In these modern times, getting people involved at your experience through social media is a must.
Let’s be honest – as event producers, keeping the same annual event from becoming “stale” each year is a challenge. But like any other challenge, it can be conquered.
In many cases, the technology is outgrowing our utilization of it. And while the latest, flashiest trends might score a few participation points, they aren’t immersing audiences unless we use them the right way.
Social media is one of the most obvious modern immersion tools you can implement at your event. But while it’s obvious and common, it isn’t always used properly.
Is social media at your event inviting people to participate, or giving them the perfect excuse to space out on their phone? If its the latter, this article can help push you to the former.
We can’t talk audience immersion to any degree without first diving into experiential engagement. Without it, producers would have no north star to guide their event to success.
This is the golden rule. Experiential engagement is the ultimate goal you must never lose sight of. Cutting edge tech, massive-budget scenic and celebrity star-power are all means to your engagement barometer’s end.
Always keep this in mind during your planning process. No matter the tactic you are using (in this case, social media onsite), you are trying to create a community of brand advocates. Everything else is just their to help guide their emotional journey.
With that in mind, there are a plethora of social media tactics you can use to up the engagement at your events. It is also helpful to encourage actions that happen in relation to the engagement and make memorable things come out of the experience.
Making Social Media More Social
In many ways, social media has made people less social. Instead of seeking out in-person thrills, people are finding it increasingly cozy to simply observe others from their smartphone or tablet.
This makes navigating the event waters a little tricky. You want to meet people where they spend a lot of their time, but it could backfire by working as a distraction.
As an event producer, everything you do with social media should be focused on heightening you audience engagement with the real, physical show. Use these actionable tactics take your event up a notch.
Look anywhere on the event production webs and you’ll see that “arranging serendipity” is so hot right now. It’s the best way to expose attendees to different perspectives while ensuring those perspectives are relevant to their individual goals.
Brain dates are an excellent example of using emerging tech to create face-to-face engagement. These processes match professionals with one another – based on a few indicators like industry and job title – while they are onsite. Think Tinder, with a professional twist.
Encouraging people to share their experience on social media is one thing, but posting their content live at the event is a game changer.
People gain a certain satisfaction seeing their own post displayed for the thousands of viewers to see at a conference. But much more than rewarding the posters, this tactic also incentives people who don’t use social media a lot, too.
Start by live streaming Tweets, Instagram or Facebook posts from your selected hashtag. Bonus points for making it into an interactive contest!
Social Media Contests
Contests can be used to create interpersonal contact between employees who never met before and create collaborative team efforts to win prizes. Try giving clues on social media that direct people to go to physical locations at the event to pick up tokens of some kind. Whoever collects the most of your coveted token wins!
Team-building is really fun and everyone should win something simply by participating on a team. Competition is encouraged but is done in a light-hearted way and not allowed to become vicious. For example, winners of a contest can get a “booby” prize – a fun takeaway that’s more amusing than valuable.
This team play can help a company get employees to learn something that is useful for the company. For example, if the company has a new product coming out, the trivia can be questions about that product. By answering the questions as a team and posting the answers on social media, everyone learns the new information in a fun way.
A treasure hunt is a useful way to get people to attend presentations at events. At each presentation, they are given a clue to help them locate the treasure. Social media is used to announce where the next clues can be found, right before it is time to attend a live presentation. This adds an element of excitement and anticipation in attending the presentations.
These are just a few examples of many we know. These are ways to use social media tools in real-time to generate excitement, convey information, and promote team building through interaction between employees at annual corporate events.