Planning a conference, trade show or user event? Even if your event is far off on the calendar, you can start thinking about how you’ll leverage content and social media when it finally arrives.
We’re big fans of using Twitter actively during events — whether we’re there as the event organizers, sponsors, or just as attendees. (If you’ve ever attended an event with Rep Cap’s Brooke Howell, you’ve seen her supersonic live-tweeting skills in person!) Twitter is an easy and effective way to build community and create new connections at events.
Today, I’ll walk you through through a few ways event organizers can embrace and leverage Twitter to share and encourage great event content.
Psst: a lot of these tips came from the event-planning all-stars that we interviewed for our new white paper, How to Turn Your Next Event into a Content Goldmine. Download the white paper for all of their insider event tips.
4 Ways to Leverage Twitter at Your Next Event
1. Use an event hashtag.
Decide on a hashtag for your event, then promote it early and often.
“We have big Twitter walls to see what people are tweeting about during sessions,” says Sarah Rand of the National Retail Federation. “During shows, we encourage people to tweet. We provide hashtags for every single show far ahead of time so people can get excited. It’s always fun to see what kinds of discussions are taking place.”
2. Promote Twitter handles and hashtags.
Deb Evans of Deb Evans Consulting recommends including a person’s Twitter handle any time their name is listed, including on the table tents during sessions and on everyone’s badges, to help drive conversations. (If you know that your attendees are highly engaged on Twitter, it’s definitely a good idea to include their Twitter handle on name badges — at #INBOUND13, I saw attendees writing in their @handle on their name tags in pen.)
You can also think creatively about how you display and promote your brand’s Twitter handle or chosen hashtag. Where could you promote your social presence? Branded cocktail napkins or coasters at happy hour? On the screen before every presentation begins? On your staff’s t-shirts? Get creative to connect with event attendees.
3. Insist on reliable Wifi at the event.
If you’re hosting a digital-friendly event, providing reliable Wifi seems like a no-brainer. But, many conferences and events fail when it comes to helping attendees connect. Work with the IT staff managing your event to ensure the connection is strong, make sure the network name and password are easy to share (no long alphanumeric passwords!), and promote the information everywhere.
4. Share the conversation at the event — and after.
Project the Twitter stream on a large, clearly visible screen to promote tweeting during the event. (UPDATE: Our friends at HootSuite suggest their HootFeed.) You might even spark some in-person discussions based on tweets. Share a curated stream of tweets after the event using a tool such as RebelMouse or Storify. Include a teaser with selected tweets in your next email newsletter, on your website’s sidebar or in a blog post.
Looking for more ways that content can boost your next event? Download our white paper, How to Turn Your Next Event into a Content Goldmine.
Reputation Capital Media Services is a Baton Rouge marketing agency that helps B2B companies and their marketing agencies produce high-quality digital content, including blog posts, e-mail newsletters, white papers and multimedia. Our editors and writers are experts in their fields, which include HR technology, employee benefits, and financial services and accounting. Contact us for a free 30-minute consultation to find out how great content can help you attract and retain your customers.