Expert social media tips from SAACI CEO Rudi van der Vyver

Rudi van der Vyver, CEO of SAACI, explains how conference organisers can use social media to create a richer dialogue with stakeholders.

When running an event like a conference, social media provides the perfect avenue to help you promote your event, communicate with attendees, collect important feedback and much more. Rudi van der Vyver, Chief Executive Officer of SAACI (Southern African Association for the Conference Industry) explains how conference organisers can use social media to create a richer dialogue with stakeholders.

Think further than your event

Step number one is to make sure that you create social media content that reaches further than just your event, Rudi says. “You want your content to be out of such a nature that it is valuable to be shared even outside of your group of conference attendees only,” he explains. According to Rudi, the best way to do this is to align your social media strategy with the objectives of your event. “Make sure your social media further drives the outcomes of your event and engages and connects people outside of your event to your actual event and attendees,” he suggests.

Engage with everyone on your platforms

Engaging with everyone on your social media platforms is key to creating a future audience and potentially future attendees to your event, Rudi says. “Be sure to engage with everyone on your social media platforms across the board – and do so quickly. Have a social media team at your event that is tasked with loading content, keeping it up to date, vetting comments and conversations as well as answering and responding to comments and queries swiftly,” he says, adding that it is also important to ensure that your social media content remains relevant to the topics and objectives of your event.

Give additional exposure to sponsors and stakeholders

Last but not least, Rudi says you should utilise your social media tools to give additional exposue to sponsors and stakeholders. “Be sure to measure all your social media activities and have your social media team compile a post-event report with return on investment (ROI) calculations as well as statistics regarding reach, impressions and so on,” he says. Rudi explains that this creates a very good value document for your sponsors and clients, plus it allows you to have proven return calculations when going on the search for sponsors and attendees for your next event – when part of a series or when pitching to future clients. Rudi says the key is always ROI in whatever way, shape or form it can be measured and justified to stakeholders. “However, the ultimate return calculation remains how you measured up in terms of meeting the objectives of your event,” he concludes.

by Candice May