We recently promoted a BIG event for one of our clients, American Healthtech. They were attending one of their biggest industry expos and we had to really get the word out in order to give them the most exposure. Many industry leaders, current customers and potential customers were attending this event and plenty of other competitors were setting up shop at the expo, so we needed to make sure that we got everyone’s attention both before and during the event. Here are just a few of the ways we leveraged social media to help market the event.
Making a Plan
The first step was all about planning. Not only did we plan the kind of messages that we wanted to go out during the conference and expo, we also planned what we wanted to promote before and after the event. Of course we had some messages planned out in advance, but that didn’t mean all the work was done ahead of time. It’s important to be on standby during the event to post last minute changes, post photos and videos as they happen and to make any changes. When the event is over, you can use the time to connect online with any IRL (in real life) connections that you made at the event. Save those business cards!
We started out with a master list of the event’s attendees. This was no simple task, as the list held the names of thousands of individuals. We sorted the list and highlighted current and potential clients, so we focused on those people first. First we used this list to make connections on Linked In. Of course, you can’t follow other people via your company page. But Pam was going to be at the event, interacting with people, and we knew others would recognize her face. So we made sure to connect her as many people and companies on the list as possible. That way, people could recognize her face at the expo because of the Linked In invitation. It also ensured that we wouldn’t miss any company updates from the people and companies we wanted to meet.
We used the same master list to follow other attendees with AHT’s Twitter account. Twitter is a great tool, and we especially love it for event promotion. The conference/expo had it’s own official hashtag, so we set up a tab in Hootsuite that specifically followed that hashtag. That allowed us to see every tweet that used that hashtag. Any time we saw the hashtag being used, we made sure to follow that account (it was usually another attendee) and even interact with that user. Even a simple “See you at the expo!” was a great way to make an introduction and a possible connection. It increased the chances that someone would see our booth at the expo and recognize our name.
We also created our own specific hashtag for AHT that promoted making new connections. This was a fun way to promote our brand, but it also allowed us to monitor any conversations about us on Twitter.
Facebook was definitely the most popular social media tool used by attendees of the conference. Many of the companies attending didn’t have a Twitter or Linked In account (c’mon guys, step up your social media game! Give us a call!) but if they had anything, they had Facebook! We went through our master list and made sure to follow the attendees’ pages with our company page. Now we get Facebook updates from a lot of our current and potential clients.
Facebook is great because you can use so many different tools. One of our favorite tools that we utilized during the expo was Facebook’s live streaming capabilities. We interviewed different people live on the expo floor via video and shared it directly on our Facebook page. It gave our followers the opportunity to see what was going on during the expo in real time. It was also a more personal way to interact with our audience.
We had such a great time promoting this event! It really showed us the powers of social media for making real and meaningful connections. The only thing that disappointed us was that so many of the companies that we wanted to connect with didnt have much of a social media presence! Do you need to rock your next big event? Give us a call today.