So, you’ve scheduled a live event. It’s festival, or trade show, or symposium, or nonprofit black-tie gala. You’re going to generate buzz, or sell a slew of speedboats, or change minds, or raise money for charity.
It’s going to be awesome. Or not.
The difference between live events that soar and those that sink is digital strategy. There are some solid social and digital strategies we have found that you can do long before your event that will make it not only a successful event — but an event that will re-market itself (or its ongoing series) when it comes back again.
Here are 5 things you can do on social to expand the reach of your live event.
Set up your logistics and online ticketing immediately. Even if your social team is the best in the business, they cannot market or spread the word about your event — even if it’s free of cost — if there’s no way for people to register, sign up, or buy tickets. Get it done! Your social team can kick into high gear once it’s ready.
Treat your event like a new brand campaign. You need a theme that will run across all the platforms you’re using, branded content, a hashtag, geofilters and a way for your audience to connect with one another and the “stars” of your show, whether it’s famous speakers, niche brands or even sponsors.
Make custom content and plan for user-generated content. One of our partners, Cinebody, has a very cool app for this.
You want your audience to post, re-post and share everything that happens during the event. In most cases, you’re also going to need your own branded custom video marketing to highlight and spread your message. Whether it plays on your Facebook page, at the event itself, or is sent directly to every ticket holder, your video marketing is important to the success of your event.
Be engaged! With audience and guest speakers and their audiences too. Use your social channels the way a brand campaign would. Use community managers — or a community manager — to respond to fans or answer questions or complaints about your event. Enable a way for fans to check in to your event, to evangelize about it and talk about it while they’re there. Let them see that others (even maybe your trade-show attendee brands, or renowned speakers) can see their comments and appreciate their presence at the event.
Make a post-event content plan. Make a plan and stick to it. If you have guests, make sure to stipulate in contracts how you both agree to use their content after the fact. Use your custom content, but also the user-generated content from the event itself, in a way that will propel your future events. A best of? A highlight reel? Or maybe even a whole series of speeches or tastefully collated feedback can make your next event shine.
Or maybe you don’t have another event lined up — this was a one-and-done. Your fans still want to see highlights from the event, and especially themselves, after-the fact.