When you’re a meeting planner, you want to do something BIG for your meetings but sometimes you don’t have the time or resources to execute a social media strategy to engage your attendees. Social media has the ability to bring your attendees together for event networking or be an interactive host. How so? At the Social Media Symposium for Tourism, a session on “Social Destinations Create Social Meetings” by Sparkloft Media demonstrated examples of how destination marketing organizations (DMO) or CVBs could act as a resource for meeting planners. Here are some tips discussed in the session for working with your meeting DMO and CVB:
- Google Maps – you shouldn’t have to spend time or energy on creating interactive maps for your attendees when your energy would be well-spend in other areas. Talk to the DMO or CVB for your area to create a unique Google Maps for your group of the area with hotels you’ll be using for your meeting, restaurants, special meeting spots, landmarks, attractions or even hiking and walking trails. Afterall, they know the area!
- Help! desk via social media – at a conference, you’re already busy running around so it can be difficult to answer questions on Twitter or Facebook from your attendees. Today, many attendees (not just Gen Y) would rather tweet a question or Google it rather than going to ask physically ask someone for help. Talk to the DMO or CVB of where your meeting is being held to work out a special package for your conference. The package can consist of their associates on social media in shifts answering questions of your attendees whether it’s directions, hours of operations or recommendations.
- Don’t try to teach yourself HTML & graphic design – it’s not worth your time and energy to try and reinvent the wheel. Your DMO or CVB most likely has a graphic designer and web developer in-house and would love for you to use them as a resource. Ask them to create necessities for your meeting such as a Facebook fan page for your meeting where attendees and speakers can interact pre, during or post conference. Have them create a hashtag for your conference, this is also how they’ll be able to answer attendees questions on Twitter and oversee the conference.
To read more about the session, check out the Dave Serino blog from the SoMeT conference. One great example of a CVB working with meeting planners was an article featured in Meetings Focus, Phoenix CVB Uses Twitter Hashtags to Entertain, Inform Meeting Attendees.
How do these tips resonate or concern you for your next meeting? If you’re a planner, what other ways have you used CVBs or DMOs as a resource for your events?