Planning and staging any corporate event is time consuming and labor intensive. Whether its a business conference or a trade show, quite a lot of thought and hard work goes into making your event a success.
Unfortunately, too many people forget about the importance of promotion when planning their corporate events. But without proper promotion, no event can be truly successful. As great as your presentations may be, as riveting as your guest speakers are, without boosting corporate attendance, your event will ultimately fall short.
In today’s fast paced business world, one of the most effective means of promotion is social media. So let’s take a quick look at how to promote your upcoming business event using your social media outlets.
The All Important Hashtag
As a business owner, part of your basic marketing plan should already include a social media presence. When planning a big event, you will want to leverage that social media presence for promotion. Start with your Twitter account, and create a unique hashtag to represent your event.
You want to choose something unique, memorable, and evergreen. What do we mean by evergreen? Simply, you want your hashtag to remain shareable over as long a period of time as possible. So, avoid hashtags that include specific dates or other qualifiers that might limit their shareability or social lifespan.
The Value of the Hashtag
Hashtags are recognized over a wide variety of social media platforms, including LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. Using a hashtag for your event will ensure that all social media posts and photos will be gathered together, and easily found and accessed by those searching for information on your event.
A hashtag also makes it easy for people to join in, and become part of the event conversation. That ongoing social chatter is promotional gold, and will help to keep your upcoming event at the forefront of your target market’s minds.
Promoting Your Hashtag
Creating your hashtag is only the first step in promoting your event via social media. Once you have an event hashtag, you need to get the word out. Promote your event hashtag in your basic marketing materials and press releases, on your business website and your dedicated event web page, and on all of your social media accounts.
Don’t be shy, you want your hashtag to reach as many potential prospects as possible. Also, don’t negate the promotional value of sharing your hashtag with people who may not be planning to attend the event itself.
Some prospects may not be attending due to location or budgetary restrictions. That doesn’t mean they aren’t interested, or that they won’t share and discuss your event with their associates.
Encourage the Use of Your Hashtag
Once you’ve done a little hashtag promoting yourself, you want to be sure to encourage others to use the hashtag as well. If there will be guest speakers or invited vendors attending your event, encourage them to use your hashtag on all of their own press releases and marketing materials. And don’t neglect traditional media outlets. You should be sure to include your hashtag in all print media or broadcast interviews prior to the event.
Create a Facebook Event Page
A Facebook event page is a great way to get the word out about your event, and to get people to mark the day in their calendars. You can also use your Facebook event page as a nominal RSVP funnel, allowing people to confirm their attendance.
Don’t forget to link your business website and dedicated event web page to your Facebook page, so everyone has easy access to detailed information about your upcoming event. Encourage attendees and prospects to use your Facebook event page as a discussion platform. This well help to keep your social media promotion active, and your attendees engaged.
The Day of Your Event
Social media promotion doesn’t stop on the big day. Once your business event is underway, you want to continue to promote it via your social media outlets. Tweet real time updates using your Twitter hashtag. Post updates, including video and audio clips, via YouTube and Facebook.
Take photos of guest speakers and attendees, and share them via Twitter and Instagram. Remember, there are people would for one reason or another could not attend your event, but they are still hungry for information about you and your business. Leverage your on-site promotion to maximize the return on investment of the event.
Promoting a corporate event is, perhaps, the easiest part of the planning and process. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked until it is too late. Begin your promotional campaign early, and leverage your social media presence to ensure that your event receives the attention it deserves.