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How To Harness User-Generated Content In Hybrid Events

A group of people sitting at a long table, harnessing user-generated content.

As technology advances, so does our ability to interact and engage in social events.

Introducing hybrid events, which seamlessly integrate in-person and virtual experiences, has provided organizers with many chances to create dynamic, inclusive, and unique occasions.

As a result of this transition, the notion of user-generated content (UGC) has acquired tremendous traction in increasing attendee engagement and event success. This allows organizers to tap into their participants’ ingenuity and excitement, resulting in more participatory, memorable, and meaningful events. So, if you want to improve your services, keep reading to learn how to use it efficiently for maximum involvement.

Promote A Hashtag

To begin, marketing teams should create a captivating and readily identifiable hashtag primarily targeted to the subject or objective. This thread connects all UGC linked to the event, making it easy to follow and collect information from numerous social media sites. Encouraging attendees to utilize the hashtag while writing about their experiences might help people feel more connected, regardless of their actual location.

It should be included in all marketing communications, including email newsletters, websites, and promotional images. Encourage speakers, sponsors, and partners to use it in marketing. As the event approaches, use the hashtag in your postings to communicate with possible attendees and encourage others to do the same.

Display this prominently on screens throughout the day in the physical venue and hybrid event platform. Remind guests regularly to use the hashtag when sharing their experiences, insights, or photos on social media. This constant reinforcement encourages active participation and increases the likelihood of user-generated content creation.

Contests & Challenges

These challenges can be adapted to the event’s theme or objectives, enabling attendees to exhibit their creativity and unique viewpoints. You might organize a picture or video contest to encourage guests to record and share their individual opinions on their experiences. 

Virtual participants can share their at-home settings or inventive methods of engaging with the information, while in-person attendees can capture moments at the actual site. This multifaceted approach to UGC improves the interaction and allows people unable to attend in person to engage and be a part of the story actively.

This can be boosted further by providing tempting rewards. Consider offering awards or recognizing the best contributions. Prizes might include souvenirs, free admission to future events, or private meet-and-greet sessions with keynote speakers or entertainers. Including a competitive aspect encourages attendees to submit material and interact with them on a deeper level.

User-Generated Sessions

These sessions might take many different shapes. You may hold lightning presentations in which participants are given a small amount of time to offer their views, experiences, or new ideas around the topic. This not only stimulates knowledge-sharing but also shows the range of viewpoints within the audience, making the event more enriching for everybody participating.

To involve remote attendees even more actively, you can facilitate virtual breakout rooms, where smaller groups can hold discussions on specific sub-topics related to the conference. This can then culminate in a collaborative summary or presentation that can be shared with a larger audience, fostering collaboration and community-building.

Crowdsourced Content

Contributions from attendees can be submitted. These might be event-specific applications, online forms, or interactive polls. Could you thoroughly discuss the crowdsourcing project beforehand so that participants have time to consider their ideas and prepare their responses?

Form a team or committee to examine and curate the information as entries arrive. This group should thoroughly evaluate all ideas, considering their practicality, relevance to the goals, and possible influence on the overall experience. Involving essential stakeholders in this process can also give valuable insights and aid in making sound judgments.

Moderation & Curation

Could you set explicit criteria and procedures for UGC contributions to begin? These should specify what sort of content is permitted and what is not. They should address possible concerns, including foul language, sensitive subjects, and any other information that may be inappropriate for the event’s audience. Communicate these to all in-person and virtual participants, and make them readily available on specified platforms and websites.

Investing in a moderation team or using moderation tools can help to review and filter incoming UGC efficiently. Depending on the scale and the volume of content generated, a dedicated team of specialized software can significantly aid in the process. The team should be well-trained and familiar with the guidelines to make accurate decisions promptly.

Leveraging Technology for UGC

To make the most out of user-generated content, it’s essential to leverage technology. There are various platforms available that can help you collect, curate, and display UGC effectively. These platforms can help you manage the influx of content, filter out inappropriate or irrelevant posts, and highlight the most engaging and relevant content. Some popular UGC platforms include Taggbox, Pixlee, Stackla, Flockler, and Tint. These tools can help you create a live UGC social wall for your event, which can be displayed on screens at the venue or integrated into your virtual event platform.

Benefits of UGC in Hybrid Events

Incorporating UGC into your hybrid events can bring numerous benefits. Firstly, it can significantly increase audience engagement. By encouraging attendees to share their experiences and thoughts, you’re fostering a sense of community and making them feel more involved in the event. Secondly, UGC can serve as social proof, enhancing your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness. Seeing real people share their positive experiences can influence others to view your event more favorably.

Thirdly, UGC can help increase conversions. Whether your goal is to sell tickets to future events, promote a product, or encourage sign-ups, UGC can be a powerful tool in driving these conversions. Fourthly, UGC can help reduce marketing costs. Instead of investing heavily in content creation, you can leverage the content created by your attendees. Lastly, UGC can enhance your brand presence on social media. By promoting the UGC shared by your attendees on your brand’s social media channels, you can reach a wider audience and increase your brand visibility.

Summary

Incorporating user-generated content (UGC) into hybrid events can significantly enhance the event experience. By leveraging technology, event organizers can effectively manage the influx of UGC, ensuring that the most relevant and engaging content is highlighted. UGC can bring numerous benefits to hybrid events, including increased audience engagement, enhanced brand credibility, increased conversions, reduced marketing costs, and improved brand visibility on social media. However, it’s crucial for event organizers to set clear guidelines for UGC contributions and invest in a moderation team to ensure that the content aligns with these guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is user-generated content for events?
User-generated content (UGC) for events refers to any content created by attendees, such as photos, videos, social media posts, blog posts, and reviews. This content can be used to enhance the event experience, increase engagement, and provide valuable insights for event organizers.

What are the benefits of using UGC in hybrid events?
Using UGC in hybrid events can increase audience engagement, serve as social proof, increase conversions, reduce marketing costs, and enhance brand presence on social media.

How can event organizers collect UGC?
Event organizers can collect UGC through various methods, such as encouraging attendees to share their experiences on social media using a specific hashtag, hosting contests or challenges, or using platforms that facilitate the collection and display of UGC.

What are some popular platforms for managing UGC?
Some popular platforms for managing UGC include Taggbox, Pixlee, Stackla, Flockler, and Tint. These platforms can help event organizers collect, curate, and display UGC effectively.

How can UGC be integrated into a hybrid event?
UGC can be integrated into a hybrid event in various ways. For example, it can be displayed on screens at the physical venue, incorporated into the virtual event platform, or used in marketing materials.

What is the role of a moderation team in managing UGC?
A moderation team plays a crucial role in managing UGC. They review and filter incoming UGC, ensuring that the content displayed is appropriate, relevant, and aligns with the event’s guidelines.

What are some effective strategies for promoting a hashtag for UGC collection?
Promoting a hashtag for UGC collection can be done through various strategies, such as including it in all marketing communications, encouraging speakers and partners to use it, and displaying it prominently during the event.

What are some examples of user-generated sessions that can be held at hybrid events?
User-generated sessions at hybrid events can take various forms, such as lightning presentations where attendees share their views or experiences, or virtual breakout rooms where small groups discuss specific topics.

What is crowdsourced content, and how can it be used in hybrid events?
Crowdsourced content refers to content that is submitted by attendees, such as ideas, feedback, or solutions to problems. This content can be used to enhance the event experience, foster collaboration, and provide valuable insights for event organizers.

What are some considerations when setting up guidelines for UGC contributions?
When setting up guidelines for UGC contributions, event organizers should specify what type of content is allowed, address potential issues such as inappropriate language or sensitive topics, and communicate these guidelines to all attendees.

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