Social Media and Event Planning for Sport & Leisure

Hosting an event is a sure-fire way of increasing your organisation’s profile, increasing participation, and potentially creating a new revenue stream.  

But they aren’t always easy to get right. 

There is a whole host of factors that go into the smooth running of an event, but one that is becoming increasingly important is the use of social media – before, during, and after your event.  

Social media is a necessary tool in selling and driving engagement, and Welsh Sports Association (WSA) in conjunction with partners Watkin Davies have laid out how to utilise it to its full advantage.

Planning for Before an Event in Sport & Leisure

Utilise email marketing

Whilst social media can be missed amongst a sea of other posts, email marketing is effective in communicating directly to the intended audience. Prior to the event, send out an email to your prospective and confirmed attendees with the agenda, bios of confirmed speakers and other essential content. It may be helpful to include travel information, available accommodation nearby and, if it’s over a few days, the best places to eat and visit outside the event. 

Generate a buzz  

Make sure you post about your event with the aim of generating interest and anticipation amongst attendees. Use online countdowns, record preparations behind the scenes and share relevant GIFs and memes. Ask your speakers and sponsors to share your posts or provide them with images and content they can post themselves. This means your event will reach a much wider audience with minimal effort. 

Post highlights from previous events 

If you’ve held previous successful events, post images, videos and highlights from these to increase anticipation for your current event. 

Make sure you’re all set up 

Logistics are a critical component to the smooth-running of any event, so it’s important to ensure that your technical systems are all in place for optimal efficiency during what can be a stressful few hours.  

WSA partners Sport:80 can help you in that regard, having developed into the UK’s leading sports business management technology provider since their foundation in 2012. 

They can provide services relating to event entry and management, CRM, data management and reporting, payments and financial management – among a whole range of other resources. 

Planning for During an Event in Sport & Leisure

Think about your livestreaming options 

You may never have even thought about the possibility of broadcasting competitions, tournaments or matches (or whatever you might be putting on), but WSA partners Joymo allow organisations to livestream their own events, sell tickets to those events, and make money in the process.  

You can create content with high end production, monetise your content, and stream on a safe and secure platform where you are in control of your data and advertising placements. 

It’s a fantastic cost-effective tool – with preferential deals granted to WSA members – to take grassroots level sport to the next level, drive interest and engagement, and facilitate real progress in your organisation. 

Consider using a live Twitter screen 

If you have the resources available, it’s a great idea to display a live Twitter screen for your audience which shows in real-time the tweets which are being posted about your event throughout the day. 

Appoint a designated poster 

Get a willing volunteer from your business to be your official ‘poster’; someone who will be sharing live updates throughout the day across your social media platforms. Take note that Twitter is invaluable for this.  Share quotes from your speakers, record notable moments and share images of your attendees having a whale of a time. You could even live stream key moments of your event to engage with those who couldn’t attend. 

Your designated poster should also interact with others who are tweeting about your event by liking, sharing and retweeting their posts. 

Post polls and surveys 

Engage with your audience throughout the event on social media. Set up quick polls such as “Best speaker moment” or “Favourite ice cream topping”. Keep these relevant to what’s being said during the event, so they resonate immediately with your audience and create a sense of community throughout the day. 

Shout your hashtag loud and proud 

Create a hashtag for your event and make sure that all your attendees know it. Ask them to use your hashtag for every post, image and video they share. 

Run a competition 

A sure-fire way to get your audience aboard the hashtag train is to offer an incentive, for example; the best post including your hashtag wins a prize at the end of the event. 

Give your crowd something to share 

Set up a social media station for your audience. Whether you provide a fun photo booth emblazoned with your logo, a giant photo frame, a witty banner or something else, it’s a good move to give your crowd something original to post about. 

Planning for After an Event in Sport & Leisure

Thank your attendees 

Make sure you thank all your attendees shortly after the event, your gratitude will go a long way and all going well, it should encourage a number of positive responses from attendees. 

Share the best moments 

Whilst avoiding bombarding your social media, keep the momentum going after your event by compiling and sharing your best images and videos taken throughout the day. 

WSA partners Watkin Davies are here to support your organisation when it comes to running events and the insurance policies you need to put in place. To speak to the experts able to assist you at Watkin Davies, call 02920 626 226 or visit their website – here.  

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