Before the Event
- First up: name a social-media manager for the event. This ensures that your event’s social-media presence will maintain a consistent “voice”. Task the social-media manager with these duties: to post the highlights from the event; share quotes from speakers; re-tweet posts by attendees and respond to mentions or questions; manage the live-stream display (see below) and to post pictures (with the permissions of people in them) and share them during breaks.
- Ensure that your wireless network is able to support the planned number of participants, simultaneously connecting to your network. If possible, drop the network’s password protection for the duration of the meeting.
- Create a short, unique and memorable #hashtag for your event. Include it in all promotions of the meeting or event: the website, emails, online ads, print ads, tickets, nametags, merchandise, presentation slides.
- Involve the keynote speakers and presenters: encourage them to use the hashtag on their Tweets, and schedule time in the event for face-to-face time and selfies with participants (remember: the selfie is the new autograph!)
- Set up a selfie corner with a creative and unique backdrop.
- Start Tweeting/posting about the event at least 7 days in advance, including high-quality images of the location and facilities
During the Event
- Encourage attendees to participate in the social-media discussion. Organise a fun contest: the writer of the Tweet with the day’s highest number of re-Tweets or likes wins a prize.
- Invite audience members to submit questions to speakers for the post-presentation Q&A session. These can be presented on stage by the master of ceremonies; or directly to the speaker via her or his own Twitter account.
- Display the live stream of Tweets that mention your #hashtag on large screens in your meeting rooms. Publishing your attendees’ Tweets like this creates a sense of immediacy and connectedness among participants. Services such as TweetWall (https://tweetwall.com) and TweetBeam (http://www.tweetbeam.com) offer visually arresting ways of presenting all relevant Tweets to your audience. The social-media manager will need to filter incoming Tweets to ensure that no offensive Tweets are displayed.
After the Event
- Analyse the results: Spend some time curating the Tweets and following up on any questions or leads. For large events, services like HashTracking (https://www.hashtracking.com) offers powerful analytics tools to help you understand the hashtag trends associated with your event. It can help you connect and engage with your audience, quantify the impact of your marketing efforts, and identify important influencers.
A Few Don’ts
Here’s a brief reminder about some important rules of social-media etiquette.
- Don’t use a hashtag that spells something else, or that might mean something offensive in another language.
- Don’t Tweet a picture of attendees taken without their knowledge, or overheard snippets of conversations. Be courteous and respectful of privacy.
- Don’t Tweet judgemental or negative information about a person, institution, or organization.
- Don't Tweet misinformation: double-check facts to ensure correctness.
Whether your next event is a small meeting of colleagues within a company or a large-scale international conference: social media can enrich the experience for the hotel operator, the organiser and the attendees. Why not try it for yourself?
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