Later this week, we’ll be attending the Automatic Transmission Rebuilder’s Association’s annual trade show, Powertrain Expo, as the Official Social Media Sponsors for the third year in a row. Leveraging social media at an event can be a powerful tool to further engage both attendees and those who are not in attendance to show them what they’re missing! We’ve outlined some tips using examples from last year’s show to help you successfully enhance your next event using social media.
1. Create – and USE – a hashtag.
Hashtags (yes, the pound symbol) are a great way to create buzz and can allow your vendors and attendees to connect and engage with others using the hashtag, including your brand. Use your event’s hashtag in promotion for your event, make sure it’s posted everywhere in marketing materials prior to and at the event and that people – including your staff – know about it.
Tips to keep in mind when creating a hashtag:
2. Plan as much as you can, but be ready for the unexpected.
Planning and hosting an event is a big job, and it definitely keeps you and your staff busy, so take advantage of those events you know are going to happen. Speaker schedules, receptions and trade show hours are all things that are pre-planned, so have your social media content ready to post about those to make sure you’re not spending all your time and creative energy on those types of informational posts. With that being said, be ready with your camera all the time. Things change, come up and happen at events, and social media is a great way to communicate these things.
3. Take pictures and video.
Create opportunities that encourage attendees to post about the event. Engage with those sharing their experiences through photo and video, and give people a unique view of the event through your brand’s social media. Have a speaker? Post a picture and a quote! Make sure you’re engaging attendees, while also showing everyone who isn’t there what they’re missing out on. Capturing photos and videos can also help you in promoting next year’s event!
4. Turn attendees into brand ambassadors for your brand.
Blanketing your social media channels with posts published by your brand isn’t the most effective way to enhance your event. Remember: Social media is supposed to be social. Engage with your audience to turn your event attendees into brand ambassadors. Incentives are an effective way to drive engagement, especially at an event where there are so many opportunities to engage! Even if it’s something as simple as having a board with live tweets, people like to see their content shown just as much as you do. Retweeting, responding to @mentions and shouting people and businesses out are all great ways to engage your audience and likely result in even more buzz about your event.
Bonus: Avoid starting from scratch every year with your event marketing and promotion by consistently engaging your audience following your event. This way, you still have a presence and can build on the audience that was so engaged at your event.
Have questions? Contact us, or, better yet, come SEE us at Powertrain Expo. We’ll be there in person and engaging on social media, so make sure to Like us on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter!