Social media at your event – why, where, what and how!

What is an event without social media in 2014? There are many ways you can use social media to your advantage. To increase involvement, expand exposure, create buzz and monitor the event’s sentiment.

social media

Event website
When people check out your event website they might be not sure if they should attend. A most recent Twitter stream with your hashtag could rule them over – because if these interesting people are going, so should I! The same hashtag can create a lot of buzz before your event even starts and gives people the possibility to connect with fellow attendees.

Signing up
Whether you have linked your sign-up system with your CRM database or just create an attendee list from your Facebook event guest list, it’s the ideal time to connect with them. Invite them to like your Facebook page, your event page or to download your specially created app. Don’t forget to mention your hashtag!

Yes, they are here! Now people have to check in, collect their badge, hang their coats and make a quick bathroom stop. You can imagine there’s a lot of waiting involved in the first stage of attending your event. Make it worthwhile! Send them a welcome SMS or tweet, give away stickers with your event’s hashtag or cool brand logo (social nerds love to put them on their fancy Apple computers), show snippets of video’s in the waiting area’s, hang posters that mention the social platforms you are monitoring today and invite the attendee to share Tweets, pictures on Instagram etc. Don’t forget: free wifi is the key to a social event.

Social signage
What’s going on? In which room  is that interesting talk? What’s trending? Where should I go? What are others doing? All questions you can answer with a social signage. A social signage can be optimised specially for your brand. Insert livestreams full with updates, pictures, check-in, mentions and presentation notifications. Link the social signage with several big screens at smart locations such as waiting area’s, the coffee corner, entrance of rooms and nearby the bathrooms.

Background screens
Chances are you invited a lot of interested speakers. Whether you like it or not people are going to live tweet, discuss and talk online during the talk. Why not implement this buzz in the presentation? A background screen can create interesting discussions. Ask listeners to post their question or opinion with the hashtag. It works a lot easier than going around with a mic and besides, people tend to ask something faster online than raising their hands in real life.


Why you should speak during a conference

Public speaking can be a challenge for a lot of us. It’s a little nerve wrecking to have all these people looking at you. And they are listening to what you are saying. What if you forget the words? What if your point won’t come across? Even if speaking during a conference can be scary and takes a lot of time and effort, you should really do it. Why?

public speaking

It’s an honour to be asked
They don’t ask you to speak at their conference because all the other interesting people had something else to do. They are asking you because they see something in you. Something that fits right in with the subject or theme. Are you not sure why they wanted you? Ask! And use it for your speech.

Think outside the box
Speaking at an event can be a great opportunity to do something else for a change. To prepare for a speech you really have to imagine yourself being the listener. What would be interesting to see or hear? How can you bring something new to the table? Preparing for a speech is a very creative process, I am sure you will like it!

It broadens your network
Speaking at a conference is a great conversation starter for others to talk to you. Meeting all these people is great, but if you’re smart you can really broaden your network. Bring business cards and give them to people who are interesting or who could help you in the future. Invite people you recently met for a coffee. Networking is a verb, keep that in mind.

People remember stories 
Nobody remembers the statistics, but they do remember your anecdote about how your company started out and how you transformed it into a success. Such memories are worth a lot, it’s great PR for you and the company you represent!

Have you ever spoken during a conference? Tell me all about it in the comments!