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Social Best Practices for Events and Conferences


February 11, 2015 - 5 Comments

Tradeshows and events are practically synonymous with the technology industry – after all our industry produces some of the largest ones in the world. Whether it’s unveiling new products or participating in keynote sessions, today’s conference experience does not begin and end on the show room floor.

Rather, social media is the heartbeat of the event – shaping how attendees, partners, influencers and customers experience the show in real-time.

In my role at Cisco, I’ve seen first hand how the power of social media can drive the tradeshow experience. Whether it’s hosting a tradeshow, such as Cisco Live, or participating in an industry event, here are some social media best practices to consider as you prepare for your next show:

Social in Command

In 2013, we debuted the Cisco Live Social Media Hub – the first-of-its-kind social command center. The Social Media Hub not only monitors and reports on event and industry conversations, but also offers deep insights into how in-person attendees and external audience members engage before, during and after with the show.

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For example, since the Hub is staffed with social media engagement experts, graphic designers, analytics specialists and logistics personnel, we can capture real-time data trends and use the insights to guide the development of engaging content and socially shared graphics.

The results have been nothing short of astounding:

  • On average, the number of impressions generated per day during Cisco Live US 2014 (#CLUS) totaled nearly 59 million.
  • Comparing the use of #CLUS in 2013 vs. 2014: #CLUS was used 35,500 times in 2013 and 47,365 times in 2014; an increase of over 33% year-over-year.
  • Two Cisco executives Trended NATIONALLY on Twitter during their keynote with the high volume of social engagement; all organic – no paid.

Recently, we have begun rolling out localized versions of the Hub to support other Cisco Live events around the world, such as Cisco Live Melbourne (#CLMel) in March. Although smaller in scale, the localized versions pack a serious social punch – bringing participants closer to the action than ever before.

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Stealing the Social Show

It might be easy for Cisco to be front and center in social conversations at our own events, but how can we rise above the noise and make a social impact at some of the largest tech tradeshows around the globe, such as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and Mobile World Congress (MWC)?

Our teams have seen stellar results from engaging live-tweets, the development of real-time content creation, such as videos and graphics for social sharing and more.

For example, as a result of our social media efforts at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Cisco received a total of 4,002 conversations, with an estimated 13.8 million impressions! These figures support the fact that strategic and insightful social content can help brands stay top-of-mind in a highly-competitive social environment.

Stay tuned as I share more social media best practices in future posts. In the meantime, be sure to leave a comment and share your thoughts about what makes social media a success at tradeshows and events.



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5 Comments

  1. Good read on tradeshow space

  2. We don't currently offer a "how-to" guide specifically for events, but we do offer some on-demand social media training courses and a social media playbook that may be of interest to you. You can visit the URL below to access our Social Media Training site which offers a variety of resources for social media and marketing professionals. http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/social

  3. Do you offer a how-to manual or guide that your staff uses for covering live events?

  4. Thanks Carmen! Yes, we've used single screen displays and kiosks at smaller events. It helps us stay engaged with our audiences and encourages them to interact with us online. We also encourage our Cisco Champions and Employee Social Ambassadors to be social on our behalf. They get involved by sharing real-time content, live tweeting, and writing blogs. I think the important thing is to first establish your goals for the event, then consider how social media can be used to help you achieve that goal. Maybe I can cover more tips for smaller events in a future blog. :)

  5. Love the command center! Makes a difference for those big events. Curious if you have any tips for smaller events? I prefer to encourage folks at those smaller events to be the social on our behalf. :)