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If you’re a small business or brand owner looking to promote an upcoming event, there’s a lot that you can learn from studying how Philly Tech Week – a week long celebration of all things tech in the city of Philadelphia – is using social media to promote its annual event. Philly Tech Week starts on April 27th and goes thru May 5th, but the event’s social media sites are already buzzing with information about what to expect. Here are just a few of the takeaways on event marketing from Philly Tech Week…
#1: Use a dedicated hashtag
The best hashtags are short, simple and easy to remember. Instead of coming up with a clumsy hashtag like #PhillyTechWeek2018, the event has streamlined it to just #PTW18. Since this is now the 8th annual iteration of the event, adding in “18” makes a world of sense. It ensures that people can find information from this year’s event only, not from previous events (i.e. #PTW17, #PTW16…). A short, five-character hashtag is also easy for folks to tweet out on a small mobile phone.
#2: Create both promo videos and recap videos for YouTube
There are two types of YouTube videos that you can create ahead of any event – the traditional promo video and the recap video. If you’re looking to get people to sign up, the recap video can be the more powerful option. A promo video tends to be big on buzz and hype, but a recap video shows you exactly who attended in previous years, as well as what types of events were held. Authenticity is the key. If you’re looking to sell tickets to events, a recap video really needs to be part of your marketing toolkit, and Philly Tech Week has created a very engaging recap video from its 2015 event.
#3: Give your sponsors some love
The main sponsor for Philly Tech Week is Comcast, but there are many smaller sponsors who are helping to make possible 100+ events spread out over 9 days. (Yes, “Tech Week” is actually “Tech Week and a Half”!) As a result, Philly Tech Week has been routinely featuring event sponsors on its Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as helping to highlight some of the big-name speakers who will be giving talks throughout the 9-day event. Sponsors are really the lifeblood of any event, and it’s important to keep them front and center on social media.
#4: Have fun with your Instagram account
When you first head over to Philly Tech Week’s Instagram feed, you might be a little puzzled by its appearance. The event has taken some creative liberties with the format of Instagram, transforming individual photos into much larger composite images. For example, Philly Tech Week used 9 different Instagram photos to help create a massive banner-type logo reading “#PTW18 Signature Event.” That’s just a reminder that you need to be creative when using social media. A little out-of-the-box thinking can really help to liven up your social feeds.
And, of course, it almost goes without saying that the cornerstone of any event marketing needs to be focused on the “social” in “social media.” So, while the theme of the event is on technology, Philly Tech Week does a great job of showing us the types of change agents, innovators and tech evangelists who are making Philadelphia such a vibrant tech hub.