Make It Count- Socializing Your Next Event

By Mandy Murphy

I had the pleasure of attending the RBC Canadian Open in Toronto Ontario this past weekend. I knew it was going to be a day filled with outstanding golf, pro golfers, and big name brands. So like the social media fanatic I am, I tried to check in on Foursquare and boast about my location to the world. To my surprise, there was no RBC Canadian Open check in location created. There was a location for the club itself, but there were no specials listed nearby nor did I get any other notifications. This forced me to pay close attention to the social media efforts throughout the rest of the event. After walking around to all the skyboxes and merchandise tents, I noticed an immense lack of social being used at this million dollar occasion!

Companies like RBC, Bell, and Corona are spending thousands of dollars to sponsor these events and are seriously missing opportunities to promote their attendance and maximize their time spent there. Using social media tools at events can help brands improve attendance, drive collaboration, and extend the value without taking away any potential revenue. I did finally find one company doing this and doing it well. BMW was the only sponsor to tweet live from the event with up to the minute information on activities, parking, weather, and highlights @BMWLivefrom16. For those who did not have tickets to the event, BMW was holding a trivia challenge on Twitter giving away daily passes to their Skybox.

Sponsors and exhibitors should always use their relationship with the corresponding events to encourage conversation around their attendance, engage with people who are already discussing the topic by sharing exclusive or valuable content, and showcase their association with the event category. Each day BMW retweeted reputable sources and Twitter users mentioning the Open and BMW Skybox. They also shared industry knowledge, gave game play by plays, and replied to follower’s questions about the game. They used a recognizable hashtag (#RBCCanadianOpen) to ensure anyone at the open or online could follow the conversation. BMW’s social efforts led to a plethora of online conversation around their presence and line ups outside of the BMW Skybox!

Any business can maximize their efforts at events through social media. Whether you are an exhibitor at a tradeshow or sponsoring a massive sporting event, your presence at the event is enhanced by social media. Thus, helping you get more coverage, get more exposure, and to grow within that market.

3 Tips To Get You Started At Your Next Event:

1.       Create a Foursquare check in for your booth: Having the booth location preloaded for your attendees will make it easier for them to find you, check out what you are offering, and share you online with their friends and other attendees.

2.       Tweet live from the event using the event or custom hashtag: Sharing relevant and valuable information in real time will not only showcase your knowledge in the industry, but entice event attendees to come check you out. The custom hashtag will allow people to follow the event conversation and not miss what’s going on at your booth.

3.       Hold a Facebook contest during the event: Allow all your fans to feel like they can attend the event by holding a related contest before or during the event. Contests are very viral and a great way to grow fans and create conversation.

How have you engaged with companies at events through social media? Share in the comments section below!