If you read my article last month then you know that I am gearing up for my first ever GRAPH EXPO. As I mentioned before I am a lucky girl to be able to help cover social media for GRAPH EXPO right on the show floor. That means for all printers, graphic designers, and direct mail people that can’t attend this year, you can still follow along and enjoy the show from the comfort of your home, or office…or wherever you may be.
Sandy Hubbard wrote an article for PMC a couple months ago about attending drupa from her living room. She pointed out all of the event highlights that came to her through social sharing and hashtags. It is incredible how small this world has become over the past decade. Social Media has allowed us to share experiences outside our personal spaces. It’s a brave new world, Aldous!
The question has been raised, how much of this social sharing can we truly equate to experience? Can people really gain the same type of experience from an event, such as GRAPH EXPO, at home as they would by actually attending the show?
Football fans across the Nation seem to think so. In fact, this year Twitter will be streaming Thursday night games live for millions of NFL fans. But, what does that mean for big events, such as GRAPH EXPO? Is it possible to bring the event home to thousands of other viewers?
For my article this month I’d like to honor GRAPH EXPO (and my husband who dearly loves Football), and share with you three social media strategies to take away from the NFL that can help you cover an event on social media.
Stream events LIVE: Pay close attention, this is a big one. People LOVE experiencing things live and that’s why the National Football League and Twitter decided to team up and stream Thursday night football. When people experience live events, it makes them feel like an actual active participant, even from the comfort of their homes. The goal is that they can discuss events later on, along with others who actually attended. Football fans do this all the time. They discuss the game as if they had attended it and, in a way, I suppose they did. Our job as social media marketers is to make the transition from an onlooker to a participant a reality for the people unable to attend the event. Bringing the experience to the audience live is one sure way to do this.
Get at home fans involved using hashtags: Many of you are already doing this with the #GraphExpo hashtag. HEY! If you’re not, it’s time to get your head in the game!! That’s right, GRAPH EXPO is like two weeks away and the online fun has already begun. The NFL has really done a great job with this. They have used hashtags not only for fans to communicate with other fans, but for players to communicate to fans and players to players and fans to players…yeah, you get where I’m going with this, right? The point is that when used right, a hashtag can be powerful in bringing like-minded people together and it can create true experiences and conversations whether you’re physically at an event or not.
Include interviews: Although, unlike the NFL, it’s probably better to wait for your interviewee to catch their breath before you start asking questions. Seriously, though, what is the one thing that you do at any event that is nearly impossible to do from home? The answer I’m looking for is: walk around, see who’s attending an event, and ask people questions. In fact, this is one way that people attending a live event from home can benefit in a way that others at the event cannot. A regular attendee can’t always get to talk to certain people and if they do, they don’t always ask the right Here is one aspect of a live event that is unique to the at home attendee and that, also, can give attendees content to look back upon.
Although these are great tips for anyone covering an event on social media, it’s important to remember the “social” in social media. Remember, your job is to connect with viewers and involve them as much as possible. This is where the hashtag comes in so handy. At home, attendees can get a fuller picture of an event when there are multiple perspectives coming together to create a single experience.
Thanks for tuning in. Remember to find me at GRAPH EXPO, follow the hashtag #GraphExpo, and comment below with ideas that have worked for you while covering an event on social media. See you soon!!
Print Media Centr is broadcasting 4 days of programming LIVE from The Printerverse in booth 701 at Graph Expo. Livestream info, panel and event schedule here
Jennifer Grace is a freelance marketer who helps companies achieve results through strategic business development, content creation, and social media marketing. She is a writer, photographer, and lover of print. Her experience in print sales and marketing helps printers authentically connect with their customers, prospects, and millennials. Jen is a contributor to Print Media Centr’s News From The Printerverse, and a regular at #PrintChat Wednesday’s at 4PM ET on Twitter.