The internet serves billions of users across the world and has the biggest network that mankind has ever created. It allows users to stay in contact with each other, make new contacts and business partners and socialize with them. However, the past few years have seen considerable increase in the ways social media and internet is being used (Gallegos. M, 2014). The popularity of social media is a huge part of that to change. It allows companies and customers to operate and interact on an equal footing; providing benefits as easy as for the customer to access the company and the ability to shape the conversation about the product and see what everyone else is reviewing about. This is what event organization companies particularly are looking to take an advantage of when they use social media for the marketing of their events.
Looking at the benefits of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are well poised to take the advantage of the situation. Social media popularizes the brand, services and the ideas that the company offers, in some cases it is also used to make the customers aware of a particular service. Further, it also enhances the communication between the brand and the customer. A further advantage, especially with regards to raising awareness about the products or services, is that the social media is an equalizer; big companies, small companies or even the start-ups for events have the same opportunities to gather just as much attention for their events if they use social network marketing strategically to gain recognition (Mershon, 2011).
Ever since the onset of the social media and digital marketing, many companies continually rely on the power and reach of social media to ender themselves to their customers and their target market. For events, the main usage of social media has been to attract fans and create awareness of the events as far and wide among the relevant group as possible (Pickton & Boderick, 2005). For event organizers, there is an opportunity for the use of social media considering why the people attend and are comfortable at events. Social media has grown from being a simple communication tool to one that fosters real life engagement and communication between the people. Events most of the time also focus on bringing the company stakeholders together with the aim of providing them with as much information as possible about the company over the period of time.
More importantly, even though most people are interested in the information they receive at events, in the end human nature cannot be ignored. Most of the time, people have bigger stake in who they get to meet at the events. Networking still remains one of the most important reasons why people attend the events (Gallegos. M, 2014). Infact, activities in most of the events are almost always organized based on who people know and hence are more likely to interact with. People will instantly want to attend events with people they know or associate with on a regular basis (Gallegos. M, 2014). It is impossible to ignore the social elements of events organization, whether corporate or social. This is why social media and its power of engagement is important in the organization of events. Social media offers the following advantages:
Popularizing the brand, service or idea that the company offers.
Informing a particular target audience about the presence of the company or certain products in the market.
Providing the brand benefits
Improving communication with the brand
Encouraging competition (Jothi, Neelamlar & Prasad S, 2011 )
According to a report done by Text100, new technologies magnify the conversations around the company and the brand because of their ability to improve the engagement of the attendees, whether they are physically or digitally present at the event. Further, the fact that traffic can be generated by a relatively small number of users in most of these social media networking sites proves their continued effectiveness (Text100, 2010). It is however important that the event organizers, when choosing a communication channel, remember that there are various different channels, each with different characteristics and user profiles (Text100, 2010). Events management and marketing through digital channels require a clear strategy. The event organizers have to ask themselves the following questions to pick up the right strategy;
What is the topic of the event and what makes it unique?
Does the topic of the event helps to improve the credibility of the company?
Does the event fit in with the position and brand image of the company in the market?
What is the scope of the event; global, local or regional?
Who are the target audience of the event? What social media platform are they most active on and how do they relate to the focus of the event?
How can the audience be engaged and what additional value does a social media focus bring to the conversation? (Text100, 2010)
Using UKTogether, luxury lifestyle and events Management Company as a case study, the general aim of this paper will be to find out how event management companies can utilize the power of social media when organizing events. UKTogether is a luxury lifestyle and events management company which provides exclusive event experiences for the clients. UKTogether was chosen because of the unique service model it has, typically offering clients cost-effective packages that make their experience at various events worthwhile. Given the connection between the experience of an event and social media, this company is the best company for a case study on how social media can be used to influence or market the events.
The main aim of the research is to find out, 'How social media can help promote events for the events organization'.
The research will focus on the following objectives:
To determine how effective social media marketing is for events management organizations.
To find out the most effective social media communication strategies for marketing the events.
The researcher will use a mix of structured closed ended questions and open ended questionnaires to collect information from customers of the company regarding how they experience events, the marketing and the actual event organization, through social media. Further, the questionnaire will also contain questions targeted at the
Which is your favorite social media outlet?
Was there any social media engagement at the event you attended?
Neither more nor less
Did you meet/make any new contacts through the event?
What technique, in your opinion was most useful in driving engagement at the event?
Live Video (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat)
Posts and Updates on Social media
Links to event information portals
All of the above
Would you have known about the event without the social media?
How important do you think social media is in marketing, promoting or informing people about events?
Not at all important
Do you think social media plays a significant role in event organization and management?
Does the use of social media affect the credibility of an event or the company?
2. Would the use of traditional media (TV, Radio and Print) be more effective in marketing events?
Which social media platforms provide more traction in event organization?
4. What advantage does an event website offer over marketing purely on social media?
Greater engagement around the event
5. How important is brand positioning when using social media to market an event?
6. As an events organizer, what difficulties are there in using the social media in the organization of events? (Open ended)
7. What is the future of event marketing through social media? (Open ended)
Gallegos, M., 2014. 21 Questions answered about social media for corporate events, Fandom Marketing.
Jothi, S., Neelamalar, M. & Prasad, S., 2011. Analysis of social networking sites: A study on effective communication strategy in developing brand communication. Journal of Media and Communication Studies, 3(7), pp. 234- 242.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Mershon, P., 2011. Small Businesses Benefit Most From Social Media, Study Reveals. [Online] Available at: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/small-businesses-benefit-most-from-social-media-study-reveals/ [Accessed 28 November 2017].
Pickton, D. & Boderick, A., 2005. Integrated Marketing Communications. 2nd ed. Edinburgh Gate: Pearson Education.
Text100, 2010. Event Management Change the Game, Munich: Text100.
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