Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's your party!

Love them or loathe them, events are crucial to most businesses. Conferences, networking events and exhibitions are ways to meet and greet current customers, find new ones and raise that brand profile (gagging on jargon).

It’s all about standing out at the party and thanks to social media; a cool idea could go viral (gag). Just think of flash mobs! No budget for a troupe of dancers? You could try a one man/women show... hmm.

Never mind, here are a few ways to promote your event via social media without spending a fortune…

Sing it blue bird!
Get onto your company’s fan page, twitter profile, and blog to start talking about the upcoming event. If you don’t have all the details be vague because let’s face it, everyone likes a little mystery.

Run a competition
Online competitions can work but there are so many! Stand out by ensuring your competition is compelling and keep it simple. The more you ask people to do, the bigger the prize should be.

Welcome royalty
If you give away event tickets, be sure to treat winners like royalty. Give them a branded goodie bag and take time to talk to your online fan. Oh and as an extra bonus, they’ll be walking around the rest of the event carrying your branded goodie bag!

Let them lounge
If space allows, encourage visitors to linger by setting up a lounge area of sorts. Make people feel comfortable, assign a staff member to approach them and start conversations. Make sure you put out interesting material visitors can look at. Portfolio books, displays, brochures and multimedia shows could keep guests entertained and they’ll learn more about your brand.

Picture it
Set up a photo booth, take pictures of your guests and give them a card where they can find their image. If you take a photo of someone and tell them where they can find it online, they are bound to look and you could convert offline visitors into online fans. It’s human vanity and let’s not lie, we all fall prey to it. This is a great tactic to get your Facebook fan page numbers to shoot up too!

It’s obvious that what you put in is what you get out, as it is with everything, but even if your budget is small, you could still use social media effectively to promote your event. I've worked a few events, been to many and supported clients’ events with social media. As useful as social media is, the event experience is crucial!

Great events have an audience ‘hook’, something fun like a photo-booth, and a team who don’t wait for people to ask; they’ll approach them, smile lots and make conversation. If you don’t do anything else, focus on making a few minutes at your exhibition stand or an evening at your cocktail event feel like a 5-star experience. If you can get that right, your guests are bound to tweet about it!

Image via Flickr 

I'd love to hear what has worked for you, your client or what you've noticed other brands do well. What do you say? 

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