September October 2019

A fresh resource for people who plan and manage meetings, events, business travel, promotions and incentive programs. Providing you with inspiration, guidance and great ideas.

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44 | Ignitemag.ca | September | October 2019 Identify infl uencers and make them feel special In 2015, Wall was invited by Intuit to attend the company's second annual QuickBooks Connect in San Jose, California. Of course, he wasn't selected at random. He was very active on social media and had about 10,000 Twitter followers at the time—signifi cantly more than his Canadian accounting and bookkeeping peers, which the company hoped to reach. Intuit offered Wall and other "infl u- encers" perks such as exclusive meet- and-greets with company VIPs and speakers (which make for awesome selfi es in front of a branded wall), and hosted them at a pre-conference dinner so the infl uencers could get to know each other (and therefore be more apt to like, share and comment on each other's posts). The result? A huge bump in targeted social media activity. Wall alone, who now has 72K followers on Twitter and more than 41K followers on Facebook, had about two mil- lion impressions on his QuickBooks Connect posts in San Jose last year. "Because I can reach people in the specifi c community that they're after, they get 10 times the value from my posts than with other people," he says. Smaller-budget conferences that may not be able to offer free atten- dance to infl uencers could instead invite pre-selected delegates with a strong social media presence to a special breakfast or cocktail hour, suggests Wall. How to turn delegates into Some conferences trend on Twitter or Instagram, while others never see the light of day. Here are the secrets for getting delegates to promote your events online by Tamar Satov A dry and technical medical summit may not be the type of event you'd expect to see trending on Twitter. But when the World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics, the largest global congress on maternal and infant health, was held in Rio de Janeiro last October, it not only made headlines on social media, but also in traditional media outlets, including newspapers and radio. "We created a 'virtual march' against female genital mutilation with the hashtag #everywom- anmatters and lots of delegates embraced the cause," says Juliano Lissoni, managing director for MCI Group in Canada, an international profes- sional conference planning fi rm. By pinpointing what was important to the conference's attendees—namely, raising awareness about inequality and violence against women in developing countries—MCI got delegates to put the event in the social media spotlight. "You need to fi nd out what's relevant for the community, not just for your event," says Lissoni. "That's the secret sauce." Here are a few more winning tips to encourage delegates to become "brand ambassadors" for your events. Do your homework Well before the event, learn about their preferred social media platforms, how often they post and which technologies they use, says Rachel Klar, CMP, senior events marketing manager for Intuit Canada, a global accounting and fi nancial management software provider. "It won't help you to put up a tweet wall if none of your audience is on Twitter," agrees Andrew Wall, CEO of Toronto- based accounting fi rm CPA4IT and frequent attendee at Intuit's US and Canadian conferences.

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