The Social Media Trend Why is social media important? How is social media used? Can we do more with social media? What are effective ways to use social media? What does the future role of social media in events look like?
Why is this trend important?Long gone are the days of pagers and flip phones wehave now entered into the era of the smartphone.Smartphones and other mobile technology are a partof daily life for over 1 billion people worldwide. Socialmedia is not simply a fad that will disappear in a fewyears. It is a part of life. The platforms will changewhile others become obsolete but better and morecomprehensive platforms will continue to emergereplacing those left behind.
Continued… In order to stay competitive in the ever- changing world of event management, managers must embrace social media and exploit the potential that lies within it. There is a lot more that can be done with social media, marketing and promotion are just the tip of the iceberg.
How is social mediaused by events? Target marketing Networking Promotion Registration Information sharing (date, time, location) Multimedia sharing (photos, videos) Engaging audiences Surveys (creation, feedback)
Event managers can… Educate and brand events Create event buzz Offer deals and discounts Sell tickets (pre-sale and at the door) Connect with sponsors and vendors Cross-promote with speakers/entertainers Track attendance
Audiences can… Check-in to events virtually Connect with other attendees Use QR codes to access special information Participate onsite and online Organize and participate in event related meet- ups (Tweet-ups, Facebook events)
Effective use of social media It’s not enough to simply have a presence on social media, as a business or event manager you must find a way to consistently(before, during and after) engage your audience in a fun and unique way. This contributes to the overall reputation of your event.
Coachella Valley Music & Arts FestivalCoachella.com allows the audience to register to gain access to special features such as theuser forums and Coachooser which allows you to create your own Coachella schedule.Registering your wristband gains you access to enhanced customer support, social mediafeatures, merchandise specials and potential upgrades. It’s even possible for people unableto attend the music events in person to watch a live feed on the Coachella YouTube channel.Coachella organizers have adapted to their audiences which has helped to sustain thefestival for the last 14 years. (http://www.coachella.com/)
South by Southwest (SXSW)SXSW is a series of film, interactive, and music festivals and conferences held in Austin,Texas. In 2011, SXSW launched it’s own social media platform that allows the audience toconnect with other attendees and allows them to find Twitter, Facebook and Linked Incontacts that are also attending. SXSW seem to be ahead of the curve when it comes tosocial media but that’s no surprise since the creator of these festivals happens to be acompany that plans and executes conferences, trade shows, festivals and other events. Notto mention the fact that SXSW is where the location-based social network Foursquare waslaunched. (http://www.sxsw.com/)
What does the future look like?Building on current uses of social media (networking,marketing, promotion) this trend will continue to growbecome a larger, more integral part of events as awhole. Attendance records, virtual check-ins, e-ticketsand electronic access to event maps and informationwill become the norm.There are already a number of events that areincorporating social media, what are you doing toincorporate it into your events?
ReferencesChan, K. (2011, April 6). Signing up: Smartphones and social media are proving to be growth areas inevent management. South China Morning Post, pp. 26.Global mobile statistics 2013 Part A: Mobile subscribers; handset market share; mobile operators.(March 2013). mobiThinking. Retrieved April 3, 2013, from http://mobithinking.com/mobile-marketing-tools/latest-mobile-stats/Goldblatt, J. (2000). A Future for Event Management: The Analysis of Major Trends Impacting theEmerging Profession. Events Beyond 2000: Setting the Agenda (pp. 2-9). Australia: Australian Centrefor Event Management.Social Media and Events. (n.d.). Social Media Breakfast Maine. Retrieved April 3, 2013, fromhttp://www.socialmediabreakfastmaine.com/archives/smbme-30-social-media-and-events/Technology Expert Steve Dotto on Event Management. (n.d.). Speakers Spotlight. Retrieved April 1,2013, from http://www.speakers.ca/2013/03/technology-expert-steve-dotto-on-event-management/