In the last five years, as a speaker or attendee at events around the world, I’ve noticed that many event organizers are not yet taking advantage of social or mobile platforms for marketing, documenting, or archiving. I’ve put together a list of ways to empower speakers, panelists, moderators, and even sponsors, exhibitors and attendees to promote your next event, before, during and after it happens.
1. Set it up
Make sure you have a complete online presence for your event. That could mean starting with a page on your website, a microsite specifically for the event, a Facebook Page or a listing on a social events site (see #3).
Don’t start talking about your event in your social networks until you have a destination where you can send people to learn more about the event and to RSVP or register.
2. Spell it out
The most important part of the process of promoting your event in a social and mobile world is to provide all the tools and instructions anyone might need to easily help you spread the word. Whatever assets you’ve set up online as your event presence, you have to let people know they can like it, friend it, follow it, or otherwise connect with it – and invite their connections to do the same.
Create a document containing instructions, URLs, and pre-crafted social messaging such as sample Facebook Posts and tweets that you can share electronically. Distribute your events document as a Word doc, a PDF, a shared Google Doc, a web page, even a file uploaded to a social network. Get it into the hands of your event stakeholders as well as your friends, fans and followers so they can help you spread the word.
Consider printing out a similar document as a handout at your event to prompt people to engage in the moment.
3. Get social
Human beings are social creatures, and the participants in your event are no exception. Use social event apps to list your event or even manage your event from registrations to promotions and take advantage of their social media integrated. Use these listings as your event destination page or to create additional exposure for your event by reaching wider audiences. Some social event apps include:
- Eventbrite – This full-service social events site lets you manage registrations, collect the money if you’re selling tickets, and puts social tools at your fingertips. If you’re selling tickets, you can even motivate your speakers or attendees to help you promote your event through an easy-to-set-up affiliate program where you can give them a percentage of sales they generate. You can also embed an Eventbrite ticket ordering forms into your website or blog post making it easier for people to register (for free events as well as fee-based ones).
- Lanyrd – From an event organizer standpoint, you can list your event and tie into your speakers and key topics, giving people an additional way to learn about your event. From a speaker standpoint, I love how I can list where I’m speaking and tie into the event listing. From an author event, I can also expand my Lanyrd profile to include links to my books. Lanyrd was recently purchased by Eventbrite – a very interesting merger that will only increase the power of each.
- Plancast – Another place to list your events that integrates with Facebook, Twitter and email as well as popular calendar apps like Outlook and GCal.
- Facebook Events – There is no arguing with the power of the Facebook socialsphere, and creating a Facebook Event has all the interconnected and promotable features you’d expect.
- Google+ Events – This is another viable option for listing your event. One nice feature of the app is the ability for attendees who have RSVPd and are using the G+ mobile app to submit images they’ve taken at your event to a shared photo collection.
- Eventful – An event-discovery app and online events calendar tool with social features.
4. Get Mobile
While Eventbrite, Lanyrd, Plancast, Facebook and Eventful also have mobile apps or mobile features (such as Eventbrite’s mobile attendee on-site check-in), there are other social mobile apps you can use for and at your event to further engage your attendees. Here are a few:
- Bizzabo – “Socialize” your event for pre-event social media buzz to at the event announcements and interacting with attendees.
- Pathable – Social and mobile solution for events.
- Nice Meeting – Put everything from speaker slides to quick polls at attendees’ fingertips.
- Atendy – Manage your event, promote it and engage with your attendees.
Tap into your audience for promotions, content and more.
- Picatic – A combination event management tool and crowdfunding platform.
- Epilogger – Epilogger calls itself a “living event archive” and collects what people are sharing about your event online, then presents it in a visual format. Here’s an example of the archive from Social Good Summit 2013.
- Eventifier – Another event archive tool to aggregate multimedia and social assets generated from your event.
There are many more apps that let you “socialize and mobilize” your next event. Regardless of what you use, remember to tap into the social media power of your presenters, attendees and anyone else involved with your event.
What social and mobile apps do you use to market your event?