Gone are the days of private events being hosted discreetly behind closed doors. The new way to capture clients at live events is not a private, exclusive event, but to have a happening in a public space. In particular, hosting your live event as a VIP experience in a public venue makes your attendees feel like they’re part of an exclusive group and creates a buzz on social media.

This is changing how live events succeed, and not many companies have caught on to this strategy. You can get ahead of the curve by considering this approach.

Choosing the Venue

The right venue can set the tone for your event, infusing it with energy that will amp up your attendee experience. There are so many options, such as the atrium of a conference center, poolside at a resort, in a velvet-roped section of a nightclub, or even a street party or public park. You’ll want to ensure that the event is secure, so only your invited guests are participating, but also that your party is visible – and visibly engaging.

Curating Pre-Event Buzz

Spread the word through multichannel marketing. That means promoting it on your website, in your social media posts, and in your newsletter; it also means creating a Facebook event and hashtags to engage attendees in advance. As you’d do with any event promotion, you want to build excitement by previewing the event and sharing just why someone wouldn’t want to miss it. This is also the time to follow-back your followers on Twitter and other social media tools, and to retweet/share posts talking about your event.

It’s Showtime!

Create the VIP experience while encouraging attendees to engage on social media. Make it feel exclusive and cool – the sort of event they’re going to want to post about on social media. You may want to have a velvet rope and exclusive entry process; a custom photo backdrop by the entry that features your event and sponsor logos as well as the hashtag; if there’s a possibility for screens, it’s great to broadcast tagged posts during the event, which can be aggregated later; live streaming video peeks on Periscope; and make sure that your team is posting and reposting throughout the event. You may want to consider having a few charging stations to keep your guests powered to buzz about it.

Keep the Energy Going

Aggregate those social media posts with a social wall – it’s a board of tweets, photos, and other tagged content that can be hosted on your website, or even Tumblr. Tag attendees in photos and follow back those who used the hashtag. Give them more ways to engage you, so that you’re cultivating and strengthening a sense of community and customer loyalty.

Want help having a socially-savvy social event? Drop us a line.