Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Using Twitter For Marketing Part 2: Events

Continued from Part 1: Intro

I think Twitter offers some excellent opportunities for use during live events, during both short and long term fixtures. The longer the event, the more the Twitter conversation for the event could develop and evolve.

This idea of using Twitter for events is not a new one. At the South by Southwest conference earlier in the year, two 60 inch screens were placed in conference hallways, streaming tweets to the participants. Reportedly, many conference-goers started to keep tabs on each other, and helped each other keep up with the best things going on at the conference. Panelists and speakers also mentioned the service. This helped create the buzz that has now spread far and wide, all the way to Australia and New Zealand in fact.

It strikes me that this kind of process could be repeated at other events around the world. Twitter, and other services like it, could be used to engage a group of people in conversations at specific events. It could also be used by people who can't be at the event but want to get an impression of what's going on there. Incidently, I've noticed that MIX07 in Las Vegas has a Twitter profile with around 300 'friends' and 'followers'. It'll be interesting to get people's impressions from that event.

At twittered events, organisers could notify participants of particular features, promotions and important announcements. This could certainly apply for many different kinds of events, not just conferences. Being from sydney, I can imagine what it might have been like during the huge, multi-venue, multi-day phenomenon that is the Olympic Games. Will we see twittering at Beijing in 2008? It could also be fun and useful at events such as cricket and football matches, or at any other significant sporting events for that matter. A Twitter timeline, or animated Twitter map could also be displayed on screens at events, although that might just be asking for trouble at some sporting events.

Here in Oz, Australian Fashion week is in full swing at the moment. I've noticed that News.com.au (News Limited) has started twittering for this event. The Fashion and Style editor is the twitterer. The ozFashionWeek profile doesn't actually have much of a following at present, but it's not being significantly promoted as far as I can ascertain (someone please correct me if I'm wrong). It might have been a last minute inclusion. I did find one feed and a link on the site here, under the title Hot Goss.

At this early stage, I'd say they might want to give a bit of an explanation of what Twitter does, if they really want people to join-up and follow the action. It's unlikely that many people visiting that page would already know what it's all about. I think we have to remember that there has been a tipping point for Twitter amongst bloggers and some social networkers, but it hasn't gone mainstream quite yet, not by a long shot. That's being pretty critical though, at least someone at News has had to foresight to give it a go at this stage - huge points for that. It's the first experiment of its kind here as far as I know (again, please correct me if I'm wrong), and experimentation should be encouraged and commended as far as I'm concerned.

Twitter could also be used at large music festivals such as The Big Day Out and Good Vibrations, or at any other festival for that matter. The possibilities for using this kind of service in locations where reasonable numbers of people gather are numerous. I'm sure we'll start to see much more of it. If Twittter doesn't survive, no doubt there will be a service with similar features that does emerge, survive and thrive.

If anyone knows of any current or past examples of Twitter being used during an event, please leave a comment, I'd love to know about it.

Part 3 to follow..


Cheryl said...

Great article - this is what I actually see as the great use of twitter. I think it's great for things like SXSW where I could meet up with people for lunch, or find out what sessions they were in.

I'm really liking the updates from Fashion week and I love the corporate use of twitter for an event. Interestingly, Henry Rollins is also on twitter, and whilst I can't stand him, I think it's really interesting use from a celebrity as most fans would be interested in the minutae of his life, and it makes him more "accessible" to regular people.

jj said...

Thanks Cheryl. Yep, I'm going to talk about the possibilities of Celbs and other people in the public eye using it soon. You read my mind :)

Can you imagine how many people would sign up and follow a famous film director, actor or sports star for example. It seems that some US politicians are already trying it too.