A Social Media Concierge—the new ‘must-have’ accessory for event producers
The Showmanator can imagine some readers nodding knowledgeably and feeling smug because they’ve already been there, done that, flown over it, worn the t-shirt etc.
But there are likely to be an equal number of people scratching their heads in bewilderment, wishing the 21st century was happening to someone else!
OK, so you’ve just got up to speed with hashtags and you’re tweeting your heart out during your events. You might have introduced a Twitter wall. Many of you will be cosying up to the members of your event LinkedIn Groups in the other spirit of our age, community building. You might even have employed a community manager. You’re also likely to have at least contemplated using an event app or gone the whole hog and used one at one or many of your events. And these are only the tip of the iceberg … so many more comms tools coming to an event near you soon.
All good (as we say Downunder).
But, it’s not enough to do all the of the above social media integration and mobilisation. You need someone to co-ordinate it all. Enter your SMC stage left!
The Showmanator is sorry but if you don’t yet have a social media concierge (SMC) in play, you’re … er … em … well … a little behind the eight ball. A bit last year so to speak…
OK, all joking aside, the SMC is the ‘must-have’ accessory for event producers. SMCs are the indispensable people in the halcyon hemisphere of hybrid events who act as the glue that holding the virtual and physical audiences together, using social media as the channel and function as the mouthpiece for the virtual attendees, asking questions and sharing knowledge and providing a conduit for the organisers to get real time feedback about the event.
Strikes the Showmanator that this role should be extended to all events, not just hybrid ones or, at least, those that aspire to use communications technologies like event apps and social media channels to really build buzz and engagement at their events.
As things stand, Twitter and LinkedIn Groups provide useful commentary and dialogue between participants and informal feedback to producers about audience responses to every aspect of their event. But surely there is a way to use it more proactively? To do more than simply share what people are saying on a Twitter Wall or moderate discussions by weighing into the debate with their own perspective?
A effective SMC should function like an good MC at an awards ceremony, measuring the pulse of the event and including the buzz in his or her sets between awards, so guests feel included and challenged rather than remaining passive spectators.
Producers are progressively including new tools and technologies into their event production. All too few do this based on an overarching strategy. Establishing the role of SMC at events aggregates all the strands and enhances the experience for everyone meaning people will come back to your contemporary and relevant event next year because they loved the experience. It also opens the door to extending your event’s reach to much wider audiences without necessarily staging a full hybrid.
In other words, your efforts, if done well, will be rewarded by happy campers and big bank balances!