Compared to our 2010 congress, social media activity was buzzing during the 50th ICCA Congress in Leipzig, Germany. So what did ICCA do to get this buzz going?
In fact, it was not that difficult; we just got the basics right. The meetings industry is still in an early adoption phase of using social media for events and there is a lot of hype around social media. We just used our common sense and just did it.
We hope this #icca11 case study will inspire you organise your social media activities for your event.
1. Pre-event social media setup
Before the congress took place, ICCA’s different social media channels were set up and the ICCA Congress hash tag was chosen and communicated. We actually were a bit late with creating the Event Facebook page and communicating the #icca11 hashtag to our members. This should be done at least 3 months before the Congress takes place, but preferably earlier: We are going to set up the Facebook event page for the 51st ICCA Congress in San Juan, Puerto Rico immediately after the 2011 Congress, to take maximum advantage of the #icca11 momentum.
These are the channels we set up:
- ICCA’s Twitter account: http://twitter.com/iccaworld
- ICCA’s Facebook account: http://facebook.com/iccaworld
- ICCA Congress 2011 Facebook Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=224069497642819
- ICCA’s 50th ICCA Congress Flickr photo page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/iccaworld/collections/72157627967467092/
- ICCA’s LinkedIn group: ICCAWORLD
- ICCA’s mobile website: http://icca.mobi/, central landing page with links to our social media- and ICCA Congress pages
- ICCA’s Storify page (which we did not use in the end): http://storify.com/
- Check-in locations: Foursquare and Facebook check-in locations for the 50th ICCA Congress were created
- ICCA’s YouTube account: http://youtube.com/iccaworld
- ICCA’s Slideshare account: http://slideshare.net/iccaworld
In the last days before the Congress we posted an @ICCAWORLD Twitterfountain (http://www.twitterfountain.com/) on our ICCA Congress homepage to start building the momentum.
Driving content: Combining channels
All pre-congress communication was combined through the different channels:
- ICCA’s social media channels were pushed through the ICCA Congress Bulletin- and Event information emails after registration
- ICCA’s social media channels were included in the hard-copy final programme
- Congress related news was posted on ICCA’s social media networks and members were invited to discuss the education programme, the General Assembly, CAT Night, Dress to impress outfits, etc.
Identify brand ambassadors
ICCA members who were most active on social media were identified as “brand ambassadors” and were stimulated to keep the online discussion going, as well as ICCA staff and students who attended the ICCA Congress as part of the scholarship programme for students of ICCA member universities.
2. Offline social media support during the Congress
- Social Media Desk: During the Congress we set up a Social Media Desk, which was located next to the registration desk, and which was staffed by ICCA’s Social Media Executive Raphael Kamp, to help all delegates to get started with using social media.
- Free WiFi: which is off course crucial in making your social media activities a success
- Tech support: there was a separate IT Helpdesk, but tech support was also often done by the Social Media Desk (how to get WiFi working on my phone, how to set up a social media account, etc.)
- Screens with live feeds of our social media channels were displayed throughout the venue. We planned to use Storify for this, but as we used the “What’s on?” application to display the Congress Programme on the same screens, which had a Twitterfountain tool integrated in it, we did not use Storify.
On-site content, monitoring and moderating
If you profide all these social media channels and are stimulating an online discussion, it is obviously very important to monitor and moderate the content on your channels and to answer questions directly, in order to keep the interaction going.
The following tools were used to monitor and moderate ICCA social-media channels in real-time on-site:
Sprout Social is an excellent social media dashboard tool which lets you do the following things:
- Monitor multiple social media channels (from Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn and YouTube);
- Show social media statistics per channel (demographic, level of engagement and influence, increase in fan / followers volume etc.);
- Compile social media reports;
- Directly send out social media messages through a wide range of social media channels.
Hootsuite is a social media dashboard tool similar to Sprout Social, but doesn’t feature the advanced compiling of social media reports. It features are:
- Clear overview of social media channels for monitoring (limited amount of channels available);
- Easy interface to directly post new content to social media channels.
3. Post-congress social media follow up
After the congress ICCA uses social media to extend the online relationship with the #icca11 attendees. A very important post-congress content item is the videos created during the Congress by both a local camera crew and journalist and the videos created by ICCA media member Meetings:Review. Also all ICCA Congress information is shared through the combined channels, with links to the videos, pictures and presentations on our social media channels.
To understand the success of social media during our 50th ICCA Congress we monitored all our social media activities and compiled these in a statistical overview. Below you can find an overview for individual channels as well as a general overview.
In the data below you can see an overview of ICCA´s total output level regarding both engagement and influence.
- Engagement here means the level of interaction with the audience (e.g. replies, private messages, one-on-one-conversations);
- Influence means the rate of success that your audience will either view, read and interact with the content you send out;
The demographic box shows the demographic statistics from our twitter followers. Next to that is the social scorecard box which gives us more information on the amount of new followers (per day), how often our keywords (in this case or hashtag #icca11, username iccaworld and keyword icca) are mentioned in the social media space. Underneath it the amount of message being send out (per day) and the level of engagement (how well we interact with our community).
Before ICCA Congress: #1616 followers
After ICCA Congress: #1713 followers
As you can clearly see that the engagement level rises dramatically with the start of the congress and then keeps a steady level together with the level of influence.
Before ICCA Congress: #498
After ICCA Congress: #610
Note the dramatic change in views, new fans and the amount of likes and comments. They all build upon the level of engagement that takes place during the congress.
Other social media tools available
During the course of the congress (before, during and after) you can use several tools to your advantage to maximize the use of social media. Please check below for a comprehensive list of tools:
- Twitterfountain.com (show tweets and photos regarding a certain subject on a big screen);
- MindMeister.com (gives attendees the opportunity to make a live mind map on a big screen during an seminar or workshop);
- Google Docs (easy way to share documents online, for example notes taken during a seminar / workshop or presentations);
- Google Moderator (easy moderation tool which makes it possible for people to ask questions on the go and have polls on questions before they go live to the speaker);
- U-Stream (live video blogging, can also be saved as a video archive for later use);
- Speakonomy.com (tool for attendees to rate a speaker / seminar, great way to find out which speakers your audience approve of and which not);
- Twoppy.com (mobile congress app);
- Google Analytics (measure web activity during the congress);
- TribeMonitor / Tweetreach (monitor the reach of certain content / social media);
- Sprout Social (social media monitoring tool);
5. Evaluation and possible ICCA Intelligence publication
Questions on the use of social media during the congress are part of the general post-congress evaluation surveys, which will help us to fine-tune our socia media strategy for #icca12.
After collecting all the congress related data and the post-congress feedback, ICCA will compile a report which can be used as a manual / reference for future events, and could possibly turn into a “Social media for events” ICCA Intelligence publication for association meeting planners on how to use social media for their events.
How have you used social media for your event?
Do you have any suggestions for tools that you have used? Any questions related to this case study or on social media for events in general? Please share and leave a comment by clicking the text balloon on top of this post.