Yesterday I attended the BNC Global Event Show and on a number of occasions I was asked if I work in the event industry. I do not work in the events industry but a strange voice irrupted from my month with the answer ‘yes…well sort of… I’m an EA’. With that answer I had a few knowing people nod back because they understood that assistants organise a lot of events and you know some of us take that side of our professions seriously. Yes, most of us organise the Christmas party and that is hard enough, but we also organise team building events, AGMs, conferences, forums, private dining experiences, So yes, if we organise all of these types of events for our company we ‘sort of’ work in the events industry. My thinking is definitely along these lines and so I ensure I keep up to date with all the latest developments in the event industry that will help when I need to arrange an event.
Over the last few years the events industry have wholeheartedly embraced social media and assistants should also be doing this when they organise internal events for their businesses. Here are 6 examples of how social media can help you with the events you organise:
Social media can be used really effectively when it comes to researching different aspects of your event. You can use review websites to select venues, hotels and local restaurants. LinkedIn and Twitter to find speakers, team building activities, caterers, attendees and presentation topics.
2. Event page on LinkedIn
Most of your colleagues will be on LinkedIn so why not set up a LinkedIn group for the event and invite everyone to join so that you can discuss specifics such as presentation topics, preferred team building events or catering options. When it comes to organising the event do remember that you know best, you are at the centre of the logistics, aware of the budget and you should have the final say.
As soon as you have been asked to arrange an event whether it is a team building day, internal training session, conference or week long forum you should set up a Twitter hashtag and let everyone in your organisation know about it (not just the attendees). It goes without saying that you are going to be organising a brilliant event that is well worth publicising so why not use Twitter to promote your department or company’s activities? During the course of the event the attendees can use the hashtag to promote the event further, discuss what they have seen, heard and ultimately learnt. There is lot to be said about event hashtags and this blog discusses the art in finer detail.
4. Tweet all about your event
I think you might have got my feelings towards assistants using social media now… I’m not going to say that I think you should be on Twitter and just assume you are! So do use Twitter when you are working on an event, let us know how you are going about organising the event, what venues you have booked and therefore can recommend, anything unusual you are doing or any innovative technology you are engaging with. All of this is well worth sharing with your fellow assistants and also those attending the event. If your colleague are using up their time to come along to the event (even if they are being made to) they should be informed about the structure of the event and what to expect. Keeping them up to date via social media is easy to do and adds value. Remember to use your hashtag with every tweet.
If you organise events that are similar to mine you will have many many photographs of your colleagues taking during the course of the event. Make sure you ask everybody to send their pictures through to you so that you can add them to a Pinterest board for everyone to see ( you may need to censor some of this material!) Remember if you are organising an event you are spending your companies money so you should promote the benefits of the event and what was achieved there. Remember to take some pictures of the venue and speakers so that you can give a review and they can repin any relevant images.
Your work on the event shouldn’t finish when the event does. Ask those that attended to promote the benefits on all of their social media platforms, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter. Also ask attendees to complete a survey so that you can collate feedback on the event. Free websites are available if you do not have that technology at work, I personally use SurveyMonkey. Once you have the results back use your LinkedIn page and your Twitter hashtag to promote the results both positives and negatives so that you can start the conversation rolling for the next event.
I do think using social media with your events is a great addition and can add real value. It also shows that we assistants can use our skills in a variety of ways that are both practical and really creative, something our managers might not necessarily think we are capable of. What it surprise it will be when you organise your next next and create all of this additional value!