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How to Integrate Social Media Channels for Your Event

How To Integrate Social Media Channels for Your Event

Introduction

At NAB Show 2011 in Las Vegas, I had the privilege of interviewing Jessica Sheridan, who manages social media and web marketing for NAB. We created a broadcast center in one of the show’s lobbies and the interview was streamed live within our virtual event, INXPOLIVE. Jessica provided great insights on how NAB brings all of their social media channels together to support their annual show.

The Art of Integration

The tagline for the show (“The Art of Integration”) applies perfectly to NAB’s social media channels. To see the “artwork”, visit the show’s home page, your one-stop-shop for NAB Show content, including their social media channels. On this page, you’ll find live video content, a tweet stream for the show, blogs, RSS feeds, links to Facebook, LinkedIn and Flickr – and, links to related content.

There’s an App for That

Most everyone carries a smartphone these days, right? That’s probably why NAB Show created a smartphone app for the 2011 show.  I downloaded the app for my iPhone before I left home. While at the show, I needed to visit one of our partners – I used the NAB Show smartphone app to find the partner’s booth number, then leveraged the show floor map (within the app) to navigate my way from the South Hall to the North Hall. In the process, I got in my daily allotment of exercise!

“Tune In” to the Right Channel

Your tactics and messaging should not be automatically applied across all of your social media channels. Instead, do some strategic thinking about the audiences across your channels and figure out what works for each distinct audience. For instance, Jessica noted that Twitter has been a highly effective tool for attendee support. In addition, NAB created self-organizing tweetups throughout the show and then stepped out of the way, to allow attendees to drive the conversation.

Encourage Attendees to “Check In” to Check Out Your Sessions

NAB Show 2011 leveraged Foursquare for prize giveaways related to sessions.  Instead of awarding prizes to the “mayor” of a session, eligible attendees had to “check in” at the session, then respond with information that demonstrated that they actually attended (and listened to the session content). Prize winners were then randomly selected from all eligible attendees.

Start Planning for Next Year’s Event

The power of social media enables you to have conversations with your audience – and, for your audience to converse with each other. And guess what? Those conversations include feedback and input that you can assemble to start the planning process for next year’s event. Show surveys can now be supplemented with social media “information” to deliver an even better experience next year.

Conclusion

While NAB’s social media channels are “on” year round, it’s important to bring the channels together for maximum impact at their annual show. Sheridan noted that NAB Show 2011 has seen roughly 2x the amount of social media activity compared to 2010’s show. Before the week is out, Sheridan will be aggregating the input garnered via social media and start planning for NAB Show 2012. Seems to me that The Art of Integration has been paired with The Art of Listening.

 

Post contributed by Dennis Shiao

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