calendar day of eventPlanning an event and building proper promotion leading up to it is only half the equation in leveraging digital communication.  Engaging attendees during the event using digital media is a highly effective way to build awareness around your cause and foster a lead-generation process to ensure the event is as successful as possible and meets the goals you\’ve set for it.

You\’ve likely laid out certain outcomes you hope to achieve with your event, whether it\’s promoting your company, building awareness around new products or services, or simply building a pool of leads to market to in the future.  Digital communication provides the means to achieve all these outcomes and more; it just requires detailed planning and execution.

SMS and social media are two primary channels to effectively engage event-goers.  Both provide interactivity that can provide value to the attendees while also providing a chance to capture information and opt-ins for future initiatives.  Location-based social media can be an invaluable tool for engaging users in real-time during an event.  Using Foursquare, for example, you can encourage users to check-in at the event or certain areas of the event for a chance to win prizes, receive relevant event-specific offers and promotions, etc.  Doing so encourages event-goers to participate by providing a unique value proposition, while also helping you capture vital information about your attendees in the process.

Similarly, SMS provides the same benefits through real-time response and engagement.  You can send out calls-to-action throughout the event encouraging users to text in a keyword to pre-defined short codes to provide the user a variety of outcomes, whether it\’s entering a contest, leveraging text-to-screen or any other action.  In the end, the point is to provide as many opportunities for digital engagement as possible to encourage attendees to interact with your brand.  The goal should be finding the right balance between value proposition through digital communication and the art of capturing user-information for the all-too-important opt-in process.

mobileStorm recently held an event at the Encore Beach Club in Las Vegas, Nevada to celebrate a decade in business.  Customers, prospects and business partners were invited to the event in order to meet face-to-face with mobileStorm executives and sales people in the hopes that this would lead to stronger and longer lasting relationships between all.  SMS communication was used heavily throughout the event to distribute valuable information about what was happening as well as provide a sense of community among the party guests.

Upon entering the venue, each visitor was handed a fortune cookie that had a unique keyword that they were asked to text to a short code.  By sending this text, they were added to a list that had SMS messages scheduled to go out throughout the night.  These messages ranged from thanking them for attending to having them raise their hands in a toast.  The unique nature of SMS made this especially effective because the organizers knew that each person would receive the message at almost the exact same instant and that they were virtually all guaranteed to be ready right away. The result of this creative and unique use of SMS technology during the event was very well received by those in attendance with many commenting that they were not previously aware that SMS could be used on such a large scale.