Conferences are a big investment.
To ensure a return on that investment, maximising audience engagement and the reach of your event are crucial. They’re the difference between a worthwhile conference, and a flop.
Regular and targeted content and social media activity can help to create a buzz around your conference, drive greater engagement and extend the life of your event way beyond the final curtain.
Social media can deliver the return on investment you need, if you use it correctly.
The Build Up
There is no better start to a conference than one where the room is already alive with a buzz and gentle hum of excitement and anticipation.
Through social media, you can get your participants talking about the event weeks, or even months, before the event by sharing content through social media channels relevant to your target audience.
Post regular teasers about agendas, speakers and workshops to create mystery, anticipation and intrigue. Use your event hash-tag regularly in posts. Build up the event, so that by the time it comes around, the audience can’t wait to get started.
— INVOLVE (@involve_uk) September 24, 2013
Audience engagement starts well before the participants walk through the door.
The Main Event
So, you have generated a wide and active interest in what you are doing through social media avenues. Make sure you accommodate that interest by recording everything.
Report live from the event through tweets, blog posts and video clips, and immortalise the event forever on the social web. Invite followers to watch and participate using an event hashtag. Keep them up to date with what’s happening throughout the day. You’ll find that many people who weren’t at the conference will be next time!
The Follow Up
It’s in the follow up to the event that social media really comes into its own. This is where you’ll see the true ROI on your conference.
Social media allows you to continue to expose your team to the vital information from the conference on an ongoing basis. No matter how engaging or inspiring the conference was, your team are likely to forget things. The last thing you want is for your investment to go to waste. Involve them in social media conversation about the event, and encourage them to integrate what they learnt into their work.
It’s really important that you hold onto anyone that engaged with content posted through social channels, or shared your updates. They could all be future customers after all!
Create polished and engaging post-event content – summaries, highlights, photo galleries – and re-edit anything that has long-term value for your organisation. Think about future prospects. From the interested followers that you generated through your event’s social media campaign, who could deliver further ROI in the future? Who is a potential customer or investor?
Continue to follow up on the key relationships you established through social media, and your event could continue to pay for years to come.
If you need any advice on how to deliver a greater ROI for your conference, please give us a call.