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Why event planners should look to Snapchat for delegate engagement

As few as 3 per cent of organisers use the social media platform for events, Bizzabo says at ibtm America

Pictured: Snapchat is an untapped social media resource for event planners, says Bizzabo

Snapchat and Pinterest have been tipped to become the next big event marketing tools, with only 3 per cent and 7 per cent of event organisers (respectively) saying they use them.

Event software company Bizzabo found the two social media platforms were untapped resources, after polling more than 500 event organisers on their marketing strategies in its The 2016 Event Professionals of Tomorrow Study. The most popular social media platform used in events was Facebook (81 per cent), followed by Twitter (76 per cent), LinkedIn (61 per cent), and Instagram (28 per cent).

Speaking at ibtm america in Nashville this week, Bizzabo marketing strategist Tom Shelly said Pinterest and Snapchat provided opportunities to boost audience engagement and spread brand awareness.

She said: "People are barely using Snapchat and Pinterest. They really do present a large opportunity mainly because there are so easy to use and they will really help generate a lot more leads."

A Snapchat 'geofilter' is one particular marketing tool event organisers can take advantage of, Shelly added. She said event organisers could create their own filter, which can be a picture or logo, that is then voluntarily added by Snapchat users to their photos taken within proximity of the event.

Shelly added: "I definitely see geofilters taking off because of their ability to promote an event. There's really nothing to lose because they're so cheap … they start at $5 (£3.50) and go from there depending on how much radius you want to cover."

Bizzabo's survey found that email remained the most popular method of marketing events, being used by 85 per cent of respondents. Social media was just three points behind.

Shelly said personalisation, along with segmentation (separating your audience into more targeted groups), and humanisation (containing memorable information relating directly to that person) increased click rates by 22 per cent.

"When you say personalisation, it's about being smart with what data pieces you put into your email," she said.

"You need to make them feel that the email is speaking to them, not to a blast of 1,000 people. So it could be using their first name in the subject line, or knowing the last event they attended. That is helping you tremendously."

Survey respondents also said attendee satisfaction was the most important way to judge the success of an event (84 per cent), followed by revenue (56 per cent), media coverage (16 per cent) and team building (12 per cent).

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