There are a large number of event planners and organizers who are missing a huge opportunity to build awareness of and conversation around their events.
For years now, a new form of media has been steadily building momentum and influence. Bloggers, tweeters and podcasters are now a force to be reckoned with. But unfortunately, companies are still struggling to understand the basics of social media. The net result is a powerful resource that is not being readily used.
If you need convincing, ponder this…
- 77% - percentage of active Internet users who read blogs (source)
- 346 million people worldwide read blogs (source)
- There are over 200,000,000 Blogs (source)
- 54% – Number of bloggers who post content or tweet daily (source)
- 34% of bloggers post opinions about products & brands (source)
- 24 of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record declines in circulation because we no longer search for the news, the news finds us.(source)
- In the near future we will no longer search for products and services they will find us via social media(source)
Now it’s not unusual for a planner to to invite traditional media to an event in hopes of spreading the word. But as we all know, getting someone to commit and even show can be a big task. Even when they do, you race to the paper to see the mention of your event an scour through until you find it buried on page F24.
But alas, my objective is not to convince you to throw out your traditional media plan. Instead, I challenge everyone to find ways to augment it with new media. Here are a few thought starters:
- Give influential bloggers and tweeters media passes to your event (ha! You’ll already be 10 steps ahead of most)
- Give them an exclusive – Provide them with a piece of your event no one else can experience (i.e. an exclusive interview with the keynote speaker)
- Get them to spread the word for you – One of the best examples I’ve seen is how GasPedal got people talking about their conference with a t-shirt – although they did this with speakers, it could be easily applied to blogs.
- Create a contest – Provide bloggers with event tickets to give away to their readers. Have readers say why they want to attend your event. Not only does this create excitement with readers, but your event will be associated with lots of positive comments (great news is that these comments are indexed by Google).
- Create a blogger lounge – Jeff Hurt has a great outline in his article 8 ways to make your event blog and Twitter friendly
- And if you really, truly want new media to come out to your event, remember this one important point: give them an event to talk about!
How have you incorporated bloggers or tweeters into your events? Or what creative ideas would you add to the list above?
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