Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Social Media & Your Association Event

The importance of social media and promoting your event is obvious, and there are several examples of organizations using it very well to ensure that the right conversations are taking place.  However, there are still many trying to figure out how to keep the conversation going (if it even gets started in the first place).

Be Prepared:  Create a calendar of posts to generate interest and excitement. This can include ensure that your exhibitors and sponsors are recognized, putting out a call for volunteers, looking for (and announcing) speakers, determining what content to have in the sessions, etc.

No matter how many networks you use (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) you need to create and maintain your unique following, which includes your members, exhibitors, sponsors, and speakers/presenters participating as well.  Explain the unique benefits of including themselves on the conversation.

Other tools:  Prepare to be low-tech as well as high-tech.  Technology has its challenges, so ensure that you have a backup plan for power shortages, the password for the WI-FI, etc.  To do this, ensure that you have a hard copy of the program printed ahead of time.  Ensure you know the twitter handles of the people you will need to mention, and note them down (which will avoid accidental mistakes).

Whether you use your smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc. make sure that you bring your chargers for everything.  Some conferences have charging stations, but you cannot count on it – so prepare for the inevitable – when your battery is low, and you have only gone through half the day!

Keep it going:  Measure people’s opinion on the content after the fact.  How did they find the session?  Was it of value?  How did they like the speaker?  Were they knowledgeable?

The adage of quality over quantity could not be truer for social media. It’s not about an “info dump”, but having a conversation. It’s not only about making information accessible on the day of, but engaging with people who want to participate long after the booths are down.

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