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Sunday, March 11, 2012

10 Event Planning Tips and 5 Social Media Strategies for Promoting an Event Using New and Social Media

TechnoGranny, the "Get Your Google on Gal" and Premiere Event Planner, Mary Pam Kilgore give you tips and strategies on how to use social media for your event to plan, promote and keep the buzz going even after the fact.
Original Date of Show, 9-19-2011

10 tips for using Social Media at events –

1. Make sure that Social Media is a part of your regular promotional timeline.
2. Have promotional partners.
3. Have a website that is mobile ready.  No flash
4. Survey your target market and find out how they learn about your events and go there first.
5. Use Social media in conjunction with other forms of marketing
6. Have guest bloggers
Mary Pam Kilgore, Pittsburgh
Premiere Event Planner
7. Put QR codes on print material
8. Have a Social Media budget in terms of time and money
9. Have a channel so guests can interact while they are there.
10.  Follow up even before the event ends.
Mary Pam Kilgore, CMP
Kilgore Business Services, LLC
Phone:  412.854.4827 Fax: 412-833-8444
Cell:  412-260-4178

Techno Granny
1.   The Planning Stage
Skype: Use Skype for conference calls and chats about event planning. Bouncing ideas back and forth via video or audio can make the brainstorming process move much faster.

Google Sites - Free websites and wikis

Google Sites is the easiest way to make information accessible to people who need quick, up-to-date access. People can work together on a Site to add file attachments, information from other Google applications (like Google Docs, Google Calendar, YouTube and Picasa),

Google Calendar and Google Docs: Assign tasks and meetings using a collaborative calendar like Google Calendar and work together on your event information using software like Google Docs.

2.   Inviting and RSVP’s
Set up a blog and Facebook Invite.  You could also use Anyvite and Eventbrite
For inviting and organizing guest’s lists, always be sure to set up a Facebook event – also beyond Facebook, you can use Anyvite and Eventbrite are two solid solutions for inviting guests that include RSVPing and customization features.

3.   Strategy and Distribution
First, be sure to have as many distribution channels available as possible. Your potential guests or attendees must be able to easily find you on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and for business events, LinkedIn.
Twitter and Facebook should be your primary promotional tools – they are built for spreading a message. On Facebook, be sure to set up a Facebook Page – they are better than groups because you can appear in News Feeds every time you update the Page’s status. Creating a Facebook Event is also key, as well as having guests and members update their own status with links to the shindig. Twitter’s key is retweeting and hash tags: be sure to have an event hash tag and promote it, and ask for retweets of the most important information.

It’s a good idea to have all of these social media sites link to a blog, great place to start one is on Blogger, even computer users with minimal skills can manage this system.

Ning: This is also a great tool to set up a networking site that you can maintain after the event is over for everyone to keep in touch and spread the word about the next year’s event.

Add yourself to Billboards and Event Sites:
Eventsburgh, Local Newspaper and Radio Sites, search Event sites in your area.

4.   Day of the Event
When the day comes and everyone is arriving, be sure that you keep people happy and that you’ve optimized your event to create additional buzz. You didn’t do all of this work just to have people complain over Twitter, did you?
Make sure that you have high-speed wireless available – Stop periodically and ask people to tweet or Facebook or LinkedIn or do a Four Square check in.   Promote following the event’s Twitter account for event updates. Don’t forget to have a unique hash tag for the event. Here’s a way to extend the conversation:  Have a web page or even a giant whiteboard where people can share their social media contact information too. This is also why it’s good to have a Ning page or even LinkedIn Group so that guests can network in advance.
For people who cannot attend the event, consider setting up a live stream. Live video services like Ustream  make it possible to stream out key portions of events. You don’t have to stream everything – just the good stuff. If you can’t stream, upload videos to YouTube p Skatta TV afterwards.
Finally, get some event feedback from your audience.  How did they like the food, the service, the speaker, the entertainment?  The event is not over until the last guest is satisfied or at least has their complaints and compliments heard.   Make sure that you track post twitter conversations.  If you have the event on Meet Up be sure to track feedback.  Also encourage your guests to post on your Facebook Page or LinkedIn Group
Step 5. Post-event social media communication
Contrary to popular belief, the event is not done when everyone leaves.
A good idea is to collect email information with event and if it is yearly or even monthly, communicate during that time so that you can capture their information next time.
The best time to sell a guest on your next event is during the afterglow at the current one.  Be sure that you announce the schedule for your next event even if it’s a year off.  This is a great time to get people to plan on attending next year.

Send thank you, updates, additional information about guest speakers, entertainers, offers from your sponsors, etc.

Next, do not forget to share all the media generated by the event. Upload photos to the Flickr account and post videos on YouTube (Vimeo and Viddler are also good alternatives). Ask for videos from your guests and pictures from your guests and give them the option to upload them to various social media venues.
Keep communicating

Joanne Quinn-Smith, TechnoGranny
frequent guest speaker on New and
Social Media
You have made some new friends if your event was a good one and old friends have supported you.  Same rules as a party in your home, would you really wait until next year to communicate with those friends who came to the party.  Thank them, share with them, and in general just keep in touch.
Joanne Quinn-Smith

2009 National SBA Journalist of the Year
AKA TechnoGranny, Talkcast Host
2010 Stevie Award Finalist for Best Media Website or Blog
Creative Energy Officer, Dreamweaver Marketing Associates, Full Service Marketing Company Specializing in Web 2.0 Branding.

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