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  • Writer's pictureTeam Reeler

Elevating events and trade shows with user-generated content (UGC) and social marketing

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Women at an event illustrating UGC in event marketing

In this blog post, we will delve into the dynamic events industry – a world of its own, even if related to the broader travel and hospitality sphere. While physical meetings may be one of the oldest forms of marketing, today's event organizers are mastering digital tools to make their events more effective and meaningful than ever.

One tool that is increasingly used to boost participant engagement and effectively market events is user-generated content (UGC). In today’s digital age, where experiences are shared and celebrated, harnessing UGC is a powerful strategy to elevate events and engage a broader audience.

But just how can UGC be used to enhance events such as conferences, trade shows, exhibitions, and other meetings? UGC can be utilized both before, during, and after events, and in this blog post, we'll outline how!

1. Pre-event excitement: build anticipation

Before the event kicks off, building excitement is paramount. UGC can be a game-changer, allowing organizers to curate and showcase authentic experiences from previous events. Attendees' testimonials and captivating snapshots of key moments can fuel anticipation and drive ticket sales. By leveraging social media and event-specific hashtags, event organizers can spark conversations and create a buzz, enticing potential attendees to mark their calendars.

  • Past attendees' stories: Encourage past attendees to share their event experiences, creating a narrative that resonates with potential participants and impacts their decision-making.

  • Behind-the-scenes glimpses: Offering a sneak peek into event preparations, setup, and speaker rehearsals through UGC can generate intrigue and excitement among the audience.

  • Participants' pre-event contributions: Engage upcoming participants in the buildup by encouraging them to share how they are preparing for the meetup. Their excitement adds to the pre-event buzz.

2. In-event engagement: boost connection and visibility

During the event, UGC becomes a dynamic tool to enhance engagement. Attendees are natural content creators, capturing their experiences in real-time. Encourage them to share content using event-specific hashtags, creating a live, interactive narrative. Displaying this UGC on screens within the event venue and online enhances the attendee experience and showcases the event to a broader online audience – potentially attracting last-minute attendees.

  • Live updates and social walls: Curate and display live social media posts related to the event, providing real-time engagement for both on-site and remote attendees.

  • Interactive contests and challenges: Create engaging contests, encouraging attendees to share their experiences creatively. Offer incentives to boost participation and generate a buzz around the event.

3. Post-event momentum: visualize the future

As the event concludes, the momentum need not fade. UGC generated during the event can be repurposed strategically. Compiling memorable moments into recap videos, blog posts, or social media updates keeps the event alive in attendees’ minds and encourages them to reminisce and share their own experiences. Moreover, this UGC treasure trove serves as a teaser for future events, enticing both past and potential attendees.

  • Event recaps: Produce engaging recap videos that incorporate the best UGC moments, effectively summarizing the event's essence and encouraging social sharing.

  • Participant feedback: Gather attendee feedback to further enhance future editions of the event.

  • Testimonials for the future: Gather and share attendee testimonials, showcasing the success of the event and building credibility for future editions.

Photo from event or trade show used as UGC in marketing

UGC in event marketing – conclusion

The events industry is starting to embrace user-generated content (UGC) to enhance event engagement and market effectively. From building anticipation before the event to fostering connection during and extending reach after, UGC offers numerous opportunities. Pre-event, authentic testimonials, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and live updates fuel anticipation. In-event, interactive contests encourage active participation, creating a dynamic, engaging event environment. Post-event, UGC can be used for recaps and future event teasers, igniting a continued sense of excitement.

In this digital age, where experiences are celebrated and shared, event organizers can make imaginative use of UGC to craft even more impactful and memorable events.

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