6 Ways to Make Your B2B Event Shareable
When it comes to B2B events, social media has traditionally been a bit of an afterthought versus part of the experience strategy. From proprietary information being shared at conferences to a reluctance among attendees to mix their personal networks with their professional ones, b-to-b event marketers have sometimes missed out on the reach and impact a strong social media strategy can create. But thanks to B2B social becoming more important to a brand's overall marketing mix as well an increasingly social media-centric attendee demographic; today’s B2B events are enjoying a much wider embrace of social integration.
It’s good news to be sure, but it also requires event marketers to ask some important questions, among them: Is your event designed from top to bottom with social sharing in mind? Does your attendee experience include multiple reasons to snap a selfie or share a tweet? Have you developed a content strategy around what types of B2B social content you want to be shared? And have you mapped out the physical places and spaces where you want that sharing to occur?
If these questions have your head spinning, you’re not alone. It’s a lot to think about, especially on top of the million other details and logistics you’re likely already managing.
So to help bring a little order to the chaos, we’ve outlined a few ideas you can implement at your next event that are guaranteed to give your experience some buzz in the social channels.
Offer Selfies with Your Gurus
Whether it’s your CEO or the genius product developer that everyone wants to meet, your company’s (and your industry’s) biggest luminaries are like celebrities to many of your attendees. Schedule time during the show when attendees can snap a few selfies with their heroes. To make it extra buzz-worthy, try an announcement on Twitter teasing the guru’s surprise location. Or offer an incentive to get people sharing their candid snaps.
Create Shareable Backdrops
You don’t have to have a huge budget to create a stunning or unorthodox photo backdrop that will compel attendees to share on Instagram and other platforms. From a large-scale 3D model of your company’s logo that commemorates “they were there,” to an artist-in-residence knitting a “yarn bomb" live at the show, visually stunning sculptures, art pieces, oversized brand elements or even partition wall graphics can serve as irresistible fodder for b-to-b social sharing, especially among the millennial set.
Activate a Branded Video Opp
The on-site photo booth that spits out a photo with your logo on it may be one of the oldest tools in the event marketer’s toolbox, but it’s gotten an upgrade thanks to the popularity of sharable videos and GIFs. Some fresh ideas: invite attendees to step inside a “confessional” booth and share their thoughts on a key issue at the show, then give them a taste of social stardom by running those confessionals on LED screens throughout the event. Or, get just plain silly with props and a scenic backdrop at a networking event and then make it a no-brainer for attendees to share their GIFs with a quick Facebook login.
Enlist Your Influencers
Your internal employees, gurus, exhibitors, partners and returning attendees hold the keys to kick starting your b-to-b social media strategy. Identify who they are and what kind of social media influence they have (a savvy agency can help you determine the right balance of quality versus quantity of followers), and then offer them some VIP perks at the show in exchange for coverage of your event across their networks.
Give Them Some Firsts
Being among the first to catch a glimpse of a cutting-edge product, and then sharing it just as fast feeds into the “hero” effect many on social media ultimately crave. Follow the gaming and technology industry’s lead by using your event as a platform for launching a new product or partnership. Then give attendees—especially your influencers—the world’s first look at it.
Don't Forget the Hashtag
None of your social media efforts will make a measurable impact unless you attach a clever hashtag to it and then—and this is the critical piece—promote the heck out of it all over your event. Your hashtag will become a calling card for your conference across multiple platforms, so be sure to do due diligence to make sure it’s not already taken and that it has legs for future shows.
Learn more about event-focused b-to-b social media--from the basics to industry trends to some eye-opening facts and figures—in the Sparks Social Media Resource Center.