How to harness user-generated video at events
Encourage your attendees to share their own footage and create a buzz.
This article is produced in partnership with Cvent.
Free marketing that more than doubles customer engagement? Sounds too good to be true, but user-generated videos can really get your event noticed.
Videos that your event attendees take themselves and then share on social media, which capture feel-good, positive stories, are worth far more than corporate promotional material.
For one thing, they’re authentic, which means a lot to people – authenticity drives up to 90% of consumers into supporting a brand. Also, consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as authentic compared with content created by brands.
The medium is key, too – advances in smartphone technology and social media sophistication mean that video is now a key part of a marketer’s arsenal. The amount of online video that consumers watch has almost doubled since 2018.
So how can you encourage attendees to create and share their own videos of your event?
1.Go where everyone is
Ask yourself which social media platform your attendees are most likely to be on – LinkedIn? Facebook? Instagram? TikTok? Look at the kind of videos that get engagement in those places and plan your strategy accordingly. It’s better to do a great campaign on one platform than to spread yourself too thinly.
2.Share your event hashtag in advance
Create buzz and spread awareness of your event with a hashtag that attendees can easily use when they’re posting photos and videos on social media. Make sure your hashtag isn’t being used by another company, and that it isn’t inadvertently rude! (Google the hashtag used for Susan Boyle’s album launch party, for a cautionary tale.)
3.Create beautiful backdrops
Consider making a corner of your event a photo and video backdrop, using balloons, streamers, flowers or something specific to your brand – an education event could use a huge blackboard where attendees sign their names, for example. Add your event logo and hashtag in big letters and encourage attendees to get together to take selfies and videos, and to then share them.
4.Have a social wall
Cvent, whose virtual Attendee Hub helps create events around the world, held its CONNECT event in 2016 and included a social wall – a huge screen that projected all social posts with the event’s hashtag. The live feed was embedded in the attendees’ event app, making it even easier for them to upload photos and videos.
5.Set social media challenges
OK, so the ice bucket challenge might not be appropriate for an accountancy conference, but can you think of a challenge that’s relevant to your audience? For instance, Red Bull’s #PutACanOnIt campaign got consumers adding a Red Bull can into their images and sharing with thousands of others. For inspiration, look up “best viral videos on social media” and see if you can tailor one to your event.
6.Encourage people to tag their peers
Tagging other event attendees means that a video gets shared even more widely. You could give people prompts such as “The rival I most admire” or “My office partner in crime”.
Encourage event attendees to share their videos by offering prizes: these could be theatre tickets, branded goodies or a bottle of champagne. Plus, if you’re sending attendees home with swag bags, make sure they’re Instagrammable!
These could be people already going to your event who have large social media followings, or people within your niche that your audience admires and follows. Invite them along and get them to promote your event for you. And remember that your own employees can sometimes be the best advocates for your brand, so get them involved too.
9.The boring bit…
Make sure it’s clear to attendees what can be shared in the public domain – if you have classified technology at your trade show, you’re not going to want people sharing it; or perhaps your keynote speaker doesn’t want to be filmed. Putting up signs helps everyone stay on the same page.
Find out how Cvent can help you streamline your entire event lifecycle.