Check out this article about social media networks that I shared on Elitemeeting.com earlier this year.
It seems like every time we turn around, there is a new social media tool to use and everything we knew about the current tools seems to change on a daily basis. So – this blog post is an attempt to catch you up on some of the big things you should know about the social media platforms you are leveraging to promote your events and connect with your audience. I’m going to cover the major social networks and give you my thoughts on what is working well or giving people challenges as I know it is very hard to keep up.
Facebook is still the social media of choice, particularly because so many people have adopted the technology and engagement is still very high. That being said, more and more brands are having trouble reaching their audience because Facebook is making it a priority to charge brands to reach their audience. I still recommend using this platform, but I think you should have a very strategic plan on how to increase engagement and likes, other then simply buying boosted posts. The more money you put into Facebook, it seems the less organic return you get. Instead of buying ads on a regular basis, consider how you can engage your audience on a more personal level to keep making use of this platform.
I believe more and more in the power of Instagram for event planners and out of the social networks I’m covering today, I believe this is where you will find your biggest reward. Not only is the visual aspect of this very appealing, but there is very little to read and hashtags allow you to spread your message far and wide. The big downside is that you are not able to share links that are clickable in the caption so you end up driving very little traffic back to your website. On a good note, Instagram has recently allowed brands to switch easily between accounts without having to log in and out frequently as we have had to do in the past. This is a very important tool for keeping your audience engaged on a regular basis so I highly recommend embracing this platform, if you haven’t already.
Many people are saying that the downfall of Twitter is not too far in the future. While many people were using third-party apps to enhance their Twitter experience, the platform basically bought out many of those third-party services and never created replacement solutions. Many of us feel that Twitter has become very spammy and engagement is low. That being said, for those people who still have a following there, it is important to maintain your content strategy and continue to make an effort to engage personally with the people in your audience. For the time being, Twitter is still a very popular platform and is widely used, especially in news and events circles so it is an important platform for us as event professionals.
Photos: tanuha2001 / Shutterstock.com
What Is a Social Audience Response System?
By Michael Doane, Marketing Manager at CadmiumCD
Audience response has been around for thousands of years. Remember the movie Gladiator? Thumbs up or thumbs down was the ancient audience response system (or ARS). Clapping or booing is another form of it.
Technology has done a great job taming ARS in recent years. Colleges and conferences often use clickers that attendees can interact with to give their opinion or answer to yes-no or multiple choice questions.
The problem is that conferences are by nature social environments. Audience response, then, would be social too. With all the fun social media tools now available, you’d think there would be a way to get your attendees interacting beyond multiple choice. Wouldn’t it be exciting if they could ask the speaker questions, upvote others’ questions, or comment on the content presented?
This is exactly what social audience response does.
So how does it work?
Well, it’s simple. Just like social media, it requires your attendees to bring a device (you no longer have to over-order equipment) and a positive attitude. You simply need an app and some AV equipment (and a little patience to work with speakers on their questions if you’re hands-on).
Once you’re all set up, you give your attendees free-reign. They can log in to your app, attend your social audience sessions, and interact with each other and the speaker through live polling, commenting, and questions.
Traditional Audience Response vs. Social Audience Response
The best part is that each attendee creates a profile up front. This means — if they opt in to share data — they have a unique ID attached to their so they can interact with other attendees on a more personal basis. This also gives speakers unique data about their attendees and the results of their polls.
Beyond the session, the conversation can continue in the app. Attendees will be able to use it as a continuing education resource and speakers will have the opportunity to connect further with their audience.
This is truly the future of audience response.
Benefits of a Social Audience Response System
- Social Audience Response Facilitates Engagement
Social audience response goes beyond interaction and gets attendees engaged. It gets them thinking and talking about the subject matter. It connects content and speakers to the audience. Best of all, it gives them a platform to share their own expertise in a collaborative environment.
- Social Audience Response Gives Introverts a Voice
Even introverts attend conferences. The problem is that they often don’t shine in live collaborative groups and workshops. Introverts often prefer to think deeply about a problem before sharing their thoughts. Giving them a social-media-like environment to do this empowers them to share their valuable insights.
- Social Audience Response Is a Personalized Experience
Personalization is so important. If a speaker lectures to a group of people that are already experts in the subject matter, she may lose her audience very quickly. However, if she polls the audience, learns what their pain points are, and engages them in a conversation around those topics, she will succeed in creating a meaningful experience for those individuals. It’s about respecting people’s time and needs.
Are you an event planner or education director looking to get your head out of emails and spreadsheets? CadmiumCD’s event management software lets you collect and review submissions, manage speakers and exhibitors, and deliver exceptional experiences to your attendees, all from the same cloud-based platform. Manage your conference with confidence, with CadmiumCD.
Welcome to techsytalk’s unscripted – where for 29 mins, we take you behind the scenes of the events industry for candid conversations with Event Hustlers. We air on video biweekly using the blab platform to interview events industry players and find out about the people behind the hustle. We’ll also share industry trends and things we think you should care about as an event professional. Logon and keep us company by clicking the images below! Or, join us on itunes Podcasts or Stitcher to catch the shows after they’ve happened live!
Monday, March 7, 2016 at 3:00pm ET
Mark Walker from Eventbrite
Mark Walker is the Head of Content Marketing, UK & Ireland at Eventbrite where he leads a talented team dedicated to creating both educational and inspirational content for the events industry. This ranges from 5000-word reports to fun blog posts, encompassing quizzes, webinars, social media, live events and much more along the way.
Both in his day-to-day role and spare time, Mark regularly speaks and blogs about small business and entrepreneurship, digital marketing, social media and events.
Do you listen to podcasts? For many event planners on the go, podcasts are incredibly interesting and easy to access. Just download to your phone and you’ve got industry knowledge playing via Bluetooth in your car or right through your headshot on a train/plane/bus (you get the idea). Knowing that podcasts are an important educational resource for our industry, we just launched our own podcast last week called techsytalk unscripted – where we take you behind the velvet ropes of the events industry to talk about the issues that matter most to planners. And now, we’ve just discovered this interactive micro podcast platform called Anchor, which we’ll also be leveraging to connect with you. Today’s micro episode is on your experience with podcasts so take a quick listen and click the REPLY button to join the conversation!
DoubleDutch Delivers Strong Growth in 2015
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – January 27, 2016 – DoubleDutch, the global leading provider of mobile event apps, announces over 80 percent growth in annual recurring revenue (ARR) and over 100 percent growth in events apps deployed in 2015 compared to the previous year. Additionally, DoubleDutch saw record year-over-year growth in Asia and Europe.
“As one of the top marketing channels for ROI, events are going to play an even more strategic role in deepening relationships with customers and accelerating sales velocity. Our growth is a result of marketers’ increased focus on ways to deliver engaging and personalized experiences for attendees and exhibitors,” said Lawrence Coburn, CEO of DoubleDutch. “We expect this growth to continue as we take on the $565 billion events industry in 2016.”
Customers saw substantial increase in its mobile app adoption and engagement in DoubleDutch-powered events in 2015, including:
- 130 percent increase in total users
- 109 percent increase in total sessions
- 129 percent increase in total comments
- 147 percent increase in total likes
- Close to 3 billion total data points processed
DoubleDutch’s roster of global customers includes a range of enterprise and corporate clients, associations, educational institutions and non-profit organizations such as SAP, Rite Aid, Estee Lauder, UFC Gyms, Marketo, Optimizely, Georgetown University, and American Banker’s Association. Organizations use DoubleDutch to support a broad spectrum of events, including user and partner conferences, roadshows, sales kickoffs, incentive travel, executive offsites, networking events and tradeshows.
“It’s the biggest thing to happen to events in the last hundred years,” said Jason Ray, chief technology officer at the Urban Land Institute, which throws roughly a thousand events annually. “DoubleDutch is just beginning to unlock value that’s been elusive. We’ll see the point where at any type of gathering, people are going to expect an app.”
The record success of DoubleDutch in 2015 follows several important milestones the company achieved throughout the year including:
- A $45 million round of growth financing led by KKR, with participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Index Ventures and others.
- Freeman partnership: The partnership with Freeman, the world’s largest brand experience company, will connect DoubleDutch’s solutions with Freeman’s customer needs. Freeman customers will receive preferred access to DoubleDutch’s mobile event technology platform as well as access to an exclusive integration between Freeman’s online exhibitor interface and the newly launched DoubleDutch for Exhibitors product.
- DoubleDutch for Exhibitors: The industry’s first comprehensive solution for exhibitors that enables them to better target leads with promotional offers, streamline and simplify the lead retrieval process, gain more visibility into lead history and analytics, and maximize event ROI.
- Announcement of Q1 2016 release of new Direct Messaging and Channels capabilities that enhance collaboration among event attendees and extend the lifespan of events.
- The appointment of two executives: Brad Roberts, Chief Financial Officer andEmily He, Chief Marketing Officer.
- Various award wins including being named a 2015 winner of theSan Francisco Bay Area’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For, Best Event Mobile App by the Eventex Awards 2015, and ranking 73 on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™.
DoubleDutch provides mobile applications and performance analytics for events, conferences, and trade shows for more than 1,500 customers including SAP, UBM, and Urban Land Institute. Founded in 2011, DoubleDutch was recently named to Deloitte’s 500 fastest growing companies in North America, Inc. 5000’s fastest growing private companies, AlwaysOn’s Global 250 best-of-breed private companies in SaaS and Enterprise, and Forbes’ list of 10 hot companies to work for in San Francisco. DoubleDutch is based in the Mission District of San Francisco with regional offices in Amsterdam, London, and Hong Kong.
The event geniuses at Genioso Event Magazine recently asked some of the top influencers in the industry – including yours truly! – about the future of event technology in the event industry. What will have the greatest impact on the event business in the next few years? Whether it’s visual or wearable, data driven or cooperating with “human2human” interaction, event technology will change, or even disrupt, the way events are organized and conducted today.
Check out what I, and others had to say!
During an event, there are a dozen things that can go wrong. Likely, at least one or two of those things will go wrong. Most of these are related to the technical side of things; some of these can cause minor delays while others can bring the entire event to an abrupt halt.
As the organizer, you should be aware of what these problems are so you can quickly respond in the event they occur out of the blue.
1. Registration Problems
Gone are the days when registration was done through guests signing in via pen and paper. With the advent of event apps, the sign-in process can be streamlined with guests singing in through their mobile or some other digital system.
A problem with the registration can cause a long line to form with attendees waiting impatiently to sign in so they can enter and partake in the event’s activities. You should have a backup process in place. The simplest way is the old fashion method with a pen and printed logbook. You can always input the information into the system later on.
2. Video Playback Issues
If your event includes presentations, then you’ll likely be relying on a few pre-recorded videos, or perhaps even a live streaming video from a guest presenter speaking via satellite. In a perfect world, the streaming, picture, and audio quality would all work smoothly. Of course, this is not always the case. If streaming, a bandwidth issue can cause a delay or the video to not play at all. If showing a video from a site like YouTube or Vimeo, a problem with the site can prevent the video from playing, and there won’t be anything you can do from your end.
Always have a backup plan in place. If there’s a specific YouTube video you’re going to play, then save a copy of the video by converting it into an MP4 format and have it available on your computer. This way, you can just click and have it playing in the event the video on YouTube isn’t working for whatever reason.
As for a live stream not working, have a pre-recorded video ready in case a speaker via satellite isn’t able to get through due to technical difficulties. The video should cover the same material and be similar in length to the time the speaker was allotted.
3. Wi-Fi Going Down
If the Wi-Fi goes down, you’re going to have to scramble to resolve the issue. Part of your planning crew should include at least one person that’s somewhat IT savvy. To minimize the chances of the Wi-Fi going down, use the latest router available on the market. Routers operate similar to radio stations and have multiple channels available. A channel can get “backed up” and “static-y” due to heavy traffic. Newer router models, however, automatically switch to another channel if the one it’s tuned to experiences too much interference.
It’s recommended that you perform a speed test before the start of your event to get a feel for the reception in the area.
4. Twitter Hashtag Hijacking
More companies these days are using digital signage to display tweets as they are submitted in real-time. It’s a great way to generate PR and create attendee engagement as the event is in progress. However, this method also leaves you vulnerable to hashtag hijacking from trolls.
Hashtag hijacking has forced small and big companies alike to immediately go into damage control mode. If you’re not familiar with what this is, this is a common problem that occurs when other Twitter users use your hashtag for the sole purpose of leaving behind a negative comment, promoting their own company, or starting a Twitter war with other users. Dissatisfied customers have also been known to use a company event hashtag to make their grievances known.
One of the more high profile cases of hashtag hijacking occurred with McDonalds a few years back. In an effort to market its commitment to using fresh ingredients, the fast food giant used the hashtag #MeetTheFarmers, which was later followed by #McDstories to get people to share their positive experiences. The campaign, unfortunately, backfired terribly as customers began using the hashtag to share negative experiences dining with the establishment.
Tweets like the ones below became the norm:
While hashtag hijacking isn’t exactly a technical problem in the traditional sense, it nevertheless creates a huge issue that can tarnish your brand. While you may not be able to completely prevent your hashtag from getting hijacked, you can encourage positive tweets from attendees and staffers to drown out those one or two negative tweets.
You can also encourage them not to respond to the tweets at all. The hijackers, after all, want attention, and if their tweets go without a response, then they’ll likely take their trolling elsewhere.
5. Radio Frequency Interference
The radio frequencies your mobile, Bluetooth, and other devices use for wireless communication are transmitted through a narrow wavelength. A disruption can interfere with the WiFi and render most or all of your devices useless. As with addressing poor WiFi issues, correcting radio interference is a job that should be left to an IT guy; hopefully you have one among your staff that knows a thing or two about troubleshooting.
Most interference can be addressed through the following:
- Be sure all transmitters have fresh batteries. Weak batteries produce low output voltage, which can cause transmitters to generate harmful interference.
- Keep all radio transmitters at least 15 feet away from the wireless receiving antennas.
- Adjust the squelch control setting on the receiver. While a higher setting reduces the overall operating range, it provides better overall protection against interference.
6. Mobile Phone Dead Spots
It’s irritating when there are certain areas in a venue where your mobile just refuses to get a signal. This certainly will not sit well with guests and can also interfere with communication between the staff members. The best way to remedy this issue is to test the venue before the start of the event for areas that might get a fuzzy signal. This way, you’ll be able to direct attendees to areas where they can get a reception if the issue comes up.
Another solution is to install a cellular signal booster in the form of an antenna and dual-band amplifier system. The device is effective for boosting indoor signal strength and may especially be useful in facilities notorious for having multiple dead spots.
Be Prepared for all Tech Issues
Tech issues may arise even in spite of your best planning efforts. As long as you have a backup plan, then most issues are resolvable. This ensures the problem is promptly fixed without staff members running around like headless chickens.
Yet people line up and pay massive fees to attend a TED conference. Why? Because of the people, they meet in the ‘white space’! – Gerrit Heijkoop, Online host and Social Media Expert
“The future of events, conferences and trade shows is a bright one – although they will be pretty different from how we perceive events mostly today. Conferences are less and less about providing information. Know-how is a commodity these days. Events can deliver perspectives, networking, bouncing ideas around. They are here to make sense of the endless flow of information that we are exposed to. ”- Michael Heipel, Owner Michael Heipel Concept & Consulting
Your Votes are In!
We asked about your favorite event tech of the year and you spoke – QuickTapSurvey it is!! A huge congrats to them for narrowly edging out close runners up INITLIVE and BIZZABO! Data is a very hot topic for 2016 and as you’re looking for more creative ways to collect, manage, and analyze the data surrounding your events, QuickTapSurvey is a great option. Whether you’re looking to manage lead generation, collect audience feedback or simply assess your event, their tools makes it easy and painless to use.
If you haven’t heard of them, now is the time!