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As technology continues to grow and evolve, influencing our personal and business lives in new and unexpected ways, event planning and management may seem as “real world”-oriented as it gets. However, even the in-person experience of coordinating and attending launch parties, corporate luncheons and matchmaker meetings is still affected and aided by the digital world. As such it is something we need to pay attention to and capitalize on when planning an event.
Today there are hundreds of options when it comes to event registration tools, ticket purchasing and event website designs. While those are all important components of planning an effective event, they are not the things that will ensure your success. Before anyone buys a ticket or rearranges their schedule to attend, they have to know your event is happening. They need a solid understanding of what type of experience they will have, and you need to get them excited about that experience so that they will spread the word throughout their own personal networks.
So where do you start? We’ve narrowed it down to three keys pieces that will put you ahead of the curve and give your attendees an experience they’ll be tweeting about for weeks.
#1: Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest have taken the world by storm, but a lot of businesses don’t tap in to this incredible resource effectively when it comes to promoting their events. The most important thing is to create engaging content that will spark the interest of social media users.
These days smartphones are more common and accessible than laptops, and the usage of smartphones is increasing every day. Mobile gives people the opportunity to connect and consume anywhere there is cell or Wi-Fi signal. So making your event page mobile friendly is a must. As they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression. If someone connects to your page via phone, but cannot access all the information or has difficulty navigating, they will have a negative experience in relation to your event. If you are going to be selling tickets or inviting people to RSVP online, make sure you have a checkout system that is compatible with mobile devices.
Being mobile friendly doesn’t only benefit the user, it also gives you a platform to highlight your event in all the right places. You can give more information that you would on social media. Provide a backstory and speak to the purpose of your event, share bios of your speakers, an agenda of the day and make sure to give plenty of space and attention to your sponsors.
Make sure that your location has a free and stable Wi-Fi connection. This will allow people to use their smartphones at your event to share pics, tweet your #hashtag and post live about their experience to instantly connect with other attendees.
#3: Live Interaction
In a world where 140-character tweets are longer than people’s attention spans, it is extremely important to provide a platform for them to interact with what’s happening at your event. We are beyond the days of sitting in chairs for hours staring at a presentation. If your event is highlighting a product, have an interactive lab to allow people to use it, test it and play with it. If you have invited guest speakers, invite people to tweet live questions for that speaker to answer. If you want to give away free merchandise, use social media to select a few people to come up and spin a prize wheel. The possibilities are endless!
While the idea of marketing your event in the vast and ever expansive digital world may seem daunting, it really opens up an entire new realm of possibilities. If you get creative and stay informed about the current trends, your event is sure to be a #success.
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