Not All Events Can Use Social Media

Social Media for Events

OK, here is a shocker… What if I said that I do not feel that Social Media is right for all events; that I think that some events cannot be well served by a concentrated, all out social media campaign, and that I think that some events should avoid social media like the plague.

Holy Crap! Did I just say that?

Here I am, a dude that makes the good part of his livelihood telling people to jump into social media with both feet, turning around and possibly telling you that you should get your ass back on the sidewalk because this race ain’t for you.

Yes. I did just say that. Not all conferences and events are right for social media.

But, let’s suppose that you could, if you wanted, use social media to keep your attendees informed about conference happenings. I can imagine that some of your members and attendees use social media, I mean 7 billion people in the world, 1 in 7 uses social…. I can do the math; some of your attendees must be tinkling the keyboard on social occasionally to see what their friends are up to and if you could reach a few of them then it might be worth it… right?

Maybe, for some, it would be easier for them to find out about parking at the event, a change in schedule or how to submit their CEUs from a blog post that is posted to Facebook. I suppose that some of the members might be on Twitter because they enjoy interacting with their friends and it might be easy to click a link over to buy a ticket the annual awards lunch…..

Ahhh, screw it. Who am I kidding. Every event, everywhere can benefit from social media. You just have to know how to use social media.

For God’s sake. Did you think that you would just have it easy? If you have a group that does not appear to use social media, you are looking in the wrong place. Sometimes you have to turn over a stone or two to find out where your attendees are living online.

Maybe they are not using Facebook at all. Maybe the group is a little older and they still use some kind of listserv ? Well there happy pants, that is still “social media”. Perhaps it is not the kind that you were expecting or the kind that YOU are familiar with but it is something that they are comfortable with.

Now, maybe you have to adapt a little and engage them THERE and not where you want to play. Learning to engage with your attendees is about YOU learning. Not them. They are not the ones that have to adapt. YOU are.

It is up to you to make the effort to seek out your attendees, engage them and get them the information, not the other way around there Sparky.

Stop this crap of “our attendees don’t use social media” because it is lazy. They do use social media, they may just not be using YOUR social media.

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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