How to Make Your Event’s Social Network Easy to Join
For some attendees, the registration process for your event social network is the equivalent of climbing a steep rock face. It appears impossible.
You ask them to go to some website that they have never heard of – register for a username and password, enter some personal information, wait for an email verification, click a link to validate the email address, fill out a profile, upload a picture (after they find a descent one), etc.
For some people this is a hassle that they don’t want. And while YOU argue that the benefits of joining are worth it – they argue that it is too hard, has too many steps and takes too much time.
It doesn’t have to be this way. It doesn’t have to be this hard.
Here are some simple ways for you to make it easy for attendees to join your event social network.
1. Integrate with Your Registration System
By integrating your event social network with your registration system, joining your social network becomes one small step in the process of registering for the event. You catch attendees while they are thinking about the event. Plus, you can automatically load some of the data into their profiles for them.
“We saw our adoption numbers leap when we integrated with the registration systems. Completions of the final registration page, which asks people to join the community, jumped, catching people in the work flow and addressing their needs when they were already thinking about them.” – Jordan Schwartz, Pathable
2. Use Facebook Connect or Twitter for Login
All of us have too many login ids and passwords to remember. The one for your event social network is just another problem for your participant.
One thing that you can do is choose an event social networking platform that allows your participants to login with their Facebook, TwitterID or OpenID. This secure login allows people to connect to your event social network without needing to remember another login ID and password.
“We allow login via Facebook, Twitter, and OpenID. That way attendees don’t need to create and remember another password.” – Tony Stubblebine, Crowdvine
3. Populate Profile Information From Other Social Sites
The more information that is included in a participant profile, the better it is for networking. However, it can be a nuisance to have to retype all of that information and upload pictures, etc.
You can save your attendees time and energy by allowing them to connect to their Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Flickr and blog accounts and automatically populate information into their profile. While you are at it – why not setup your social network to pull profile pictures from one of these sites?
“We actually automatically pull in pictures from LinkedIn, Facebook, & Twitter for you to select and use as your profile picture.” – Rob Johnson, Eventvue
4. Automatically Reconnect Friends, Contacts and Peeps
Another nuisance for attendees is going through the participant list to make connections with their existing friends or contacts that are also attending your event.
To save them time, you can setup your event social network to do “third party address import” (there has to be a sexier name than this) and automatically reconnect all of their friends. Essentially it means can attendees find which of their Linked-in, Facebook, MSN, Google and Yahoo contacts are attending this event. Sometimes, the process is simpler than others.
“The user can click one button and pull in their friends from facebook and Twitter who are also attending the event they are attending. Why rebuild your connections when you can carry them over?” – Clinton Bonner, The Social Collective
5. Hook my Flickr up to my Twitter and Facebook it!
Some of your participants are going to have accounts on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, and many, many other social websites. They may want to integrate their social presence from these other sites into your event social network.
To help them, setup your event social network to include their Blog posts, Flickr photos, tweets from twitter, status updates, etc. from these other sites.
You want your event social network to be a communication hub for your event before and after the event. You want attendees to spend time networking, sharing ideas, connecting with other attendees and discussing hot topics.
The easier it is to join your event social network – the more attendees will do it. So, work with your technology vendor to make your social network as easy as possible to join.
Is it easy to join your event social network? or is it like climbing a mountain?
photo credit: jimbowen0306