Had the opportunity to explore the effect of social media on the future of events with Japheth Omojuwa, who pulled off a phenomenal virtual event on twitter for the #MTNFootballAwards, and Samson Aligba, founder of event management tool startup, Eventiso.
Discussion covered challenges, tools, opportunities, limitations, and everything in between when it came to social media and events.
Here are the top 10 takeaways from the Google+ hangout:
- Social media is merely a tool to increase reach and engagement for events, and it’s not the event in itself. It should be seen as a driver and not a replacement for other logistics and plans associated with having a successful event – @Omojuwa
- A limitation that comes with virtual events is getting and keeping people’s attention and interest – @NubiKay. To work around this, even organizers must make the attendees feel more involved and have a sense of ownership when it comes to the events – @Omojuwa
- @samsonaligba was kind enough to share some tools including Wedgies – an app that allows for conducting polls. This sure comes in handy for events that requires participants to vote. Another tool is Followerwonk which allows you search for people on twitter with interests using keywords in their twitter name, handle, and bio.
- Eventiso is one tool that allows you manage pre-event campaigns with event, and post-event management features as well. The event isn’t just the main event but the planning and the retrospective learning afterwards – @Omojuwa
- Top tools for event management aside Eventiso, include: eventbrite, social networks – twitter, Facebook, Instagram, for live updates, live blogging with coveritlive, live streaming with livestream or ustream or google+ hangout (on air), Spreecast, among others. Don’t forget your online forms (google forms/survey monkey) to build your contact base and get feedback – @NubiKay
- Don’t fall into the trap rushing through the pre-event phase. Build interest and conversations with new social media account for about 3 weeks before pushing your event for another 3 with the help of influencers or new media outlets like Wild Ripples.
- Truth is with social media comes a good amount of business opportunities in the area of event management. This opportunities vary from training clients how to use tools, to consulting and actually managing the virtual legs for events. To get started one has to learn the ropes and then look for gaps to offer the knowledge of event management via social media and online tools – @NubiKay
- Other tips from @SamsonAligba – Have a landing page with information about event, guest, etc not a Facebook page. Also use a branded registration page (one you can get from services like Eventiso) rather than boring Google forms.
- Omojuwa did make a very important point on leveraging on your followers and their interests. In the case of the #MTNFootballAwards it was sports and he already had an audience with that interest so it was very organic to connect and engage.
- Never forget it’s more of the planning and what happens after the event that matter. In fact is a 40-20-40 split between pre-event, event, and post-event. So have a solid plan on how to best publicize your event and capture useful data for quality engagement during the event and generating leads after the event.