The tech set has spoiled me by announcing official hashtags for their events. However, I’ve attended a number of non-tech related gatherings waiting to hear the words: “The hashtag for today’s event is…” But the words never come. There isn’t even a foam board listing a hashtag or the event host(s) Twitter handles.
“Is no one else tweeting from the event?” Omari even asks when I arrive at the office. Sometimes one or two people are. Most of the time I’m the only one.
It may be just me and the tech geeks, but announcing event hashtags is a phenomenal idea that yields the following benefits:
Promotes your event for free
When your attendees tweet from your event and use your hashtag, their followers have the opportunity to follow the event’s discussion and get an idea of how exciting or informative your event is. If the attendees are getting something out of being there, then their followers might want to come to the next event and join in the fun.
Encourages people to share information learned
These same people who may not be at your event will retweet information that your event attendees post. And just like that, you’re event’s reach just grows exponentially.
“It’s fun to watch who’s tweeting at an event,” I overheard a woman say to her friend during a networking event. “Especially when you meet a person you’ve been following on Twitter for a while and you recognize them from their profile photo.” Not everyone is a social butterfly. By following the hashtag at an event, attendees can connect online and are encouraged to connect in person.
Secures better crop of speakers
If it’s common knowledge that your events get heavy burn on Twitter, then this bit of information could convince sought-after speakers to speak at your event. Attendees usually use the hashtag and attribute information to the speaker by including her Twitter handle in their messages. Your event gets additional promotion through social media and your speaker appears even more brilliant in front of a larger audience.
Secures better venues
Increasing foot traffic and selling more alcohol and food is the name of the game for every lounge, restaurant, club, and bar in any city. When your crowd increases each time due to your attendees’ social engagement, you can use this as leverage to secure any venue you want for a lower or no upfront cost.
Just because event organizers didn’t announce a hashtag doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still tweet. If you feel comfortable, ask organizers if there is a hashtag. Maybe they forgot to say. Suggest a possible hashtag if there isn’t one. Use the hashtag you’ve made up for your own tweets, regardless if the event hosts accept your suggestion or not. Or hashtag keywords in each of your tweets to ensure your messages have an even broader reach.