I’ve looked at how each of the following stakeholders could use the event hashtag to best effect:
- an attendee
- an exhibitor
- a speaker
- the organiser
I think that a short list like this is great to be send to your stakeholders. Just a simple little help with engaging with the event on twitter could lead to a big benefit for all of those stakeholders.
So first up and most importantly: how attendees should make the most of event hashtags
1.Use it to keep up to date. As we build up to the event the hashtag is a great way to find out more about the event in an easy, hassle free way. At a large event there is a lot going on and if you want to stay on top of what’s happening simply FOLLOW THE HASHTAG. Following the event hashtag is easy you just have to type it into the search function in Twitter and save the search.
2. Use event hashtags to help with your networking. Most of the people and organisations using the hashtag in the run up to the event will be attending. You can use the #tag to help make the most of your time at the conference.
– Is there anyone who is ‘talking your language?’
– Is someone tweeting about the areas that you want to know about?
If so, why not contact them and ask to meet up? The hashtag is a great way to open up communication with people outside of your network who have similar interests.
3. Use event hashtags to help you decide what to do at the show. You have a whole host of choices at most big shows. It is impossible to go to every stand or to see every speaker. So use the hashtag to help you make those decisions. If you aren’t sure about a session why not see if that speaker has tweeted using the hashtag? (in the speaker section below I will cover what they should be tweeting about) If they have tweeted I would say he/she is likely to have put more effort into their engagement and involvement with the show. The same goes for exhibitors. As an attendee I will be using the hashtag as a pointer to the sessions I should attend and the stands I should visit.
How speakers should make the most of event hashtags
1. Use it to provide more learning. It is unlikely that any speaker is really able to get everything over to those gathered to listen to them during their short session. So use the hashtag as a way to point to extra content. It’s a great way to get people to do a bit of prep before they attend your session – perhaps write a blog on the issue you are covering or other content related to the session and make your audience aware of it by using the hashtag.
2. Use the hashtag to engage with your audience. Jump on the hashtag and use it to check and tailor the content you are covering. Ask your potential audience which topics they would like to see covered or get them to send questions via the hastag. After your session use it to see if you missed anything out of your session as well as highlighting more content related to the session.
3. Use it to promote your session. You want the right people at your session so use the hashtag to promote the session to the target audience and why they should attend.
How exhibitors should make the most of event hashtags
1. Generate leads. Follow people who use the hashtag, retweet their great content and start engaging with attendees before the event. Try to make sure that the people who arrive on your stand already know who you are and more importantly that you have taken the time to know who they are.
2. Shorten your sales pipeline. Use the hashtag to see who is attending the event. You won’t have a complete list from the organisers so use the hashtag to find out. Find out a bit more about their business via their Twitter profile. Contact them if they are relevant and if you think you can really help them. With this proactive approach you could have the attendees arrive on your stand to discuss the proposal you’ve already worked on.
3. Don’t just highlight that you are taking a stand but highlight why people should seek you out. Upload links to content using the hashtag. Demonstrate that you understand your clients business by commenting and retweeting.
Use it to prove that you are committed to your customers and serious about doing business at the show.
How organisers should make the most of event hashtags
This is the simple part. As organisers we can add so much value to our events if we are the lead users of the hashtag. This link explains how organisers can best use the hashtag in detail.
But in general all we have to do is promote the benefits (like I’ve listed above) to our stakeholders. When people use our hashtag there is so many benefits in it for us so we have to put that bit more effort in to getting as many people as possible to use it. We have to educate and inform. And most importantly we have to lead and demonstrate that we really know not only what we are talking about but what our attendees, exhibitors and speakers want to talk about.