A recent survey from ShareThis found that social sharing from mobile devices happens twice as often as sharing from a desktop computer.
So how can planners use mobile social technology to make the most of their events? Here’s a checklist to help:
Before the event:
✔ Make sure your company and event websites are responsively designed. Your websites are a principal means of promotion and should be as easily visible on any screen size, from a small smartphone to an HDTV.
✔ Display your mobile social channels prominently on the event site.
✔ Integrate mobile social media channels with registration. Encourage attendees to share that they registered on their social channels, using automated tools to do so.
✔ Make sure your event app has strong integration with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Event apps vary in quality and there are significant differences on how well they handle various social channels.
✔ Encourage attendees to download the mobile event app well in advance of the event and direct them to the social links in the app. Use the app as a key communication channel to announce new speakers, event news, sponsors and games.
✔ Announce and promote your event hashtag well in advance of the event. Make sure that it is unique: short, relevant and as memorable as possible. A five- or six-character hashtag is easier to remember and input than a longer one.
✔ Promote this hashtag as the common search term across all your social channels and other platforms.
✔ Encourage speakers to post short videos to YouTube about their upcoming presentation. These should be no longer than two minutes and in high definition. Post these videos on the event’s YouTube channel and embedded on a dedicated video page on your event website. Be sure to include the event hashtag in the postings. Additionally, include short promotional videos of the destination, venue and any entertainment planned.
✔ Educate speakers, exhibitors, sponsors and influential bloggers/well connected individuals about the event hashtag, the event app and any relevant games, and encourage their participation.
✔ Develop a pre-event content strategy with the goal of new postings at least two to three times a week the month before the event. Always use the event hashtag and post to your event website and social channels.
✔ Post preview photos on Instagram about the speakers, venue, entertainment and anything else that is visually appealing. Include the event hashtag in the captions.
✔ Promote the event hashtag on-site using signage and other media. Plan for photo opportunities. Post the hashtag prominently at picture points, in group congregation areas, on badges, on place settings and in other locations.
✔ Incent hashtag usage through gamification leaderboards and your event app with prizes or other acknowledgments for those who have the widest social reach.
✔ Use moderated multichannel social walls during your event. At the minimum, Twitter and Instagram should be included. Moderation will allow you to eliminate spam postings and can allow for timed and sponsor postings as well. Typically, social walls are cloud-based programs that are easy to set up and manage during the meeting.
✔ Mention the event hashtag, event app and any gamification options during the opening session.
✔ Use “social photo booths”; there are many options available simply by searching that phrase. Make sure there is Instagram and hashtag integration.
✔ Monitor and track the social channels. Answer questions/complaints. Share interesting social messages.
After the event:
✔ Upload pictures and videos as a reminder to attendees and to promote next year’s event.
✔ Tell your event’s story using curation media such as Storify, highlighting the chronology, significant moments, etc.
✔ Use “social media metric tools” (there are dozens of low cost or free tools available via a Google search of this phrase), to measure the reach and exposure of your mobile social efforts.
CORBIN BALL, CMP, CSP, DES, is a speaker and independent third-party consultant focusing on meetings technology. With 20 years of experience running international citywide technology meetings, he now helps clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve productivity. He can be contacted at his extensive website, Corbin Ball Associates—MeetingsTechnologyHeadquarters (www.corbinball.com) and followed at www.twitter.com/corbinball.