On June 28, I joined #ConvenePHL to help lead a discussion about leveraging the energy and conversation of an event into ongoing audience engagement. With Technical.ly Philly Lead Reporter Roberto Torres and Buffer Community Champion Arielle Tannenbaum, we chatted at Pipeline Philly about the challenges and best practices in maximizing event potential by creating connection points (online and off) to engage audiences and attendees post-event and in between events. I was proud to be part of the conversation and to represent CreativeMornings Philadelphia, the city's monthly breakfast lecture series for creative types.
If you missed the event, here were a few of our top takeaways!
- Be Persistent. A lot of event organizers feel like they've already spread the word about their event, so they avoid sharing the details of it again. This is understandable, but your messages can easily get lost in the digital shuffle! It's important to share your event details more than once – even if you feel like you've said the same thing a hundred times – on a variety of platforms to reach different audiences.
- Mix It Up. If you feel like you've said it all before, try a new approach. Use video, try animated gifs, or something totally different to attract attention and make your message and your event relevant. Try Snapchat – especially its affordable geofilters – to make your event even more engaging. Just remember to get the location right, warned Tonic Design Co.'s Leon Degtar. If the geofence isn't right, it can make it more challenging for users to try out your filter.
- Hashtags Work. When weighing the "should I or shouldn't I?" of hashtags, keep in mind how they're really intended to be used: as groups of like conversations. Keep your hashtags short and sweet, since your audience will need as many characters as possible to share a valuable tweet with their friends. And, as Technical.ly's Catherine Sontag pointed out, it's critical to test them in advance to ensure that your hashtag and the conversation around it can truly be owned by your brand.
- Use Photos. AOI Events & PR regularly uses photos from past events to give audiences a sense of what the event will be like before they RSVP, which is a great way to draw in new attendees.
- Look to Your Network. For CreativeMornings, we monitor our hashtag (#cmphl) to track conversation leading up to, during, and after an event. One of the best things we're able to find from that is user-generated content. We've found blog posts recapping our events, videos and photos of our speakers, and great takeaways from the talks. And with a quick tweet or direct message on Instagram, we can request permission to share the user's content (always with credit, of course) to help spread the word in the future.
We had a great conversation at #ConvenePHL. If you were there, let me know what your favorite learnings were. If you weren't, I'd encourage you to check out their next event in the fall. I'll hope to see you (and the beautiful view from Pipeline Philly) then.