Social Media Helps Event Engagement
Byline: Richard R. Klicki Director of Content Development
Social media has woven itself into the fabric of life.
Everything we do -- in business and in our personal lives -- is now reflected on the pages of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social sites.
But is it wise to make social networking an integral part of your next business meeting or event?
Definitely, local marketing experts say.
"Most events -- even business meetings and events -- are opportunities for networking. They are social by nature," said Juli Barcelona, president of Barcelona Creative Group in Burr Ridge. "People who attend like to connect, interact, learn and share with peers. People join social networks for the same reason, making the integration of social media tools before, during and after a business meeting or event a natural part of your overall marketing approach."
Combining event marketing and social media can increase attendance, raise awareness of the event and the organization hosting the event, Barcelona added, as well as help attendees and members establish deeper relationships with one another and expand their network of people that they can turn to to expand their own knowledge and skills.
"Social media users tend to be a chatty bunch, and this can be leveraged to make the event more successful and raise more awareness of the organization's participation in social networks for ongoing conversation post-event," she said.
Corinn Hilbert, president of Be XSible Social Media and Training in McHenry County, added social networking can provide greater value to your event from an audience that is already tech-savvy and very vocal.
"Adding a social networking component can enhance the participants experience and offer a tremendous amount of information about the event activities, including last minute changes or updates," Hilbert said.
While some may think social networking can be distracting at an event, Barcelona notes that there are several ways to integrate it seamlessly. For example, setting up Twitter hashtags that can be used when posting updates is a good way to spread the word about the event, as well as give your attendees a way to connect and learn from one another.
Barcelona and Hilbert say Twitter hashtags allows attendees to search and find related tweets during and after the event. It's also helpful for those who may not have been able to attend, but still want to know what is going on at the event. …