I’m often asked about live events and social media; how can I maximise social media for my event, is it necessary, is it too time-consuming, will it make a difference?

Well, the short answer is yes it will make a difference and it can add a considerable amount of value to your marketing efforts, pre-event, during the event and not forgetting in the all-important post-event wrap up phase. Here are our top tips to amplify your event beyond the conference centre using social media.

1. Have a #Hashtag

It’s vitally important to agree on this up front, make it unique but also relevant to your event and brand. The hashtag will be used on social media for attendees, sponsors and exhibitors to advertise that they are attending, it will be the focus for all the chatter around the event and will help you to track any conversations about your event on social media.

Get it on every single piece of marketing collateral, brochures, adverts, tickets. Add it to email footers, add it to images you use on social media and make sure it’s advertised at the event itself. If people are using your hashtag, you’re visible and searchable online.

2. Twitter Lists

If you haven’t used a twitter list before, how have you coped?! Twitter lists are a way to segment the accounts that you want to watch without getting lost in a busy twitter home feed. Set up a list with all of your speakers and sponsors, differentiate them by day if necessary and this will allow you to interact with them far more easily.

3. Make the most of your sponsors, speakers and exhibitors

These guys want to get as many people to the event to hear from them as possible, so you have the same common goals. The likelihood is that they will be telling their social media following that they are going to be at your event, helping with your marketing. Make it easy for them, send them a draft tweet or LinkedIn post (with the hashtag of course) highlighting the key features, dates, times, where to get tickets etc.

4. Announce the speakers to your audience

This has to be one of the most obvious points, but the agenda is totally the most relevant content to share with your audience; who will be speaking, what company they are from and what they will be discussing will influence whether people want to buy tickets to your events. It shows that you have a credible and engaging event!

Create an image that clearly stands out, preferably include a headshot of the speaker with details of what they will be debating, sharing, discussing and combine that with a post/tweet where you tag them and their company. This will then notify the speaker/company that they have been mentioned and fingers crossed, you’ll get a retweet or share from them too, increasing your target audience immediately.

5. Live tweeting

This may strike you with fear and to be honest, it is quite a task to keep on top of what is happening at the event and follow and engage with others who are talking about your event online. It definitely needs a dedicated resource and, depending on the size of your event, it may need more, but miss out on this opportunity and your event will only be confined to the conference centre

Twitter is a conversational platform and you will find that trade journalists, speakers and delegates will be wanting to discuss what they have heard at the event. This is great news for your event, as it is now reaching a wider audience and your brand is getting known for producing interesting speakers and content. To really amplify this though, you need to engage yourself, let others who didn’t attend know what is happening in the room, what special offers, newsworthy items, trending debates are happening. Thank speakers who tweet after their session, let people know what is next, answer questions about where they can get tickets for tomorrow’s session and much more.

Besides informing and engaging, what you are saying is “We’re top of our game for events like this, don’t miss out, make sure you get tickets for the next one” You’re also boosting the profile of your speakers, sponsors etc and that will give them the confidence to invest time and money with you next time too.

6. Post Event

Don’t think that your work is done once the event wraps up and you are in pull down mode. You have a window of opportunity to exploit the goodwill and content from the show. Think about hosting highlight videos or videos of the keynotes or panel sessions of most interest on YouTube, use this after the day itself to underline the quality of the event. Add a moment on Twitter, share videos, pictures, whitepapers, news across your social channels.

Now you can concentrate on consolidating a following who are ready to hear about what you have planned next, making life just that bit easier to find more quality speakers and to attract paying delegates and sponsors next time.

These are just a few of our top ideas when it comes to preparing for the maximum exposure for your event, there are of course many more such as twitter walls, paid social, competitions…  If you are running an event and want to understand more about how you can maximise your exposure through social media and social media advertising, then do get in touch.