Many of you know I also run a bed and breakfast and event space called the Urban Oasis and we put on lots of events here throughout the year, so this topic is very important to me. We really used Social Media to put on a super book signing for Chris Guillebeau’s Art of Nonconformity book tour. Event planners should really bone up on all the cool social media apps that will come in handy to insure the success of your next event. Here are several ideas I have used myself and a couple that I can’t wait to use ( thank you, Denise Quashie).
If you are having a large recurring event, it is best to create an easy to use WordPress website for it. If you can’t swing that then at least give it a Facebook fan page. If your gig is going to be one time only then a Facebook Group will work just fine. With a website, Fanpage or Group you can keep all of the information about the event in one central place and it will be searchable by Google and that will help to have more people find out about it outside of your own circle.
Whether you have a page or not, you should definitely get the word out on Facebook by making it into an Event on Facebook. Yhis does not take the place of having a Page or a Group. This allows you to get it on the radar of your friends and friends of friends. But if you want people to register for the event and pay for it, then also make it an event on EventBrite which does a great job with allowing people to register and pay for the event. You can set EventBrite to show a list of people that are attending to the other people considering attending, which is a good incentive for them to join the party and sign up.
If you have a website, you can embed the EventBrite sign up right on your site, or it is fine to just provide a link to it. EventBrite takes a bit out of each registration, but it is free for non-profit or free events. You can even use EventBrite for a webinar series and have people sign up and pay to attend.
If you are putting on a seminar or course that has multiple classes meeting in various rooms at various times, then Sched* could be the answer to your prayers. I found out about this app, and some others, this weekend at SoCon11. They actually should have consulted one of their most knowledgeable breakout leaders, Denise Quashie (@DQTweets), like I did, to find out about this cool Sched* app because SoCon11 had to use the old skool method of hanging papers up on the walls for people to sign up for their sessions. Not the most elegant solution. There is a free version of Sched* and it can go up from there to even making iPhone apps for your event.
Be sure to make a Twitter hashtag for your event, so you and other people can Tweet about it and use the hashtag to index all the tweets about your event. Use “What the Hashtag” to make sure it isn’t being used for something else. And at the end of the event you can get a printout of all of the tweets from What the Hashtag that were tweeted with your event’s hashtag.
Twitter is a great way to build excitement about an event and is an easy thing for other people to retweet so you can get a lot of traction out of regularly engaging with people on Twitter. If you are just getting into Twitter and you know you are planning an event, don’t wait to start engaging with people and trying to build a following when you need to start Tweeting. Do it now so you will be prepared and hopefully have a loyal group of followers who will care about you and the event and help you to get the word out. Remember to have a friend, be a friend. This has never been so true as with Twitter. So, if you see other people tweeting out their event give them a hand and they will do the same for you.
Of course, after the event, keep the party going. Don’t just black out until next year’s event. You have hopefully built up some momentum, so keep your community informed and growing. So all you event planners, do these things and your next year’s event will be even more successful.
Have you put on an event and used any of these tools or others? Let us know how that went.