When I hear the words "social media," I usually assume "online." While online is the medium used to tell and share the stories, much of what is discussed in social media happens offline – at work, in personal relationships, at events, in our homes or in our communities.
I recently attended an amazing in-person social media conference in San Diego called Social Media Marketing World 2015. As I walked out of the office to drive to the airport for the conference, a co-worker joked that it seemed odd that a social media conference would take place in person vs. online.
While many social media platforms were discussed and used during the conference to communicate (conference event schedules and venues, share learnings, meet up with people and of course to tweet, post, share and more), traditional mediums including signs (printed and digital) and a printed agenda were also used to help people on site – in the offline world.
Specifically, the traditional mediums were used to brand the conference, help attendees find their way around the hotel to get to sessions and events, identify conference staff, serve as a photo backdrop and thank sponsors. Having both of these communication mechanisms – printed and online – improved the experience for me and likely others by providing information in a variety of formats. Why is this important both to a marketer and to a conference attendee? Marketers need to continue to brand their events, make it easy for their attendees to navigate the event while onsite and know that attendees will be using social media to tell people how great – or how poor – the event was as it relates to content, organization, meals, etc. It’s also important for marketers to provide quick access to communication tools such as a conference hashtag to rally attendees and start conversations online. Social Media Marketing World 2015 did a great job of blending offline and online resources to create a branded, easy to navigate and easy to participate experience.
Attendees, regardless of how wired and connected they are, still benefit from having a blend of visual graphics onsite and special event apps and online tools to use before, during and after the event.
Make the most of your events by finding the right mix of communication tools – onsite and online.
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