There is no doubt that corporate events and meetings, both real and virtual, are starting to explore the benefits of social media technologies, particularly when it comes to audience participation and feedback – as I found out at the recent Social Media Arizona [#smaz] event. The Twitter #hashtag for the event tells its own story. Whether you could attend in person or not almost didn’t matter as you could follow proceedings pretty closely by searching for, and following the Twitter stream – even the main talking points of the presentations were Tweeted as they were given. In fact, people are still Tweeting about it long after the conference.
This is certainly the future of events. So Social-smart is starting to offer services and technologies to companies looking to gain the most from their conferences, trade shows, and meetings. Jeramiah Owyang wrote a great piece about the importance of social media for events back in August – How To Integrate Social Technologies with Virtual Events – I certainly can’t improve on that and I recommend you to read it to fully appreciate the dramatic changes that are happening in the industry, and for the services we facilitate. The key take-aways from that article are as follows:
The 3 key principles of a successful social media strategy for both real and virtual events are:
- Events should integrate with existing communities and social networks where they exist.
- Events should have a strategy that includes the before and after — not just during.
- The audience can assert control over the event, so encourage audience participation and know when to get out of the way. “
These are the core principles by which we offer the following Social media services and virtual event development and management.
We aim to increase the community-building and reach of traditional events. Promote registrations and participation, before, during, and after the event — with on-going engagement that continues the community experience long after the event ends. To help build deeper customer relationships, and increase conversions.
Our services include…
• Integrate with existing corporate communities and social networks.
• Build communities and drive inbound traffic with brand pages and groups on public social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter); and with a private social network (Ning).
• Promote attendance with email blasts (linked to social media) and online ads.
• Build microsites and landing pages for driving registrations, conversions.
• Build anticipation: blogs, forums, Twitter groups for attendees, vendors, speakers.
• Increase audience participation, and include larger virtual audiences, by integrating live Twitter features (and video-to-video chat) into the event.
• Monitor and moderate social web and chat rooms to react in real time.
• Do live online/mobile polling.
• Generate reports on social participation, sentiment, and influence of social web.
• Keep virtual events open for 90+ days.
• Launch surveys for feedback.
• Accept user-generated content.
• Aggregate all content, and offer transcript retrieval.
• Blog about top reactions.
• Offer regular on-going webinars, scheduled discussions, eNewsletters.
• Use email to ask about follow-on opportunities, and drive conversions..
• Continue the conversation…