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Social Media: Secret Sauce for a Special Event

  • 23 June 2014
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When planning any special event, be it a celebration, sports, political or arts affair, a thoughtful planner might wish to consider the role social media can play.  Start by asking yourself (or your client) these questions:

Social Media

 

  • Does it serve both the guest and host to have a social media presence?
  • Does the event need a ‘buzz’ to involve guests to yield a specific outcome (generating ticket or merchandise sales, raising awareness or dollars or relief supplies)?
  • Does the possibility of an interactive real-time experience make the event more desirable?
  • Is there an added value to the host, organization, or guest sharing the event’s details after it has ended?
  • Are you a savvy and creative ‘super-user’ who will plan and be on hand to manage social media before, after, and during the event?

 

Answering ‘yes’ to any of the above means that there is a role for social media (SM) at your special event.  Another question to ask early in planning: do you want to use SM to organize, promote, engage on- and off-site, or to continue the experience?  Answering this will lead to the next step: deciding what tools to use.  Eventbrite, and Facebook are two examples of platforms currently available that streamline the invitation and RSVP process.  Social media apps are optimized for mobile or tablet use, and in many cases can be customized to accommodate the host’s needs for privacy or widespread sharing.  Guests can share their attendance plans, see the guest list, share content, and chat with the host or other guests in advance.  Hashtags on FourSquare, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be used for promotion, along with email and text blasts.  During the event encourage onsite or virtual guest interactivity via check-ins, live-tweeting, live-stream chats, and posting photo or video content on any of the SM platforms in real time.  A shrewd SM manager guides guests in the appropriate use of links, tags and hashtags for optimal buzz.  Afterward, post- event buzz and conversations can be maintained for as long as is necessary online. This is especially useful in fundraising or political campaigns, or for company and product launches.  

 Are you ready to bring social media to your next special event?  We can help.  Social media can be a powerful tool in an event planner’s repertoire.  The key is to apply the tools seamlessly so they serve as an adjunct, rather than a distraction, to the event’s goals.

 

This is the first in our new ‘Secret Sauce’ series, where we discuss and demystify key industry topics.  Did you find this article informative?  Drop us a line or come chat with us about it on Twitter at @PlanIt7 !

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