November 8, 2018
#EventOfTheYear: How to Create a Socially Shareable Event
You want to attract the largest possible audience to your event. After all, you plan to deliver some truly impressive event experiences. But not everyone can attend. So, how can you take those experiences to non-attendees? Through social media, of course! By creating shareable moments throughout your event, you can reach a larger crowd than is physically possible and inspire even greater participation next time.
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is one of the strongest motivators ever. A socially shareable event plays on that worrisome FOMO, by building pre-function anticipation. Your event is all the buzz — clearly, it is a must-attend. Sharing also eases FOMO by enabling non-attendees to benefit vicariously.
A socially shareable event allows you to take the experience to those who cannot attend, and to bring them in as participants. And if you’re thinking social sharing is only for millennials, think again. No matter your type of content or target audience, you can bet your people are using social media.
Start with a Social Sharing Strategy
Many business tactics require a strategy to reach its full potential. That includes social sharing of your event. Here are some great ideas to get your content out there.
- Know your audience. The key here is to understand which platforms your attendees are using most and how they’re sharing on each one. You want to reach out and make it easy for them to connect and engage with your event.
- Create shareable content. You’ll want content you can prepare ahead of time to be shared at specific times before and during the event. Think informational content that links to your website, fun or exclusive-to-attendees content such as a contest that piques interest and starts event-related conversations, and real-time event highlights. Videos are especially sharable, but photos and other visuals are great, too. Live-stream presentations, or capture them as podcasts to share.
- Identify points throughout your event for spontaneous sharing. Prepared content enables you to post consistently, spontaneous posts from increase the sense of immediacy and intrigue. What will happen next? And while that’s all good, what’s really great to boost interest, audience, and participation is attendee sharing.
Create a Hashtag to Stimulate Sharing
Pick one for each of the social media platforms you plan to use. Then, liberally promote the hashtags — on your website, pre-event publicity, signage, tickets, projected onto the wall or floor at your event, anywhere you would use your logo — to encourage widespread use. Better yet, incentivize hashtag use in some way, perhaps with a contest or a prominent, centrally located social media wall.
What makes a sharable hashtag? It’s very short, so it’s easy to remember, it includes a date (#BestEvent2018), and it’s unique to your event. Well, of course.
Support Sharing with Adequate Technology
Balky internet connections will kill your event’s social shareability and seriously frustrate attendees. It takes powerful Wi-Fi to support lots of users, especially when they’re uploading, downloading, and live streaming. Boosting bandwidth for your event will cost money, but you’ll see an incalculable return on this investment. (Make sure you provide charging stations for attendees so they can stay connected throughout your event.)
Proactively Manage Your Strategy
With your social sharing strategy in place, assign a manager whose sole job is to oversee this critical portion of your program. (You may need more than one, possibly several, if your event is very large or your content or audience demographics are complex.)
Your social strategy manager should assemble and share your pre-determined content before and during the event to generate and maintain interest. Start at least a month in advance to build excitement and attendance. Social media managers should also encourage and monitor attendee sharing throughout the event, joining in the conversation and responding immediately to comments or other feedback.
By creating a socially shareable event, you can attract more in-person and remote attendees and ensure they never miss out on a moment. And we think that’s #worthit.