Social Influencers Can Help Promote Your Event

Blog > Trends

Social Influencers Can Help Promote Your Event

By Mariska Kesteloo | Oct 22, 2018

Ideas are born from frustation, and that’s the reason that I started my company.

Working as a freelance event professional, I visited many fairs and exhibtions where I talked with different hotels, venues and DMCs. When I asked, “Why should I organize an event in your hotel, venue or destination?” I received an answer like, “We have 500 rooms, 10,000 square meters of meeting space and we are a four-star property.” I can find facts online. Isn’t our industry all about creating amazing experiences and connecting (the right) people?

Tell me the story of your hotel. What is your unique selling point, how do you differentiate yourself and, more importantly, what is your target audience? One size doesn’t fit all. You can’t be an expert in all fields, right? How is it possible that in the 21st century we still use methods such as flyers, folders, leaflets and goodiebags? It’s time for a change.

Working in the travel industry for more than 10 years where so many bloggers and vloggers are active, I thought, can’t we use this medium in our B2B industry? Can we use the power of experts, people with a working experience in our sector, and let them tell the story in a creative, fun or unique way? It’s always better to be recommended than to promote yourself. It’s word of mouth using social media.

Testing the idea at IBTM in 2016, I discovered that my idea had potential, and in 2017 I started working full time. It’s been a huge challenge since then, because influencer marketing is like selling a different mindset. It’s a major shift that requires time and patience.

Our influencers are not selected based on their amount of followers, but on the quality of their networks and published content, as well as knowledge, background and relationships. The MICE industry is a very particular niche industry, and you have to be an insider to become an influencer. But influencers are not the ones who call your hotel for a free stay and dinner. They should be aligned with your strategy, your goals and mission. It’s an intense process to find and connect the right person who can create and spread the story of your product and service in an authentic way.

Paid Influencers

Influencer is a paid job. Some influencers work up to two days per week during the length of a campaign, which is at least six months. More important than posting and creating content is scouting competitors and keeping up with trends. Influencers are the online eyes and ears of your company, especially if you don’t have an entire social media team.

Influencer marketing has huge potential in the meeting industry, and we have not used this medium to its full potential. We have plenty of opportunities to invite, attract and involve influencers in many different scenarios. For example, you could invite influencers backstage at a major event and ask them to cover the story from their point of view, or involve them from the creation phase of a conference to give them an insight into the foundations.

You need to start sharing your story and telling your online followers why they should come to your hotel, destination or event. Think of the ice-bucket challenge and the impact this simple action had. Imagine if you could do something similar with your company. User-generated content, real opinions and stories matter. An influencer can tell your story, show your potential and talk about your unique selling points.

Last but not least: It’s not just lead generation; it’s more powerful to focus on your core values, your message, your goals and your strategy. This can be increasing your visibility, awareness, reputation and much more. Do you have a new airline coming to your destination, refurbished hotel rooms or a new chef? Or perhaps your destination is suffering from a bad reputation. For every occasion you can use influencer marketing.

Conclusion

Besides, don’t forget that you can measure the impact of this campaign by analyzing the data. Have you reached your goals and the desired target audience? This is just part of the possible outcomes that will help you adapt your strategy and sales missions for the next year or quarter.

Influencer marketing can give you exposure during the entire year and not at one particular event. Use the full potential of influencer marketing now.

 

Author

Mariska Kesteloo
Mariska Kesteloo

Mariska Kesteloo is the founder of Word of MICE, a public speaker and a past president of the MPI Belgium Chapter. Her company connects the MICE industry with the right social media influencer to tell the story of the suppliers in an authentic, creative and fun way within the right target audience.