Social media at events is a no-brainer. It not only co-opts attendees as
effective marketing vehicles, but enhances events themselves by connecting
attendees with common interests, fostering discussion, and highlighting the
most interesting session content.
But there is one important benefit of social media that’s
escaping the grasp of many event organisers.
Often, they fail to capture or dissect these fast-paced flurries
of social interactions which, when analysed properly and punctually, can unlock
critical insights based on attendees’ actual behavior.
Think about it: a detailed, empirical catalog of what
attendees liked, where they were, and what they were saying. What could be more
useful in improving an event? The data are there, waiting to be parsed.
But it’s no small feat to track every tweet, much less keep
up with connections and conversations on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus.
The key is to bring all these competing conversations into a
single, unified ecosystem, one that’s broad and appealing enough for
attendees to prefer it, yet confined and streamlined so organisers can easily
manage it. If this central hub can also push info out to popular social sites,
all the better.
Fortunately, the consumerisation and ubiquitous adoption of
powerful handheld devices has already put the most important tools for
accomplishing this in the pockets and purses of your attendees.
With a customised and branded mobile app for their event,
organisers can provide a catered social media and information platform with
more unified and relevant features than the social services that their
attendees would be using otherwise.
By putting everything under one roof, organisers can not
only boost engagement among attendees, but capture that activity for vital
The stream can flow the other way, too. By operating a
custom app, organisers can also push information and marketing messages back to
attendees to increase not only engagement, but revenue.
The events industry continues to evolve, and social media is
only going to become a bigger part of it. By leveraging mobile technology and
custom platforms, organisers can make the most of it and stay ahead of the
– Lawrence Coburn is the CEO and Co-Founder of DoubleDutch,
a company that is embracing mobile and social trends to transform the event
landscape. He has worked directly with customers like Cisco, Dell, 3M,
Nationwide, Masco, and Wells Fargo, to maximise ROI by reimagining what is
possible with event technology. Lawrence has spoken at many conferences, including
Dreamforce, Ventureshift, Gartner Symposium, and others.
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