Use Your Online Presence to Optimize Your Offline Popularity

June 4th, 2012No Comments »

The ever-present availability of the internet serves businesses in a lot of positive ways, but it’s easy to forget that offline events can benefit from the internet as well. With the right online promotion, you can boost attendance at your next offline event by double or even triple what you had at your last one. Here are a few tips for using the internet to leverage the popularity of any upcoming business events, whether they be conferences, seminars, tradeshows, or the like.

The first thing to do is get the audience prepared for the upcoming event. Facebook makes an excellent starting point as it allows you to schedule events in advance and spread the word through the social networks. Use your business page to set up the event, and then invite all your followers and contacts. Encourage them to share it with their friends, and with the right type of community involvement you can easily skyrocket the number of attendees. But don’t stop with Facebook alone. Announce the event on all of your business profiles, including Twitter, LinkedIn, even Youtube.

Post information to let your audience learn more about what will be happening at the event, and use that to increase the buzz surrounding it. It’s best to do this at least a few weeks in advance so everybody involved has a chance to reach out to their own communities and reach as many people as possible in the following days. If you can get people excited about what you’re doing online, more of them will show up on the day of the event.

As the event is taking place, set up a real time feed of news, pictures, and video to cater to the people who wanted to attend but couldn’t for some reason. One simple and effective way to do this is to stream every update through Twitter. You can even go so far as to create a unique hashtag that will allow people to quickly find your updates and share them with friends. It also gives you a useful metric for tracking the popularity of the event later on.

At this point, you can continue to use the popularity of that event to build even more buzz for future ones. The day after the event, post pictures or videos of what happened. By doing this you’ll be further connecting with everybody who was present, all those people who couldn’t make it, and anybody who might be interested in attending the next one. It’s a threefold benefit. Now take the time to archive all the media and post some reminders periodically to keep the idea of the excitement fresh in your audience’s minds.

Then, when you’re starting to prepare for the next big event, you won’t have to worry about building as much buzz because it’s already there waiting for you. The internet is phenomenal for promotion and networking. So many people forget about the online aspect when they’re planning an offline event, but it can be just as powerful (if not more so) than traditional offline promotion.

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