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Creating an Effective Event Hashtag

2013-05-28

Do you know what goes into the perfect hashtag? And then how to get your attendees to actually use it? Here are a few tips on how to get a hashtag to work for you. 

Twitter hashtags. They are the must-have for events. Not only do they allow for your attendees to network and share information, but they are a fantastic marketing tool for the event. An active hashtag with great information can attract prospective attendees for future events. That means that it is vital to not only create a hashtag, but also become invested in how it is used by your attendees.

The hashtag

The best hashtags are always short. Remember that your attendees only have 140 characters to get a point across. At times, they will need every character they can get. Be sure to only include the most important characters. But also make sure that it is recognizable. A hashtag that looks more like alphabet soup will not make the event easily recognizable to those prospective attendees. And worse, it could not be recognizable to your own attendees, which could result in multiple hashtags.

After you have come up with your perfect hashtag, research it. Do a Twitter search and see if it is actively being used by anyone. Then, do a Google search. Make sure that this hashtag is unique to your event and not just a copy of another.

Using the hashtag before the event

Okay, so you have that perfect hashtag. Now, it’s time to get your attendees to use it!

Make sure the hashtag appears on every piece of pre-conference material. Include it on every tweet about the event. Once you have some tweets on that hashtag, post it on Facebook as a Twitter search. Basically, get it out to where your attendees will see it, so that there is no question as to what the hashtag is.

And then take it a step further. Consider a Twitter chat about the event. Have a speaker join you to give a sneak peek on what to expect. Chat about the best ways to achieve specified goals at the event. Or do a pre-networking session on the hashtag. This will not only get your attendees in the habit of using it, but it will also get the word out to those that have yet to register.

Using the hashtag at the event

Everyone now knows that you have the best hashtag in the world and are ready to flood it with useful information. What do you do now?

You cannot remind your attendees enough about the hashtag. Put it on conference materials, including signs. Ask your speakers to include it on their slides. Be sure to continually tweet information on the hashtag. Remember that not everyone can tweet easily, and some would prefer to just retweet. So make sure to have someone in any educational sessions that can tweet out the information that is being covered.

If you want to make it even easier on your attendees, ask your speakers to include tweetable tips in their presentation. These tips can note to your attendees that this is valuable information and will make them even more likely to tweet.

Using the hashtag after the event

The event is over, so now it’s time to retire the old hashtag, right? Wrong.

Don’t let those tweets go to waste. Curate them with a tool like Storify. Storify can help you tell the story of your event, from the educational information to the new friendships that were formed. You can then use that as a part of your toolbox for convincing prospective attendees for the next event.

You could also continue to use the hashtag. Have information that is relevant to the attendees? Then put the hashtag on it. It could then become a resource for that industry, which means that information about your event can reach even more eyes.

How are you using hashtags for your event? What are you doing to get your attendees to use your hashtag?