According to Alison Smith Jenks, you have three audiences – your live audience, your virtual audience, and your viral audience. Your viral audience is often the last to develop and it usually only comes after heavy engagement from members of your first two audiences. When members of the first two audiences share your event, it can spark an “I should have been there” feeling in the third audience.
Now the question is, how do you engage your live and virtual audiences in a way that allows you to sit back and watch as they share and market your event for you? Here are some tips that will make it easy, fun, and rewarding for your guests to share your wondrous event with the world.
- Make sure your venue has free access to Wifi.
- Make sure your content is easy to view and pass along on mobile devices.
- Don’t rely on attendees to cut and paste; make sharing easy with a “one-click” option.
- Connect with your audiences on a deeper and more emotional level. Eliciting a strong emotional response in your audience will enable your content to spread like wildfire.
- Make your event photo friendly. Have a photographer onsite, post to social media, or designate a space that entices guests to take their own photos.
- Give your attendees a takeaway souvenir as a reminder of what they learned or loved at your event. This could be as simple as a brochure, sticker, magnet, or link to a free downloadable PDF that they can access through your website.
- Have a retail table. Show off your new t-shirts. Promote your brand.
A Note About Hashtags
Mark Sylvester emphasizes the importance of these game-changers and advises to ensure your hashtags are relevant, unique, and easy to spell/pronounce. Promote your # by stamping it on your website, promo materials, emails, mobile app, newsletters, and social networks.
Form An Alliance With Millenials
Ranging from ages 18-33, this generation holds over $100 billion in buying power in the U.S. alone. This is not a passive group and while they will be the first to share a love story about your event in 140 characters or less, they will also be the first to write a harsh review or give you a not-so-generous rating. This demographic fully understands its buying power and its members will do whatever it takes to make sure their voices are heard.
Connect with this audience, and they will reciprocate ten-fold (mostly in the form of sharing your content). Show them that they are valued by using the following strategies.
- Be environmentally conscious. Connect with attendees wherever they are with digital and mobile enabled ticket sales.
- Provide discount rates, promo codes, and if you want to get creative, add a less-expensive virtual component.
- Donate a percentage of the proceeds to a noble cause.
- Let people know the real reason, beside the free food and hip venue, they are attending your event. As the event creator, set a good tone by telling your story with passion and enthusiasm.
By giving your audience the control to talk, tweet, and post, you are essentially empowering your audience. People enjoy feeling like they are in control and that they have a voice. Not only is it your job to encourage them to use that voice, but it is also your job to listen and respond. Listen to your audience, participate in conversations, and re-tweet their content. Your event will have a much more dynamic and active presence when you engage all of your audiences.