I read this week how some Geo events are now embracing Social media for their conference attendees – funny, they weren’t even promoting an official Twitter! Nothing new here by any means as this has been happening for several years now, however, it is affirmation that many event organizers are finally… well, getting organized! Users and conference attendees have been creating LinkedIn groups and facebook groups for years now (I’ve been part of many of them), however, for an event organizer to truly “embrace” social media and make it useful for conference attendees and non-attendees, every event should at the very least consider creating “Official” social media outlets and tools such as:
- – an event Twitter – post important updates, times, changes, promotions, news -Also, an official Twitter #hashtag is crucial! Its simple to pull an RSS feed from a Twitter hashtag and serve up fresh tweets on your blog!
- – LinkedIn group
- – facebook Group
- – Flickr Group and official tag(s) – many people aren’t aware that you can easily create a group where attendees can all pool their photos and share them with the group. As an example, I attended an event in Finland last year and shared photos in a flickr Set (as did many others) then, we all shared our photos in a Flickr Photo Pool
- – YouTube and Qik channels for video streaming
- – create an event Blog and have event planners blog from the show (or secure some attending contributors) You can also pull RSS feeds in from flickr, Twitter and others)
- – for Geo events, consider a Brightkite account as well (great for geo-located photo sharing and updates+tweets) – Ignite events in my area have been very active creating Brightkite event boards and its been very useful for connecting attendees.
- – encourage attendees to use resources like Loopt and whereyougonnabe (http://apps.facebook.com/whereyougonnabe)
- – for smaller events use social event planning/management tools like eventful or upcoming from Yahoo! ideal for getting the word out and cheap! Be sure to also list and share your event information via Google Calendar. Eventbrite is also a great tool to promote and sell tickets for your event and it connects well with social media tools
- – live stream events (particularly keynotes) using Qik, flixwagon, or uStream
- – video video video – capture lots of video and publish them on an event Youtube, uStream, Ovi, Blip.TV account
- Share your PowerPoint presentations – It drives me crazy that these files get locked up! Event planners should demand copies of all PPT files used at an event and make them available and sharable via slideshare!
Another fine example of getting the word out and using social media very effectively for their events is the O’reilly Media gang (think Where2.0). Check out how they do things and follow their example. All of the above mentioned tools may not be useful for every event, however, most of them can be implemented relatively easily and can be very useful in sharing updates from your events. Are you an event planner and interested in some help? Feel free to ping me, perhaps I can help hook you up and get you on the right track!