There’s no denying that conferences, keynotes, gigs and trade shows are already social by nature, but what a central hub of social content aims to do is enhance that experience and add an extra layer of conversation for your attendees.
The popularity of social walls and digital signage has skyrocketed with good reason over the past few years, which is why more often than not when you attend any type of event you’ll be hit with a huge display of social media posts, cycling through the most positive, most humorous and most informative.
All of this content is working together to reinforce brand message, nurture brand evangelists and just show off how great the event actually is!
If you’re still unsure, I’m here to give you five compelling reasons as to why you should invest in a social wall for your next event:
1. Fostering a Community
Having a live social wall throughout the course of your event gives you the opportunity to nurture and foster a real community for your brand.
Brand evangelists that share your values and appreciate what you’re doing want to share your message. The best place to share it? Social media!
These brand ambassadors will already be sharing high-quality content about your brand, so show them some appreciation by featuring them on your social wall during your event. It’ll make them feel great and encourage them to continue singing your praises to all of their friends.
Foster a community with an event social wall
2. Reaching Further than the Walls of Your Event
Off the back of those brand ambassadors, a strong and unique event hashtag will mean you aren’t just limited to social engagement from those actually attending on the day.
Utilising a social wall to encourage visitors to post about your event means that their followers will also get to see that tweet or picture. A follower retweet means all of their followers also see the content… You get the picture.
A social wall hooks attendees on having their ‘15 minutes of fame’ on the big screen for something as posting on Instagram about how much of a great time they’re having.
But here’s the beauty! If you approve their tweet and they’re lucky enough to end up on your social wall, what happens?
They take a picture of their picture on the wall. Now, I don’t mean to step on Inception’s toes but… #screenception. Check the tag. It’s a real thing (kinda).
The spiderweb of engagement that a social wall creates can also kickstart the fear of missing out (FOMO) for other social media users who aren’t attending your event. If they see their friends are having a great time at your conference or music gig, then you best believe they’re going to make an effort to come next time.
So, a social wall has just converted somebody who may not have known about you 5 minutes ago to your next attendee and potential event ambassador; and all you did was provide the tool (a social wall) for your attendees to do the work.
Hoole Life's Social Wall
3. Displaying Important Information and Announcements
Events can be a sensory overload for many attendees, with thousands of voices, displays and opportunities all vying for attention, it can be difficult to capture the awareness of visitors to feed them information they could potentially be looking for elsewhere.
Utilising a social display to throw a mix of brand and user-generated social content can highlight the most important parts of your event to all of your visitors.
Perhaps you’re tweeting the day’s agenda from your Twitter account or hyping up a big keynote at the end of the day. A custom social display can get those messages out on displays throughout your venue, commanding attention rather than demanding attention.
4. Increasing Q&A Engagement
How many of you enjoy standing up in front a room full people and asking a question to an industry leader somewhere like Recode's Code Conference? I certainly don’t. Some of you will, I’m sure (and you’ll make great public speakers!) But as many as 75% of your event attendees may suffer from glossophobia, a.k.a fear of public speaking; which can leave your Q&A sessions feeling… quiet.
Generating content and questions for your Q&A sessions through social media is one of the quickest and most user-friendly ways to ensure there will be plenty of room for discussion with the speakers who are actually there to do the talking.
The benefit of sourcing this content through social media is that you can curate and moderate what gets asked before you display it on a nice big screen screen, and that moderation is something you can’t guarantee for an audience member with a microphone!
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5. Entice Sponsors and Advertisers
If you need a little extra cash in your event budget, a social wall could be the perfect means of raising the money. Offering a permanent slot in your social wall to a sponsor or advertiser could provide you with the cash to afford a better caterer or that speaker you’ve always wanted.
It doesn’t have to be tacky, either.
You can move away from the traditional static digital signage and intersplice your sponsor’s Twitter or Instagram account amongst the user-generated content you’re displaying from your attendees. Visitors still get to see themselves on screen and your sponsors are satisfied that eyeballs are reaching their ad.
That’s it! I’ve given you five super reasons as to why you should consider a social wall for your next event.
Of course, they won’t suit everybody and it may not be right for you this time. But I’d urge you to really have a think about the benefits of curating and displaying user-generated content for your brand and your event, and how the ROI may be greater than any other investment you make for the big day.
Have you used a social wall at an event before? I’d love to hear your experiences or questions in the comments below!