Imagine attending a corporate meeting or conference, and all you need for managing check-in and registration is your mobile phone or tablet. Consider the power of never having to squint again to view an overstuffed presentation slide from your seat in the back of the room, because you can follow along to more compelling, real-time presentation content on your own device. Or imagine yourself as the presenter – with the ability to get instant feedback from an audience half a world away.
All of the above – and much more – are real possibilities, right now. And central to the innovation shift is the integration of social media into the experience. It’s continually amazing how simple conversations mixed with unique technologies continue to influence so many facets of our personal and professional lives.
So, if your next corporate meeting or large-scale event is on the horizon, here are some key ideas worth considering.
Open the hall doors early
Well, not literally. Just consider that it’s never too early to start setting the tone for a big event. That’s why you’ll want to take to the social airwaves right away. You can manage promotional communications and provide access to preliminary meeting content via corporate Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, LinkedIn pages, and video properties like YouTube and Vimeo. Prior to the meeting, these channels are low-cost, high-touch options to build excitement around a theme, position overall objectives, set expectations for the audience, and get influencers involved in the early conversations.
Deliver content & encourage feedback in the moment
During the meeting, attendees can interact with speakers in real time via smartphone polling systems, review live presentation materials on their tablets, and interact with other attendees via blog sites and pre-built surveys. The strategic use of social media sites and mobile devices enables attendees to collaborate on an ongoing basis and helps meeting organizers adapt to cogent feedback. The combination of social and mobile maximizes the impact of the event, while simultaneously empowering the attendees to arrive at the desired outcomes.
Tactically, consider using a social hashtag for the meeting or event. An example of a hashtag is #BigMeeting2013. Be sure to make it ubiquitous by putting the hashtag on name badges, slides, handouts, displays throughout the space, and any marketing materials associated with the event. This way, you’ll keep attendees engaged and conversational throughout the meeting – and you’ll get the feedback you need to act.
It’s critical to encourage input early and repeat that message often. Make it known that audience feedback can influence content throughout the event by updating presentations based on social media comments. Promote blogging and best practice sharing from the stage during presentations. You could also set up a reward system for the best contributions, offering items like gift cards, hotel vouchers, or show tickets.
Don’t forget the after-party
It’s equally important to maintain a conversation with your attendees after the event, when everyone is back in their respective territories. Post-event polling, best practice examples that demonstrate key meeting objectives, case studies showing how key learnings led to or closed a sale – these are just a few examples of the things you can do.
Also, consider re-purposing some of the video assets of key presenters and integrating those pieces into follow-up training. Video is always a great way to revisit the highlights of the event and its most engaging speakers. It’s also the ideal content to have at the ready when you want to start building awareness for the next event.
And, of course, keep encouraging attendees to share insights, quotes, pictures, and more from the event across your social properties and their social media channels. Track these posts to further illustrate event ROI and to continue collaborative learning beyond the event.
Innovation in the realm of technology and connectivity, coupled with compelling content, is revitalizing corporate meetings and events. It’s a wonderful reality. Best of all, Trellist is uniquely positioned to help our clients make the most of these advancements. We have the right balance of technical expertise and social media strategy muscle to help you achieve more from your meetings. If you’d like to talk more about this topic, follow us on Twitter @trellist, or connect with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.