[Tech Tuesday] Use Unique Hashtags to Encourage Event Engagement

    May 7, 2013

    Most event planners understand the importance of social media marketing to promote your event, boost attendance, and build brand recognition. The main goal of most social media campaigns for events is to get your guests talking about your company to increase awareness, interest and engagement - in addition to bragging about how much fun they are having at your event.

    What Are Hashtags and How to Use Them at Events
    Hashtags are a way to group Twitter messages together based on a particular subject or topic (example: #eventup). Twitter, as well as other online communities like Instagram, provides enormous opportunity to engage your audience during your trade shows, conferences, and other industry events. Events such as these allow attendees to talk in real time about your company and industry.

    Incorporate A Hashtag Specific to Your Event 
    Promote your hashtag before, during and after your event.  Urge attendees to include this unique hashtag in all their tweets during the event.For example, let’s say you are an event planner working on the annual San Diego Comic-Con event. Simply let your attendees know that the designated event hashtag is #sdcc or #comiccon.

    Tip: Promote the unique hashtag across all social media channelsincluding not just Twitter but also Facebook, foursquare, Google+, etc. It’s also a good idea to make a few banners or posters to display around your event space with the unique hashtag listed alongside the event name and company name.


    Include Large Display Walls to Garner Engagement and Excitement
    Setting up several flat screens and projectors around your event location where you can display a live feed of user generated tweets about the event will get attendees attention and acquire interest. Everyone loves to see themselves on TV or hear themselves on the radio. The same idea goes for the live Twitter feed; guests will get excited to see their Twitter handle and comment up on the big screen, which will encourage them to tweet even more throughout the event.

    Use Hashtags to Influence the Conversation
    By incorporating a unique hashtag into your event, you are also giving yourself the opportunity to join or influence the conversation. If you’re hosting a fundraiser, for example, you can give live updates on how close you are to reaching the donation goal. Here are some other recommendations on how to get the most out of your hashtags:

    Best Practices for Creating Hashtags

    1. Keep it brief: When creating a unique hashtag for your event, keep it short and sweet. It needs to be easy to remember for your attendees and it needs to be short because Twitter only allows 140 characters per tweet. The shorter your hashtag, the more room your attendees have to write about the event.

    2. Create it early: Generate buzz around your event by creating the hashtag early and using it to promote before the day of the event. The earlier you start promoting the event with your hashtag the more time you have to gain recognition with the audience.

    3. Be strategic: You can save time and energy by connecting with other powerful Twitter users and notable influencers. Look at your own current followers and see if there are any users with a large following; how can you appeal to them? If you can manage to get just a few tweets or retweets from these folks you can easily generate a large number of impressions.


    Do you have a success story about a unique event hashtag you’ve used recently? Share with us in the comments section below, on Facebook or Twitter!