How to Harness the Power of Social Media for Your Event

June 27, 2019

Amy Kelley

Amy Kelley is the Global Digital Content Marketing Editor at GES. With a strong background in content marketing, social media and communications, she is a passionate writer and self-confessed word geek. Amy is also the founder of a non-profit and a health and wellness online community.

If you want to have a successful event, you must include a social media campaign. Start with a focused strategy that targets who you want to come to your event, who is actually going to your event, and who wishes they came and will attend next time. One thing you can be certain of – everyone has a phone.

Make sure they are all talking about your event. Get started by breaking down your social media event strategy into three parts: before, during and after.

Before the event

Build anticipation to get everyone excited about your event. Tease them with sneak peeks. Hold “reveals” for key speakers or special attendees, panels or guests. Create a calendar for teasers and reveals - each one progressively getting bigger and more unforgettable as the event date approaches.

You want the public to engage early with the event by sharing the next cool image, video or event update. This is a great way to get your potential attendees to boost the reach of your posts, and it’s also a way to get more of their friends and followers informed and excited in advance.

During the event

Once you’ve created strong anticipation for your event on social media, keep the momentum going when the big day arrives. A successful social media campaign includes a strategy and some pre-planned live event tie-ins.

Consider a live Q & A on social media with some vendors, special guests or speakers.Tie this online experience into a live panel of events or educational sessions. Take questions from social media for the speaker to answer live. And of course, make sure the moderator reviews the questions on social media to ask the speaker on behalf of the audience.

Use social media to drive attendees to special affairs, secret giveaways or product demos throughout the day. Run a hashtag contest with some vendors on their social media in conjunction with yours. This gives you the opportunity to increase brand/event awareness for you both and extend the reach of the event’s influence and engagement.

A live event is a great place to discover and share user-generated content. Share content widely and often throughout the day. Showcase real-time sentiment and highlight positive and engaging attendee experiences. This adds real social value to attendees at the event and to fans/followers that are following along elsewhere.

Make sure you are monitoring the conversations about your event. If someone tags the brand, a vendor, a speaker or the venue, be ready to engage, answer questions or assist with critiques or questions. You won’t be able to interact with every attendee in person but on social media you can virtually engage with everyone.

After the event

The event might be over but don’t let the social buzz end. Now is the time to take advantage of the audience engagment and recap all the great moments that people may have missed during their busy day(s). Thank your special guests or speakers, and share some of their best moments. 

Always tag or @mention them in your posts so they will have the opportunity to share your posts and extend the reach of your social media campaign.

When planning your social media strategy for your next event, remember the three key parts of the plan: before, during and after. And after you’ve done all the work to prepare, just phone it in.


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Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact