Over the years of providing our Event Chat application to a wide range of organizations, we have really come to understand how powerful the benefits can be to organizations. I wanted to share what makes these event chats so compelling, especially what I have come to call the aftershock value.
First of all, let me first define terms. An event chat is a live event where the audience can submit questions that will be answered by a specific speaker. Event chats have been used by celebrities like Martha Stewart and Cesar Millan (The Dog Whisperer) to connect with fans. Additionally, event chats have been used by specialists like the home handyman at Boston.com or doctors at Cleveland Clinic to help to explain complex issues and educate audiences.
While the type of speaker for an event chat can vary, the benefits are typically the same. Obviously, there is the immediate benefit of directly engaging with the audience that attends the event. These individuals will feel a closer connection with your organization and a more personal connection with the presenter. Although this is a live event, I would argue that most of the marketing value happens after the event. First of all, there is an army of bloggers and reporters in the world now – if the event is well promoted, they will come to these events and ask their questions. These questions and answers will then be posted immediately in their own blog and reported in their respective publications. We have seen this PR aftershock with a wide range of clients from Martha Stewart to Estee Lauder. Typically the PR exposure following the event, far outweighs the actual attendance of the event.
Additionally, transcripts of the conversation are immediately available for publication following the live event. These serve two incredibly valuable purposes. First, you have new content for the site. As someone who has managed sites for 15 years, this in itself is gold! Second, if the initial conversation is managed correctly, it should be ripe with the keywords that fit into your site’s overall SEO strategy. One single event can then have considerable positive impact on an organization’s online goals.
I could go on and on about this – but let me add one last comment that live event chats should not be held in a social media vacuum. The audience is captive and the conversation should be kept going and led into a message board. Additionally, the speaker should have a blog that promotes this talk and follows up the discussion. If you would live to talk more about this – feel free to drop me a line: colin @ prospero.com.