sure you assign someone at your organization to maintain and moderate it! Don’t let dust collect. It looks bad for your brand, and it is a noticeable lack of noise when people are searching online and through social media sites about your event.
Don’t think you have time to establish your own social media community? Participate frequently in someone else’s group that is relevant to your target audience. Promote educational items. Solicit feedback.
Invest, and they will return
It takes quite a bit of marketing effort to reengage an event attendee or exhibitor and get them to participate or register again the following year. Unless, of course, you never have to fully reengage them because you keep them engaged year round with other tactics like social media and websites. Imagine how much event marketing costs could be saved if you never have to reengage them!
Your event is part of a marketing mix. It’s an exciting experience, something to look forward to, hopefully something to remember – but, it’s finite. It begins. It ends. And then it begins again. Remember the value your event promised? You can deliver on that value before and after the event, too, and keep interest high throughout the year.