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World PCO Alliance Revolutionize the Use of Social Media on Congresses

WPCOA has together with one of the leading online and digital consulting companies, Seismonaut, developed new standards for the use of social media in connection with congresses. Initiated by their Danish partner, this project is to be evolved across the Alliance. Per Ankaer, the Danish President of WPCOA said: “It is no longer enough to have a Facebook or Twitter account for conferences. It is important to look at the whole picture and create an online media strategy with set goals for target groups and the measurement of results.”

Today it is of significant importance to create a coherent digital presence for a Congress. The purpose is to ensure an optimal marketing mix and outreach via all relevant digital platforms, to provide support enhancing the access to information for all stakeholders involved, to feed news, to create networks and to share knowledge before, during and after the Congress.

Before the Congress it is mainly about delegate boosting and to a certain extend attracting exhibitors. During the Congress you may strengthen the experience via digital platforms and as most participants today have mobile devices this may be an easy and inexpensive tool to support the scientific, practical and social content of the Congress. After the Congress it is of great value to extend the engagement of the participants by making use of the content of the Congress. This is an excellent possibility to extend the life cycle of the Congress and may even generate extra revenue for the congress or the organizing body.

However, this requires detailed planning and dedicated resources to guarantee the success of social media marketing. It is also important to choose the right social media for each target group and to serve the purpose.

Before the Congress, more online services such as “Conferize” provides the opportunity to market the Congress via their platform and to make other services available as well. A presence via these services can extend the visibility of the Congress during the promotion stage. For practical or general information e-mail blasts are still a strong and effective tool. Closer to the Congress this can be complemented with Linkedin,

Facebook, Twitter and other platforms used in certain geographical regions. For the scientific marketing a LinkedIn group may be set up where participants and speakers can interact, and also attract more participants via the social marketing value of the professional network of individuals.

Twitter is a powerful tool to announce scientific updates and changes in the programme as well as other relevant immediate information. The official created hashtags also makes it easy for all participants to follow the communication during the Congress. For both the scientific and social interaction, Facebook most probably remains to be the ideal forum for communication.

During the sessions, Twitter is maybe the most convenient tool, and can also be used for real time gathering of questions in Q&A sessions. Live streaming, web casting or distribution of scientific outcome is also of highest value when making best use of social media platforms.

WPCOA is a co-operation between 20 of the leading Conference Organizers globally: www.worldpco.org