Emily Huddart, EventServ development and support manager, says social media and the event industry are now inseparable as she runs down the trends to watch out for in 2015.
It was pleasing to see the industry embracing social media in all its glory last year. After all, events are ‘social’– the bringing together of people to engage.
Social media is a valuable weapon in any event organiser’s arsenal. Whether it’s a conference, seminar, concert, sporting event, fundraiser or festival, social should be at the heart of how the event is organised, promoted and plays a vital role in encouraging engagement before, during and after the event.
Last year saw a rise in social technology tools that are really helping event professionals get the most out of their events and improving experiences for visitors.
We’re now at a stage where there are almost too many to choose from and it is easy to get overwhelmed by the number of different tools to consider.
Here are four of my favorites to watch this year:
Live slide sharing
Speakers’ slides are shared at conferences and exhibitions live to an attendee’s smart phone or tablet. This is not a particularly new technology but its popularity has definitely grown since last year.
Pushing slides to an attendee’s device helps to keep the focus on content and enhance the education experience. It is also quite impressive to watch when a speaker asks audience members to watch a short video and everyone’s watching the same clip on their personal device rather than straining to see and hear a large screen.
Collective media is all about leveraging the media created by your attendees.
The most successful events generate thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of pieces of digital content. Luckily, there are tools like Storify that make curating the best content – Twitter updates, photos, blog posts, and video – dead simple. Making use of sharable content is definitely a trend to watch next year.
Mobile apps invaded the event industry long ago but they continue to improve and give organisers a new competitive edge.
Apps can now take care of everything from promotion and user interaction to distributing seating and helping attendees register and check-in. The data generated through app engagement brings a vast event intelligence that can provide a powerful lead generation source.
The most successful social media campaigns merge what’s happening online with what’s happening offline.
Setting up social walls throughout an event space is an effective way to entice attendees to get involved in the online discussions and pictures live from an event.
A great example of this was Lucozade’s ‘Wall of Support’ at Dublin City Marathon. This event showcased the huge social media interaction with family and friends tweeting messages of support using the hashtag #wallofsupport. Tweets of support and pictures of runners were displayed on large screens at the finish line.