Social media in meetings

Juan Andrés Milleiro

Head of Social Media at NH Hotel Group
1. Social media allows us to reach a wider audience and allows our event not only to be known at the national, but also at the global level. However, what are the main principles we should follow to make the event a social success?
Many times, when planning an event, we make the mistake of only thinking about the attendees who will be physically present, overlooking those who wish to follow the event but for some reason cannot physically attend. But this isn’t solved by merely broadcasting it via streaming. It is necessary to establish a clear policy so that the event’s attendees can help you to amplify all of its messages.
2. If you want to turn your conference or presentation into a Trending Topic, how do you come up with the perfect hashtag? Is it good to use it in the days leading up to the event or only during the event itself?
In general, I recommend something short and easy to remember; a common mistake is to choose a complicated hashtag. This causes followers to use 4 or 5 different hashtags which make it difficult in the end to find all of the event’s content collected into a single place. Without a doubt, my recommendation is to use it in the days leading up to the event to create buzz surrounding the event or to share useful information in advance. It is recommended to even use it after the event, for any follower who wishes to publish their opinion or summary.
3. In this communication age, we find ourselves inside a social-media mixed bag: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter...Which social media networks are the best for each type of event?
Without a doubt, Twitter is the ideal online platform for following the coverage of live events and acts: if something is happening, there is probably someone tweeting about it. And, the fact that this platform has bought a live video streaming app like Periscope will give you an idea of the current trends. On a visual level, it’s true that Instagram is growing very quickly and should be the second social media platform to consider for your event, especially if there is a great deal of graphic content, such as a fashion show or an exhibition.

"Use your hashtag in the days leading up to the event to create buzz"

4. And by profile type? That is, which social media networks are the most important if you are a speaker? And if you are an attendee?
It’s true that as a speaker, you can promote your talk on social media to gain visibility among your audience before the event and especially afterwards to gain feedback from users on platforms such as Twitter. If the attendee is physically attending, other social media networks such as LinkedIn, for example, can be of help when contacting some of the speakers on professional matters.
5. How can we foster global participation during an event? 
One thing that tends to be useful for encouraging the creation of content is to periodically display in situ the material that the attendees are generating (what is referred to as ‘backchannel’). Normally tweets on an event are displayed, but in many cases you can also show graphic content on platforms such as Instagram.
6. it’s important to achieve a high profile and reach a global audience, but sometimes the opposite is preferred: maintaining confidentiality. Do you recommend introducing clear rules before each and every meeting or do people have a good understanding of what information is off limits? How can I prevent information from being leaked onto social media?
Truthfully, it wouldn’t be the first time that news from an event leaked out because someone posted something on social media. Where confidentiality is a concern, it is necessary to remind attendees that they should not post content on the event. And, in some cases, event organisers have even installed frequency inhibitors in the room to prevent any imprudent communication.

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