Seven Elements of the Ultimate Social Event

If you throw an amazing event and no one Tweets about it, did it really happen? Social buzz around an event deepens engagement for attendees and builds awareness with audiences that aren’t able to participate in real life.  One of our favorite events, SXSW, is just around the corner and we couldn’t be more excited to host the Social Stage featuring the Flaming Lips and Future Islands. (Want to come? Enter to win VIP access.)

As we’ve been setting the stage for the party, we’ve put together a list of all the elements you need to create a great social event. Here are our top seven: 

1.  Food & Drink

Let’s be real. A good time can become a great time when there are tasty cocktails and delicious snacks involved, and nothing is more ‘Gram-worthy than a two-story shot luge, or 1000 mini cupcakes in the shape of your logo. Use hashtags that will extend the reach of your nom-worthy pics. Here are some to consider: #food #yummy #foodie #delicious #foodoftheday #yum #dessert #hungry #nom/#nomnom/#nomnomnom…

2.  Music

Great music can literally set the tone of an event. If you have the budget, book a band or DJ whose music will resonate with your audience. If you’re just looking for background tunes, try making a Spotify list. Here’s a great list we like to use for our own events—feel free to follow!

3.  People

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important. Know the purpose of your event and the audience you want to attend. If you define these up front, you’ll see a better ROI in the end.

Don’t forget to create a plan to get your influencers (you know those smart people with big social followings) to show up.These people can really boost social reach and awareness of your event, so give them an incentive to attend your event and don’t be afraid to ask them to participate in the social conversation. (Influencer is really just the fancy industry term for VIP anyways, right? Give them a VIP Experience!)

4. Scenery

The old adage “location, location, location” absolutely applies to hosting a great event. The Spredfast Social Stage goes down at the infamous Moody Theatre, home to ACL Live. If you can book a venue with some history, a great view, or interesting decor, people are sure to check-in and share. Don’t forget to create a custom foursquare location!

5.  Swag

One of the greatest things about an event like SXSW is all the the freebies! There is of course the free food and booze, but brands should be thinking about something attendees can take with them to remember the amazing event they just experienced. We think swag should be 1. awesome or novel and 2. useful. Don’t send people home with something that will go straight in their junk drawer. This year Spredfast has some pretty sweet swag. Be sure to stop by our Social Suite to stock up.

6.  Smart Technology

Any social marketer will tell you that smart technology is a key component of a great event. You’ll see our smart technology in action if you attend the Social Stage. Some other smart technologies we love include: charging stations, strong WiFi with plenty of bandwidth, and GIF booths (we had WAY too much fun with the last one at our holiday party.)

7.  Gamification

 Get people sharing pictures and content before the event to build buzz. We use the Spredfast Appbuilder to host social contests and Spredfast Experiences to visualize great user generated content online and on-site. Want to get in on the action? Show us photos of your most unforgettable events for a chance to win VIP access to the Social Stage.

agallman@spredfast.com's picture

Adrianne Gallman

@A_Gallman
Adrianne is the Brand Programs Manager at Spredfast supporting all media planning, advertising and programs for awareness on the Spredfast Brand Marketing Team. In her free time she enjoys cheering for Sooner football and searching for the best brunch in Austin.