Events are great. They bring people together to learn, create, collaborate, and celebrate. Since our digital world has made in-person events even more of a treat, we’re seeing more and more companies rely on conferences to showcase their products and services to the world. The good news is that you don’t have to be a big corporation with massive resources to throw an event that brings value (and fun!) to your customers. In fact, there are tons of benefits of hosting an event… and one big way to make the most out of your investment is by turning your attendees into event content creators.
Why event content is critical
If you want your event attendees to become loyal fans of your brand (and maybe even come back next year), then it’s imperative that they feel like they are receiving something special during their experience at your conference or trade show. The best way for you as an organizer of this kind of gathering is by providing content that will be useful after they leave — and not just another branded t-shirt that will be abandoned in their closet within weeks!
Event content is important for everyone involved in events:
- For attendees, creating event content means building their personal brand and establishing themselves as experts within their industry — which makes for great social proof when trying to develop an online presence. Attending events and posting about them helps them show the world that they stay on top of emerging trends and build a lasting reputation as industry leaders (and not just people who attend many events).
- For brands and companies who sponsor these events, creating event content allows them to show off their products in action in front of a large audience — helping potential customers connect with what those brands have to offer in ways that traditional advertising simply can’t accomplish. This can lead directly to sales later down the road when customers recognize how well they were represented during this event by being part of all those great photos on Instagram or Facebook posts on LinkedIn.
- For other organizers like yourself, incorporating content creation into every stage will help ensure that there’s enough proof while giving attendees something tangible they can take away — photos showing how much fun was had by all involved!
Take advantage of the power of event content creation
Content creation is a powerful tool for event planners, and turning your attendees into creators of event content is one of the best ways to engage them (and to make your life easier!).
The first thing you should know about content creation is that it’s not just a way to distribute information. It’s also a great way to build community, which helps attendees feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. This can lead them to become brand ambassadors and advocates for your company or organization — especially if you give them a chance to share their thoughts with others online (more on this later).
At its core, though, event content creation is about building buzz around an idea or product to attract new customers while providing value over time through consistent updates on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and even TikTok. Content that generates excitement will make potential customers want more information about what you have going on at events like these!
How to turn attendees into content creators
Attending an event is a great opportunity to learn new things, meet people who share your interests, and connect with the community.
But how can you use attendees’ experiences to make your next event more engaging? By turning them into content creators who share social proof of the event. This sounds easier said than done, so here are four actionable steps you can take to encourage attendees to create event content.
Choose a suitable hashtag or two and promote the heck out of it! On your social media channels, your newsletter, posters at the venue, and all your event materials. Make sure your attendees know about the hashtag and encourage them to use it when posting about and from your event. Learn everything you need to know about event hashtags from our hashtag campaign guide.
An event hashtag will help you monitor what everyone says about the event. For example, are there any wifi or bathroom issues? Was a keynote especially delightful? Certainly, someone will post about it on social media using your hashtag.
You can add your event hashtag to an event social wall and have all desired event content go directly to a screen or event platform embedded (spam messages and bad reviews stay out with powerful moderation features!). Other attendees will feel inspired to post about your event once they see others contributing on the social wall!
2. Spark conversations
As it turns out, there are a few key topics that attendees tend to talk about when they’re together:
- The event itself
- The speakers and other programming at the event
- Their own passions and personal growth
- The professional growth they seek as part of their career path or job search
- The struggles they face as professionals and how their industry develops
A social wall can help you facilitate conversations among attendees by regularly posting questions that people can use to start talking to the person next to them.
Before the event, prepare a deck of generic questions and post them every 15-30 mins on a social wall displayed on-site or online. People will see them on the event wall and feel inspired to chat with other attendees.
3. Create a community and facilitate creating event content
As an event professional, you know that your event is more than just the speaker lineup and the cocktail hour. It’s also about creating a community of like-minded people with whom attendees can share their passion for your industry. But what if you could take this idea one step further on your virtual event platform? What if you could get attendees to create content about your event themselves?
That’s exactly what Walls.io does. It makes it easier for attendees to share content. For example:
- You can set up a virtual photo booth on your Walls.io social wall. It’s an excellent way to generate branded content around your event, connect with your audience and increase engagement.
- An event wall is a fantastic ice breaker because it sparks conversation and creates a sense of community. Google uses a Walls.io social wall during breaks between talks.
- With Direct Posts on a social wall you can collect even more attendee-generated content. This feature allows your community to directly publish image and text posts to your wall without having to use any social media platform.
Cybersecurity company Forcepoint used a social media wall with Direct Posts to boost engagement and collect attendee-generated content at an internal event.
Sr. Digital Communications and Content Manager, Forcepoint
“Having the physical wall in a high-traffic area where attendees could see it influenced the nature of what they posted. They could easily see what kind of posts other people were sharing, and once they had an idea of it, that helped them get started too.
The other thing I was surprised by was that many people used the option to post directly to the wall. I expected just a handful of posts, but in the end, I think most of the posts on the wall came through Direct Posts. So it worked out a lot better than I thought it would.“
All these features are a perfect way to encourage your audience to create content about your event. The best part is that they can be used for virtual, hybrid, and in-person events!
Give attendees a push by offering them a gift in exchange for posting authentic social proof about the event. Prepare some gift cards, discount codes, NFTs, or any other nice item, and give them as a prize for the best submissions. Announce something like “Tweet us @[your brand name] with #contentcreator20XX and your photo or video, and you might get a gift card!”. Then choose your favorites with our Pin to Top feature or let the audience vote with the Reactions feature. Or better yet, give everyone a gift!
You’ll have access to every piece of social proof with a social wall collecting submissions from your event hashtag, which you can use later on for post-event content and to promote your next event.
Event content examples
Event content is a wide-ranging category, and it can be hard to know where to start. Here are some examples of different industries that have managed to turn attendees into content creators, and ended up with tons of good content.
Event content created by students
The highlight of most people’s university experience is when they graduate. So it’s unsurprising that a lot of our university customers have set up social walls to celebrate Graduation Day. The University of Tasmania Graduation social wall is a great example.
Here, a student from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley shares their excitement about graduating.
Event content created by employees
International consulting company BearingPoint organized an internal CSR campaign called 10 Days of Caring. BearingPoint teams around the world picked activities to give back to the community and documented them in social media posts. A hashtag brought all their content together on a social media wall which was displayed in BearingPoint offices everywhere.
Cybersecurity company Forcepoint used a social media wall to boost engagement at an internal event. As a nice side-effect, they collected plenty of attendee-generated content.
Event content created by virtual attendees
Kafka Summit featured a social wall with a virtual photo booth at their virtual event in a section of the platform called Get Social.
The Computer History Museum Fellow Awards virtual program received attendee-generated content at all times. The virtual stage and social wall “behind” him were created and brought into the program in partnership with 3Monkeys. Learn more.
Event content created by fans
Miller Lite Hot Country Nights presented by 106.5 the Wolf is a country concert series happening every Thursday evening, all summer long! They give spectators a voice by listing their Tweets, Facebook mentions, and Direct Posts on a social wall display that’s part of the stage.
Incentivising good content is one of many ways to increase the quality and quantity of user-generated content. The Habs, a.k.a. NHL team Montréal Canadiens, encouraged fans to submit tweets to a social wall on the studium during the team’s practice.
To wrap up, we’ll leave you with these three tips:
- Remember that it’s not about you, it’s about putting attendees in the spotlight.
- Don’t limit yourself! Encourage content creation from multiple sources (TikTok, Direct Posts, photo booth, etc.).
- Make sure to collect all the event content on a social wall, so you can use it to promote your future events.
If you can do those things, then you are well on your way to making sure that your event is as engaging and memorable as possible. Good luck!
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