Publications

Canadian Special Events Magazine – 2018 Summer Issue

It is a pleasure to have our other company, Elephant’s Remark, showcased in one of the top Canadian event magazines. As a sponsor for Canadian Special Events Live Awards we were given the opportunity to write an article for their magazine.

Our Article is in the summer 2018 issue and can be found on page 41-43. Not to mention our Sponsor logo on page 19, and Cameo on page 26!

 

Being the writers that we are, we overdid it a bit and the article had to be cut down – however, you can find the full article below:

 

How Social Media Engagement DURING Your Event Can Guarantee Future Ticket Sales, Generate Sponsorships, and Ensure Vendor Bookings

 

77% of event marketers use social media to promote before and during their event

 

Advertising is no longer a ‘build it and they will come’ opportunity. It is why changes in the way companies speak to consumers, resembling a conversation between friends as opposed to a sale, are the only acceptable (and effective) way to communicate online. While some promotion is needed, especially for short-term sales such as event tickets, it is the content that lends itself to communication that garners the highest ROI.

 

By the time the event rolls around and the doors open, the tickets have been sold, the vendors have been solidified, and the sponsors have made their contributions. So why is now the worst time to put social media on hold?

 

Forward thinking – Future Sales

 

Content generation is key to getting your brand/event seen on newsfeeds and shared by others. But what kind of content are people sharing?

 

User Generated Content (UGC) is the best kind of content there it. It is a testimonial or tribute to your brand. It is someone saying, “this product is worth talking about” – good or bad, all publicity is good publicity – as long as you are a part of the conversation. But sometimes, people are not as forthcoming with the content. It takes some time for them to remember to post, or to find something worth posting, or sometimes they just want things posted for them that they can click a simple button to “share”.

 

Take control and create a platform that garners UGC opportunities. Create content that is shareable and promotes your attendees, vendors, and sponsors for them (and tag them). Why? Because people will share posts that are about them… to their audience. Their audience might not be your audience – yet – so cast a wider net to reach even more potential customers.

 

Content creation is also an amazing way to show your vendors, sponsors, and attendees that you value them, and are taking every opportunity to thank them and promote them for being a part of your show. This type of recognition gets major brownie points when the ‘sign up for next year’ email comes along.

 

The MUST posts for every event:

  1. Feature Vendors
  2. Highlight Sponsors
  3. Speaker Bios/Photos/Video clips/Quotes
  4. Images of Key Presentation Slides
  5. Vendor/Sponsor Product Demonstrations
  6. Entrance to Event
  7. Walkthrough of Show floor (busy areas)
  8. Swag Bag Promotions (with people, behind table, flat-lay)
  9. Attendee testimonials
  10. Set-up/tear-down photos (transformations)

By sharing posts about your vendors, they will feel they have been gainfully promoted to your entire event audience and see more value in the price they paid for their square footage. Sponsors will feel as though their marketing dollars have gone beyond the posters at your event and have stretched into a solid reach online. Attendees will have an entirely new platform (beyond the physical) to engage with the show that they love (and spent money to attend).

 

So where do you put your effort? You can’t be in all places at all times, unless you hire a company that specializes in Day-of Event Social Media Engagement, like Elephant’s Remark. Hopefully you already have pages set up for social media with a page (or event linked to a page) dedicated to your current event. That is where you will be posting because this is where your audience already is, has followed, said they were ‘going’ and is watching for news (discussed below).

 

Social Media for Events – Ideas to get you started:

  1. Twitter
    1. Quotes from keynote speakers
    2. Testimonials from guests or vendors
    3. Live event updates
    4. Emergency communications
    5. Contests
  2. Instagram (use sparingly due to algorithms – 9 posts per day max)
    1. Photo burst walkthrough (4-5 image walkthrough tour of key things attendees should note when they arrive)
    2. Stunning trade show booths or table displays
    3. After party/award show attendees
    4. Entertainment performances for the evening (short clips and images)
    5. Mood/Atmosphere artwork (tag artist)
  3. Instagram Stories
    1. 15-second clips of non-feature booths
    2. #foodporn
    3. Goofy candid moments
    4. Shots of the audience in seminars
    5. Candid images of attendee participation
    6. Prizes or swag bags
  4. Facebook Event (use sparingly due to algorithms)
    1. “The calm before the storm”
    2. images and/or quotes from speakers
    3. Key vendors
    4. Sponsor and Speaker profiles
    5. Emergency updates
    6. Scheduling changes
    7. Red carpet or ‘Photo Booth’ samples
  5. Facebook Company Page
    1. Favourite moments from Event
    2. Album for all Red Carpet and ‘Photo Booth’ images
    3. Evergreen content (not live-in-the-moment, but lasting long-term)
  6. Facebook Live
    1. Before/After quotes from keynote (bonus content)
    2. Video Testimonials/Reactions
    3. Contest Winners
    4. Product Demonstrations
    5. FOMO moments
  7. Snapchat
    1. Quirky Brand images/videos
    2. Event-Specific Geo-Filters
  8. YouTube
    1. Professionally captured videos (hire videographer)
    2. Unedited Behind-the-Scenes (BTS)
    3. Time-lapse videos of auditorium filling up or attendees entering venue or vendors setting up tradeshow area

 

What else can you do?

While companies like Elephant’s Remark are not specifically focused on pre-event communications, ticket sales, or bombarding people with Facebook ads for your event, there are various forms of content that they can successfully implement into to your marketing plan to meet these objectives. Releasing a company blog or working with a sponsor or vendor to release a “things we are excited for at {your event}” posts get read and shared all the time, especially when someone is already attending. Third party content, even when sponsored, are typically regarded in a more positive, and less-aggressively-sales-centric light. Elephant’s Remark does offer these and a few other services for pre-event promotion.

 

 

Customer Service – Testimonials & Word of Mouth

 

Show time is also judgment day. It is the time that people are already deciding if they will be back next year. If you can make that a “yes” now, the sales will come much easier than if you are taking a ‘convincing’ stance. As any planner knows, the show could go off without a hitch, and someone may still find a reason to complain. Day-of social media is your solution.

 

People are rarely silent about their qualms. If they have a question or a concern, they will voice it – usually in a way that garners support. The best thing to do is monitor the conversation throughout the day. Use tools like:

  • Branded hashtags
  • Mention
  • Social mention
  • Searching event name manually
  • Event name as a hashtag (and misspelled branded hashtags)

This will allow you to find any mention of your event and implement your customer service protocols, even when you were not tagged.

 

But not all engagement is crowd control! Many people want to share what they love as well, and that includes the event they are having a blast at. By ignoring social media during the day of your event, you are missing out on engagement opportunities and brand loyalty nurturing.

 

PR Management Tips:

  • Respond to all comments (positive or negative) on brand and with personality. Don’t sound like a bot.
  • If negative, respond as soon as possible and invite them to speak privately in your inbox
  • Escalate to appropriate party if necessary (set up chain of command prior to event)
  • Screen-grab UGC for future promotional use (make sure to note the original poster)
  • Create a list of likely FAQ’s so you are able to answer inquiries quickly

Bringing on a company like Elephant’s Remark ensures public negative feedback is taken to a private platform (direct message) as quickly as possible and managed in a friendly, professional way – always on-brand. Positive feedback, which often goes unrecognized, gets positive appreciation too – which can evens lead to brand advocates taking on naysayers for you – on a public platform.

 

 

Communication – Updates, Schedules, and Important Information

 

If you do not have an event app (and sometimes even if you do), social media is the primary way attendees will reach out to you. It is also the broadest way to share new information with your attendees (vendors and sponsors included).

  • Have a speaker change?
  • Is a seminar starting soon?
  • Where is the live demo?
  • Is there an emergency?
  • Who are the contest winners?

Using social media like your own personal mass-texting service (if you don’t have that system set up) works wonders! It does take a bit of education up front to remind people to check the pages for updates (have it written on tickets, inform them at the front door, remind them via the Emcee, etc.), but once they get it – no information will be missed. Think of it like the trumpeting of an elephant’s trunk.

 

 

Each Day, Every Day – Social Media & Community Management

 

These are only some of the things that need to be done on the day-of to truly have a successful event. Experiential marketing cannot just rely on people’s physical experiences. It is more and more important for people to be able to share those experiences, and having a social media program in place is the most effective way to manage that for the greatest reach and satisfaction.

 

Elephant’s Remark (ER) is the planner’s saving grace when it comes to day-of social media management. Everything discussed above, and more, can be successfully implemented and easily managed for any style or size of event. ER is the ‘Special Forces’ meets ‘Uber’ of social media management for event professionals.

 

Do not underestimate the need for your attendees to share their experiences, and for things to become a full time job very quickly. Having all of your bases covered (online and offline) will ensure the best possibility of returning sponsors, vendors, and attendees alike.

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