How can association and other event planners use mobile social technology to make the most of their conferences and meetings? Hereâ€™s a comprehensive checklist to help prioritize your steps before, during, and after your next event.
By Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP
A recent survey from ShareThis found that social sharing from mobile happens twice as often as sharing from desktop. As event participants predominantly use mobile devices at events, it follows that the more mobile the social media, the more widely they will be used at events.
What are the most mobile social channels?
- 65 percent of global Facebook video views are mobile. â€“AdWeek, January 2015
- There are 1 billion mobile Facebook users monthly. â€”The Verge, April 2014
- 88 percent of Twitter users are on mobile. â€”Jeff Bullas, social media strategist, 2015
- Instagram, an inherently mobile platform, has 300 million monthly users. â€” Instagram, December, 2014
- Half of YouTube views are on mobile devices, about 1 billion views daily. â€” YouTube, 2015
Mobile Social Checklist
So how can association and other event planners use mobile social technology to make the most of their events? Here is a checklist of ideas and tips to consider:
Before the Event
Make sure your organization and event websites are responsively designed. Your websites are a principal means of promotion and should be as easily visible on any screen size, from a small smart phone to an HD TV.
Display your mobile social channels prominently on the event site.
Integrate mobile social media channels with registration. Encourage attendee to share that they registered on their social channels using automated tools.
Make sure your event app has strong integration with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Event apps vary in quality, and there are significant differences on how well they handle various social channels.
Encourage attendees to download the mobile event app well in advance of the event and direct them to the social links in the app. Use your app as a key communication channel announcing new speakers, event news, sponsors, and games.
Announce and promote your event hashtag well in advance of the event. Make sure that it is unique â€” short, relevant, and as memorable as possible (no more than five- or six-characters).
Promote this hashtag as the common search term across all your social channels and other platforms.
Encourage speakers to post short videos to YouTube about their upcoming presentation. These should be no longer than two minutes and in high definition. Post these videos on the event YouTube channel and embedded on a dedicated video page on your event website. Be sure to include the event hashtag in the postings. Additionally, include short promotional videos of the destination, venue, and any entertainment planned.
Educate your speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and influential bloggers and other well-connected individuals about the event hashtag, the event app, and any relevant games, and encourage their participation with these channels.
Plan a pre-event content strategy with the goal of new postings at least two to three times a week the month before the event. Always use the event hashtag and post to your event website and social channels.
Post preview photos on Instagram about the speakers, the venue, the entertainment, and anything else that is visually appealing. Include the event hashtag in the captions.
Promote the event hashtag onsite using signage and other media. Plan for photo opportunities. Post the hashtag prominently at picture points, in group congregation areas, on badges, on place settings, and more.
Incent hashtag usage through gamification leaderboards and your event app with prizes or other acknowledgements for those who have the widest social reach.
Use moderated, multi-channel social walls during your event. At the minimum, Twitter and Instagram should be included. Moderation will allow you to eliminate spam postings and can allow for timed and sponsor postings as well. Typically, social walls are cloud-based programs that are easy to set-up and manage during the meeting.
Mention the event hashtag, event app, and any gamification options during the opening session.
Use social photo booths; there are many options available simply by searching that phrase. Make sure there is Instagram and hashtag integration.
Monitor and track the social channels. Answer questions and respond to complaints. Share interesting social messages.
After the Event
Upload pictures and videos of the event as a reminder to attendees of the great time and to advertise next yearâ€™s event.
Tell your event story using curation media such as Storify highlighting the chronology, significant moments, etc.
Use social media metric tools (there are dozens of low cost or free tools available) to measure the reach and exposure of your mobile social efforts.
As mobile social media continues to expand its footprint, this checklist hopefully will help to prioritize action steps in their use.
Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP is a professional speaker and consultant focusing on meetings technology. With 20 years of experience running international citywide technology meetings, he now helps clients use technology to save time and improve productivity.