If your social feeds resemble mine, they are littered with event promotions, but it is difficult to discern one event from another. Most events simply utilize an image and a photo of their speaker to promote the event. No harm there, but why not get creative and engage your audience to generate more interest? I know that corporate bureaucracy and marketing don’t often work together, but I thought I’d highlight a few simple ideas to creatively promote events.
- Provide Context: Events typically bring in headliners to help draw attendees, but not all events can afford recognizable speakers and most events have more than just headliners. However, I rarely see a group tell their audience the reason why they selected the speakers who will be on stage. Trust me, these decisions are not made lightly. So why not share the rationale to help your audience understand the thought process and get as excited about the speakers as the event planners?
- Engage Before the Event: I hear from speakers and audiences alike that the post-speech Q&A is always a highlight. Yet, it’s surprising that more groups don’t engage their online audiences in advance of an event to offer the opportunity to pose questions. This tactic would alleviate the concern of Q&A getting derailed by fans telling stories, instead of asking a question while standing at a microphone. It also helps build excitement for attendees to see if their question gets asked and to hear their name called in front of a large crowd.
- Post-Event Engagement: I often see events featuring their hashtag on signage at an event, but rarely do I see events incentivizing attendees into actually using it. How about a contest to post takeaways from a speaker, with winners receiving a copy of a speaker’s signed book? It doesn’t take anything groundbreaking to encourage people to engage with your event on social media. I am also always blown away by the lack of engagement between an event and its attendees not only during an event but afterwards as people proudly post from on site. It’s also an opportunity to solicit feedback from someone who clearly has a voice, otherwise, they wouldn’t be posting in the first place!
- Networking Opportunities: During the pandemic, we all pivoted to virtual events, albeit some faster than others. One thing was abundantly clear during this time: there was no replacing the networking that takes place in person. Most people enjoy the opportunity to say hi to an old friend over coffee, meet new people at lunch, or simply share insights while walking in/out of a ballroom. Yet, once the event ends, people still want to network and events can offer support through digital matchmaking, tagging attendees, surveys, etc. Let’s not let the event end, when the event ends!
Now, more than ever, events are trying to become year-long properties, not simply owning a day or two. Effectively utilizing social media to not only creatively promote your event, but build community and engage directly with your audience can maximize the impact you have, and deepen the relationship between event and attendee.
At VaynerSpeakers, We believe that social media is a powerful tool for transforming events into unforgettable experiences. By thinking creatively and strategically, you can leverage these platforms to engage, educate, and inspire your audience.