From conferences to product launching event and everything in between, event planning professionals are finding new ways to organize, plan, and promote their events with the help of social media. Lets focus on the tools available now.
Facebook has over 350 million users worldwide and has two great tools to promote an event and company: Facebook Events and Facebook Fan Page.
Facebook Events allow you to create an event and promote it to your social network of friends. It also allows you to make it a private or public event and gives multiple people the right to be administrators on the site. I recently coordinated an event and we had 21 administrators which allowed us to invite over 2,100 people. We had over 345 RSVP - a fantastic testimony to the power of Facebook!
Facebook Fan Page is a page dedicated to your company (become a Fan of AV Event Solutions) or event. It allows you to create buzz about the event and keep potential attendees up-to-date on new and interesting announcements within the company.
LinkedIn is the number one tool used by business professionals. It also has an Events page where you may invite up to 50 of your connections. It does not allow for more than one administrator but it does have a nice feature that Facebook Events does not; it gives you a URL link that you can email to anyone and as long as that person has (or will generate) a LinkedIn account, they can register for the event.
LinkedIn also has many groups and event planning professional can use LinkedIn to find the perfect venue, corporate audio visual, conference equipment rental. You name it, and if you are in the right group, you can probably find it.
Twitter is a micro blogging system, limited to 140 characters, that can be used to promote the event and stream information while the event is going on. It is different than Facebook and LinkedIn, because there may be people that follow you that you do not know and that is okay. It is most effectively used to hype the event for the few days prior to start, and during the event your attendees can tweet about the what they are doing.
Foursquare is a geolocation platform. It allows an event planning professional to create a badge that can serve as a pass to a special VIP event. Insert a tip about the event or make a recommendation on things to do or see to attendees.
YouTube is the world's most popular online video community, allowing millions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos. YouTube provides a forum for event planners and their attendees to connect and be informed about the meeting.
The goal of social media is to engage attendees in a conversation before, during, and after the event. It's not just about promoting the event but making social media part of the event. Want to chat? Follow us on Twitter - we'd love to hear from you about event planning.