The most important part of any event marketing process is when the event itself takes place. But equally important as the event itself is both what you do before the event and —not thought about nearly as much—what you do after the event. In the digital age, where attention is fleeting, event marketers would do well to do what they can to maintain attention from the end of the event and into the start of the next.
There are various ways event marketers can use the internet and social media to make sure attendees are engaged long after the event has ended. Fun, Instagrammable backdrops, post-event polling, post-event contests and collaborating with social media influencers are just a few ways to make sure the event keeps buzzing.
Activations That Inspire Photo Taking
Restaurants, pop-up shops and more create fun walls that encourage their visitors to take photos and spread the word—some even go to the trouble of providing a hashtag; they do all of the hard work, so their visitors don’t have to.
Most people already carry phones with a camera—or three or four—and when attending an event, likely plan on taking photos while attending, and those photos are likely to find their way onto various social media platforms. Add ways in your event marketing strategy to set up your event so that it encourages even more photo-taking than attendees would take otherwise.
Want to find out what attendees thought of the event immediately right after it ends? Instagram makes that incredibly easy with their polling feature on Instagram Stories; what you ask could be as simple as a ‘yes or no’ question to something a little more open-ended, such as “How do you feel about…?”
Not only is it simple to add to your event marketing, but it’s both more direct and easier to reach attendees, as there’s no need to send out mass emails. When creating an Instagram Story, simply press the sticker icon in the top right-hand corner, then select “Poll” from the options listed. You will then be able to set up your question. Instagram Story polls do two things: It gives event marketers feedback about how well their event went and also refreshes the event attendees’ minds.
Who doesn’t love the opportunity to win free stuff? Exactly. That’s why contests are the best. Real life contests are nice, but when the event is over and done with, event marketers could host post-event surveys to keep the buzz going and create excitement around the next event to come. Swag, gift cards or even free tickets to next year’s event are sure fire ways to keep attendees invested in the event weeks past the end date.
The use of hashtag works in this case as well, as incorporating the use of the event’s hashtag as part of the competition will keep the event alive and well, as well as revive the interest of attendees who have since lost engagement.
Collaborate with Influencers
Celebrity endorsements have been a method of promotion since the dawn of man, but social media has changed the game. What once took weeks and communication with several people before getting to the one you actually want to speak with can now happen in a matter of hours, or maybe even a few minutes. In the age of social media, reaching out to those with influence is easier than ever before, all it takes is a direct message to get them on board with your event marketing plan.
And while Instagram isn’t the most engaged website—that would be Facebook— it is the most engaging when it comes to influencer marketing. In fact, nearly a fourth of social media influencers believe Instagram is the top platform for social media marketing.
Not only will influencer’s be able to promote your event both before and while it happens, but influencers can keep attendees engaged by posting about it periodically after the event; and when the event comes around the following year, influencers can rebuild the hype months in advance.
Reaching out to a group isn’t as general as it used to be; with social media, the landscape is much more fragmented, as is the term “influencer.” It isn’t as simple as being an “influencer,” there exists tiers of influencers, ranging from “micro-influencers,” who typically have a smaller, more niche group of followers, to “macro-influencers,” who have much larger followings, ranging from one million to as large as 10 million.
In this new digital landscape, there’s no reason to not keep the attention of your attendees year-round. With the use of social media, keeping your attendees engaged is made easy. Subscribe to our newsletter for more event tips and practices.