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Event Planning and Geolocation Based Social Media

Event Planning and Social Media

When marketing a public or private event of any kind, successful promoters and planners are always looking for the new, cutting-edge methods in which to reach not only the correct volume of attendees but the proper target market as well.  In the technologically advanced age of today, geolocation applications are the newest and trendiest means to connect and interact with people in an effective manner.  The success of geolocation applications stems from the immense amount of smartphones being used on a daily basis by the general population – smartphones with GPS capabilities.  Phones can now be monitored and tracked in a combination of ways: satellite data, cell site triangulation, and local wi-fi networks.  When harnessed, these capabilities can lead to a much richer experience for everyone involved because the data is constantly changing due to location frequently changing.  Geolocation can allow you to remotely and manually report your real-world location to other users and view user recommended locations.  With the right approach, this technology can be used to support almost any cause.

Currently it is almost a necessity in the business world to use social media applications.  In a survey of 474 event planners within small businesses, 77% of them currently use social media means to market an event and 46% have a social media strategic plan.  These figures are rising on a daily basis.  When it comes to planning a social event via social media, there are numerous strategies that can be implemented.  As we know, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the dominant social media outlets, therefore in my research I wanted to explore more innovative approaches with the potential to shatter the mold of these typical sites.

Emily Gannett, a digital strategist and co-founder of IRL products and KlickableTV, states, “It’s not just about promoting the event, but about making social media a part of the event itself”.  It seems that the most successful approaches for events fuel interaction and engage people before, during and after an event.  This is because the demographic of people attending social events, are the same demographic that use social media frequently.  They are going to talk about an event with social media at all times regardless the companies’ mutual interaction; so why not add to their experience in the language they are so fluent in: social media. The following are two of the most powerful tactics that have been used by people who have achieved successful social event planning.

Crowdsourcing is a method that can be used in various ways for events.  It allows people that are attending an event, or maybe just interested, to offer input on specific details of the event such as the attire of a special guest, the next song a band will play, or even what type of food or décor an event will have.  By generating this interaction and feedback, it creates excitement around the event via word of mouth, allows users to feel like they contributed even if they cannot attend, and also tailors the particular event to the exact specifications of the target market.  Depending on the approach it can get people talking before, during and after and during the event.

Incentives are also an extremely powerful way to generate a buzz around an event.  Offering rewards, specials or benefits to users that interact online will drive most people with even the smallest interest to participate.  It can be as simple as “checking-in” to the event for money to be offered to a charity; receiving a badge on Foursquare and being invited to the “exclusive after party”; passing a fun quiz on twitter and receiving a drink special; or winning an online competition and receiving gear from a sponsor.  There are hundreds of ways to offer incentives for social media interaction and the payoffs could be huge: from great attendance at the event to people talking about it for three months straight.

Sources:

1)      http://www.pcworld.com/article/192803/geolocation_101_how_it_works_the_apps_and_your_privacy.html

2)      http://mashable.com/2010/10/04/event-planning-social-media/

3)      http://blogs.constantcontact.com/product-blogs/event-marketing/are-you-using-social-media-to-promote-your-events-most-people-do/

4)      http://content.usatoday.com/communities/technologylive/post/2011/09/why-geolocation-apps-can-be-dangerous/1#.Tzq_IGVirTo


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