Importance of New Media Channels

With communication progressing at such a rapid rate, breaking news is now appearing on the likes of Twitter before the world’s news channels have heard a whisper of it. For conference and event organisers, the use of social media to ‘spread the word’ is an invaluable tool, helping them to attract as many delegates as possible.

In the current competitive marketplace, it’s imperative for organisers to use these new media channels to stay ahead of the game.

Using SMS messaging, social networking and e-flyers is ideal for event promotion, from encouraging early registrations through to post-event feedback. These methods are instant, easy and, best of all, cost effective, which if used properly can help reach a wide, yet targeted audience. With more and more people of all ages and interests using new online communication channels, it is no longer only targeted towards the young and media savvy.

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have a number of features that can help you promote your event. As this communication method is immediate, it means you can have real time contact with a large number of people. From announcing a new event to potential delegates, to letting them know about the keynote speaker, or asking for post-event feedback, you can engage in instant and effective dialogue with minimal cost. Keeping delegates involved in this type of dialogue makes them feel a part of the event, even before they attend. It also keeps them up to date on what to expect, so they can plan their trip and the conference speakers or workshops they are interested in going to.

By setting up a Facebook or Twitter page for your event, delegates can also comment on your page giving them a quick and easy method of providing feedback for the event. It also allows you to provide instant notification of any updates or changes to the event. With over 300m Facebook users alone, the limit is endless.

Email may not be such a new phenomenon; however there are many marketing benefits that people don’t take advantage of. Most event and conference organisers will have a database of delegates’ email addresses so they already have a targeted list of contacts with which to communicate. E-flyers are quick and a simple way to distribute information to a large number of people.

For example, conference invitations and save the date notifications can be sent quickly and cheaply. Including links to register for the event along with the planned programme can also be a good way to encourage delegates to sign up early; updates about the event can also be sent out in the run up, along with reminders to those who haven’t yet registered.

Email marketing is not only beneficial for raising awareness about a conference, but for Dundee and Angus Convention Bureau, it is an effective tool in highlighting the range of venues and attractions to those thinking of holding a conference in the area.

We have been using e-flyer communication to raise awareness of our range of bureau partners, from conference venues and hotels to attractions. Our ambassador programme mixes experts in biotechnology, life sciences, digital media, medicine, law and education. They work closely with us to attract national and international academic and association conferences. Our e-flyers make them aware of the options available when it comes to hosting upcoming conferences in the area.

As the economy regains strength, competition is fiercer than ever and those that are online and communicating with potential delegates, via email marketing and social networks, will gain the upper hand over those who are not.

With more than 127m Europeans now using social networking sites, if you are not writing about a conference online, it is likely that someone else will be. It is commonplace for people to post or tweet information about what they are up to, from recent events they have attended to interesting speakers they have heard.

Unless you have awareness about what is being said about your conference, it is impossible to react or engage with delegates unless you are online.

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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