You know that feeling when you see something really cool in action? You see it unfold right before you. Last Fall, I had the incredible opportunity of attending in NYC and saw social media and online marketing used so smartly to sell out an event with zero seats to spare and create an enormous amount of buzz for next year's event.
This is what every business needs to know about using social media for a sell-out event, including getting the word out in the first place, strategies for engaging your audience and how to create momentum after the event.
Before the Event
Have a First-to-Know List - Build excitement before details are announced by creating an email opt in form and encouraging people to get on the First-to-Know List.
Hold a Contest - Make it big and generate buzz with a contest set to go viral. Tell participants to enter by submitting an article or video below your blog post and encourage them to tweet, comment, share, and like by giving bonus points for social media activity. Also, require each post to have your hashtag and/or an official url to learn more about the event and your Twitter handle.
Take a Pre-Event Survey - After registration is open for the event, send a survey asking your participants what they want to get from the event.
Build Excitement - Every day leading up to the event send an assignment/countdown full of content, things to do and just encouraging messages.
Blog about It - Anything that requires money generally requires your target to talk it over with their spouse/significant other. Send out a Convince Your Partner Guide coaching the target audience how to address these issues with their spouse/partner/family.
Create a Hashtag for the event and be present in the conversation.
Create Tweetables to make it easy to share.
Create a Twitter list of who is attending and encourage communication and relationship building before the event.
Get Your Speakers Excited - Send out an email with your speakers Twitter handles and ask participants to follow speakers on Twitter.
During the Event
Ask for Live Tweets - Tell people to post questions or just post that they are there at your amazing event. It's so simple and people will do it.
Take Photos - During the event have professionals taking photos live and post them to Flickr Live Stream. Tell participants where to find the photos and give them permission to tag themselves and share the pictures on their social networks.
Get Candid Testimonials Instantly - Nothing sells like a real person telling you how incredible something is while they are experiencing it. During breaks, have designated areas for participants to share their story and their experience. Capture it and use it in next year's campaign.
Give a Gift - Give a notebook or something valuable that participants will continue to use after they've gone home - something that will remind them about their incredible experience.
Give Even More - Send emails with an event wrap up, highlights and additional resources and notes from the speakers. Make it an easy to download zip file.
Get Feedback - Post an event survey right away while details are fresh. Compile critiques and ideas into a list and implement during your next event.
I'd love to know other things you've done or seen to help promote an event. Please share in the comments below.