Event and meetings planners face a thrilling future, or perhaps a more daunting one, if they don’t like a challenge.
The evolution of social network technologies and the rapidly developing culture of communications around “Social Media” means that professionals in the sector have been gifted with a range of new opportunities to market their event and meetings and also to mark out these events as unique.
The online networking opportunities seem to broaden and deepen each month as the now embedded platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook are joined by rafts of new social media ventures (FourSquare, Groupon etc.).
But with that growth comes inevitable complexity and some confusion. Already hard-pressed for time, event and meetings planners now find that they have to find more of that precious resource to “engage online”. It’s no wonder that some are avoiding this particular innovation in marketing at present.
The confusion in part, stems from the range of social network marketing offerings contrasted with the lack of easily identifiable metrics that can convince an event or meeting planner to reformulate their marketing time schedule to learn about and “engage socially” online.
The good news is that an event or meeting planner can avoid wasting precious time connecting with networks that do not deliver in terms of delegates/attendees.
The not so good news is that these engagement decisions have to be based on a deep understanding of how people in the potential market engage themselves socially. And that takes time and effort as well as continual monitoring to inform decisions about the next similar event/meeting.
The first rule for event and meetings planners, we believe, is: Know Your Audience’s Online Social Behaviour.
That forms the bedrock of your event and meeting online engagement. Scatter-gun approaches are costly in terms of time and could be disastrous in terms of reputation.
In part 2 of this My Meeting Professional blog post topic, we’ll go into detail about how, where, when and why to engage, together with key points about how to find your audience and how to measure your engagement successes.
In the meantime, please add your thoughts, share your experiences and promote your ideas with community members on this new hub.