Using Mobile Technology in Event Planning – Part 1
Social Media and mobile technology can be extremely powerful and effective tools for event planners. Very rarely however are the various platforms used to good effect, and many organisers are missing out on incredible PR opportunities, the perfect means to reach out to potential further clients and further promotion of their event. Over a series of blog posts, I’ll be exploring some of the more popular platforms and apps, and sharing some of the things that have worked for me when planning and running events.
In this post, I’ll be exploring Hashtags and Whatsapp, and how you can use them to good effect in planning and running events. I hope you find it useful.
The world of the hashtag is here, whether you like it or not. In basic terms, putting a “#” in front of a word indicates the subject matter of a post and also increases the searchability of this term. Multiple hashtags can be used in the same post but it’s definitely worth keeping them relevant to your event. To give an example, if I was running an event promoting skiwear, I would consider use the hashtags #ski #skiing #skiwear in my posts.
This sounds simple, but all too often people use hashtags that are popular but not necessarily relevant to their industry or niche. Be specific!
#TOPTIP: A particularly useful feature of Instagram is seeing how many posts have used a particular hashtag. When you’re posting, start typing your hashtag and Instagram will make suggestions, below which is the number of posts with that Hashtag.
A fantastic way of using Hashtags to best effect in the build up and during your event, create your own Hashtags. For example, if I was organizing The Chocolate Lover’s Expo 2016, I may create the hashtag #choclove2016. It’s worth pointing out here however, a customized hashtag is only powerful if people are aware of it and are using it in their posts.
So promote your hashtag, when you’re advertising your event, when someone signs up to your event, during your event and after the event has ended. Encourage people to use it on all platforms – you could even run a competition, the winner of which posts an image using your hashtag. Use your imagination!
Imagine you’ve just come to the event of a challenge event and everyone wants to Tweet, Instagram or Facebook that winning selfie for the world to see. They all simply attach your unique hashtag to the image and suddenly, you have created highly searchable social proof that promotes your brand immediately to thousands. Simple.
Whatsapp has taken the world by storm, and for good reason. Being able to send messages free over a Wifi connection or using your plans’ data can be a real perk, but the real benefits when organizing and running an event are numerous. Setting up a group within Whatsapp and inviting your team to join is a great way to keep everyone informed and you’ll also know when messages have been received.
Another fantastic use of Whatsapp is the lesser-known ‘Location’ feature. Click on the attachment paperclip icon within your group discussion and then ‘Location’. This sends a map and coordinates of your position. Whilst this may not be particularly useful in many scenarios, I used this feature recently when trying to locate a cyclist who needed a wheel change on a trip to The Netherlands. An additional benefit is that you can then open the location up in Google maps (if it hasn’t done already) and let Google guide you there! Genius.
In the coming weeks I will be posting articles on mobile tricks and tools that I have used when planning and running events including Twitter, Evernote, Mailchimp, Facebook, Instagram and Hootsuite. If you’ve enjoyed this post, please follow me to find out more!