Events are turning out to be the primary way that mobile & social & location work together. Hot spots on the timeline. Before I start, I think it’s safe to say that I’m not an event planner but I have played one on TV.
I think of an event as having three phases.
It’s going to happen – Tweetups have become a great way to help promote events. By using twitter, you’re encouraging those higher up the demographic food chain to attend your event. These individuals are more adept at technology, have more expendable income and are more likely to share information with other friends online, who may or may not be on Twitter. When you tweet make sure you include all of the pertinent information; date, time, location and new information about the event every time you tweet about it, such as; who’s going to be there. Things that you’re excited about. The Indian food has been ordered! Etc. Also make sure that you include location in your tweet, which can be done by following these instructions. (Yes, this is redundant to adding the location into the text of your tweet, but location is one of the more important pieces of information.) Don’t forget to include an event specific hashtag with your businesses brand included. You could also include the date in the hashtag. (#<brand>tweetupjuly3) Foursquare swarm badge (or Super Swarm badge) parties can be used in conjunction to get people to your event since your Twitter connections may differ from your Foursquare connections. Make sure that you promote the badges that they can earn by attending. (Yep. 4sq is a game!) It’s also recommended that you funnel your Foursquare posts into Facebook Places and your Twitter posts into your Facebook page. Obviously using Facebook’s Events is also advisable and remember, just as your audience on Foursquare and Twitter may not the same, there will surely be a difference between followers on Facebook.
It’s happening – Don’t forget to share information using Twitter (Facebook) & Foursquare (Facebook Places) during the event. Encourage those that are attending to include the hashtag for the event as they create content; text, images and video. Maybe have a prize drawing for those that add content. Maybe check-in and get a special badge for that event or if there are going to be a series of events you could have a series of badges for each event. I would also suggest setting up a Ustream account and have a live feed of the event. Make sure that you direct people to this feed via Twitter so that they can czech it out, if they are undecided. Maybe they’ll see someone they know or would like to know.
It happened – In my opinion Facebook should be used to talk about an event that has already happened. Encourage people to tag people who were at the event. Tag the businesses that helped create the event. Which restaurant catered the food? Tag them and then link it back to the business. Tag products that were highlighted at the event. Make those products the social object during and after the event. It’s funny. I’ve been talking about social objects for a couple of years, only because I heard of the concept on Hugh Macleod’s sight, Gaping Void. Over the last two weeks I’ve heard numerous marketers on Twitter mention social objects as the future of marketing.#obvious! The other thing that makes a great social object, is a surprise. Try to have something at the event that’s unexpected. Something that people will talk about and share during/after the event. A band or a niche celebrity. Lastly, I would collect the most interesting content created before/during the event and put it on your Facebook page. I would organize it in a timeline manner and it would be a great event artifact. A sort of social infographic around the event but with video, images, etc.
Now of course the nature of the business comes into play. If you’re creating an event for a “cool” business that sells hard to find Apple accessories, with the best iPad/iPhone covers, custom headphones and products like the Lunatik vs. a business that sells floral arrangements, the details are going to be different. But I would argue that the list I have hear is basic. There are many things you can do to go deeper within your niche but remember: mobile + social + location = events