So you’re hosting a corporate event.
The goal? Deliver a memorable and engaging experience through well-executed social interaction strategies. The result? Your company will form more authentic and sustainable connections, thereby widening your potential customer base. This is your opportunity to personally interact with your attendees, face-to-face. It’s a time to foster goodwill and to have fun.
Corporate events offer a platform to provide relevant and valuable content, and to establish or strengthen your brand. Events provide a place to highlight or introduce your products and services, and of course, show just how they answer customer needs. Strong social interaction will captivate your event attendees, resulting in a more enjoyable and impactful experience.
Start a buzz early, and repeat it often.
Set the stage by beginning with a creative and powerful event theme. Reinforce your overall theme by setting up a unique hashtag that captures the essence of your event. Interaction begins long before the actual event when you start a buzz early and repeat it often. Through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others, the hashtag makes organized event interaction simple, and it gives the audience information that’s easy to follow and find. #easypathtoalleventaction
Generate pre-event conversation by hosting an online group hangout using Google Hangouts. But don’t stop there, consider hosting follow-up hangouts during and after the event to prolong engagement. Connect with others with similar professional interests, and start group conversations about the event on LinkedIn.
Don’t forget to take advantage of free listings.
In addition to the event page you will have on your website, be sure to capitalize on free event listing opportunities where available by creating event pages on Facebook, LinkedIn and other applicable social media sites. Use your company’s Facebook page to promote your event. Create and post attention-grabbing graphics and imagery that build excitement, encourage registration, and allow fans and followers to chime in with opinions and comments. This will build event enthusiasm.
Use crowd-sourcing and feedback.
Engage event attendees in advance through crowd-sourcing. Ask for attendee participation with opinions on proposed event content, offer choices and encourage feedback. Take advantage of a multitude of handy apps with social integration like Polldaddy and SurveyMonkey, or go basic—poll for both Facebook and Twitter (with the simple click of an “add poll” icon) offer free polling solutions. Monitor online feedback and modify your event in response.
Curate a photo booth, capture images, and share with social media platforms.
Create a lighthearted and entertaining event experience by setting up a photo booth! The images can be disseminated out through email to the participating guests and on social for all of your followers to see. Don’t forget to include event tags for extra social interaction! Bonus—the attendees go home with a personalized reminder of the event.
As an alternative, solicit attendee participation by requesting that guests take photos throughout the event to caption and share with the event hashtag. Pick a winner based on the caption and photo that best captures the overall theme of the event.
Have fun with social competitions or games.
Social competitions and games can be an excellent way to encourage interaction and provide amusement. Make the trade show floor a game board by setting up a scavenger hunt with clues. You could even start this ahead of time by unveiling the first clue online prior to the event. Be sure the theme of the hunt is relevant to the overall event theme, and choose prizes that will be of specific interest and benefit to your attendees. If you have a new product for which you’d like to draw focus, consider making that your prize.
Divide big events into smaller groups to facilitate relaxed and easy interactions.
Large-scale events with lots of attendees can be overwhelming for some. Find ways to break larger groups into smaller sections. This will encourage interaction by providing a less intimidating scenario. Provide intimate space settings for these smaller interactions via table assignments, or several smaller, cozy conversation nooks within the larger event venue.
Make keynote speakers accessible, and strategically disperse your team to maximize engagement.
Be certain your keynote speakers deliver relevant content, and make them easily accessible to event attendees, including ways to visit the speaker online. Promote audience participation, and prompt Q&A activity. After the presentation, encourage speakers to mingle and interact with attendees, or direct attendees to a specific area where the speaker will be positioned – even if that position is online through social interaction. Disperse members of your team throughout the event, so that they may strengthen your company’s presence and act as connectors.
Hire a production team to live stream, and connect with attendees in real-time.
Inarguably, there are situations where it’s best to leave it to the professionals, and event live streaming is one. Hire a skilled production team to live stream from your event, and you’ll expand your audience considerably. It’s important to treat your remote audience as an extension of your event attendees. They, too, should be invited to the conversation, and encouraged to participate in online discussions before, during and after the show.
Don’t leave interactions at the event exit door, practice good follow-up strategies.
Nurture the new and improved personal relationships you develop at your event by following up with post-event written messages, video highlights, and memorable images. These extra custom touches will exceed attendee expectations and set your company apart from others.
Great events are made by delivering great experiences. Provide as many opportunities to engage event attendees in meaningful social interaction as possible, and your company is certain to produce an impactful and winning event experience.
How to you use social media to engage your event guests? Let us know in the comments below!