Create Social Media Contests at Events using Mobile Apps

Posted by Matt Milloway on Dec 27, 2016

Mobile event apps with social media integration enable attendees to engage with hosts and colleagues from the palm of their hands. With social media playing such a big role in the lives of attendees, and mobile apps often serving as the must-have resource for meetings, conferences, and trade shows, it only makes sense to leverage this relationship to maximum benefit. 

Learn how creating social media contests at events using the accessibility and interactivity of mobile apps for iPhone, iPad and Android gives planners and organizers a great tool to engage attendees and incentivize even more sharing. 

Consider the Ideal Attendee and Contest Goals 

Is your audience full of tech-savvy millennials with Instagram and Snapchat accounts or older generations primarily focused on Facebook? Attendee preferences must dictate social media channels of choice and might affect contest dynamics; sharing photos for a scavenger hunt with various hashtags might be an exciting option for some crowds, but not others. Also, make sure to determine how much weight is placed on the sharing component. Should the contest spur attendees to share amongst their overall network or simply be contained to colleagues at the event? 

The goals of the contest ultimately determine its success. Is the contest generating engagement for the sake of attendee interaction or is there a big-picture plan such as enticing contestants to visit a sponsor, fill out a form, or download content? 

Develop Contest Policies and Timelines

While many event planners and organizers consider contests to be innocent fun, it’s best to let attendees know how their personal information is going to be used if they plan to post photos or other information on social media. Also make sure to comply with any laws surrounding contests and eligibility requirements. 

Consider the duration of a contest; pre-event contests to drum up anticipation are best scheduled no more than two to three weeks before the event. Contests spanning only a few days rarely get enough results, so consider week-long competitions at a minimum. 

For contests taking place at the event, consider an opposite approach where 1-2 hours competitions are continually promoted via push alerts and social media for ultimate excitement and buzz. Shorter contests work at the event because attendees are present and already engaged. 

The Role of Mobile Events Apps in Social Media Contests

Social media integration in mobile event apps places popular platforms in the hands of attendees without needing to leave the event experience. Consider a scenario where attendees find important speaker details, add sessions to their calendar, take notes for a future networking meeting, and check out trending event happenings on Twitter without leaving a single mobile app. 

event app gamification

Asking attendees to leave the event experience and participate in a social media contest through a Facebook or Twitter mobile app, for instance, adds an extra step and gives people less time to engage with sponsors, colleagues, and the event hosts.

Most social media contests require attendees to interact with others and engage in the event environment. Social media channels updated in real-time might display Tweets with a designated contest hashtag or perhaps a private Facebook page for contestants to post their status updates. Information about the contest, as well as tools or content to use during the competition, can be added to a designated section of the app. So too can contest results. 

Stay tuned for a future post detailing actionable contest examples to use in tandem with a mobile event app. 

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