There are ALWAYS events taking place in Zambia, whether it’s a political rally or a fashion show, but they don’t get the exposure they need except from a little hype ‘before’ and ‘after’ them. I think ‘during’ is a much better time to interact with people attending the event as well as those who aren’t, but in real time. So what do you need?
1. WiFi: This is like the 21st century law of techies. There just has to be free WiFi or atleast affordable coupons if you want to create a hotspot. It should be accessible enought to allow for tweets and posts to go out and create hype on social media. Your event has the power to engage people even on a global level. That way, your next event will already have enough popularity to be bigger the next time you hold it. Many might come solely for the free WiFi, but may be forced to participate, so it’s a risk you have to take for your own good.
2. A #Hashtag: A simple one too. We have seen how great the power of a hashtag is on social media to bring attention to an event, for example, there is a weekly online event on Twitter on Sundays called Insaka that uses the hashtag #Insaka, attracting Zambians from all over the world to take part in topics being discussed. It shouldn’t be too long, (e.g #ThisIsTooLongAHashtagForAnEvent), or too acronymous (e.g #TITLAHFAE), otherwise it may not show up as a suggestion for some users online depending on their device or application version, or they may get the acronym wrong, messing it up, and losing out on event participation.
3. Website: The typical Zambian spends quite a bit of time on the PC working and may drift from work to other sites. Depending on what events you hold, he/she may want to check what’s new so a website is a must-have, in addition to your social media pages. Most people are not social-media-active and would rather go to a website than Twitter or Facebook so make sure it’s always updated with upcoming events, or reviews of previous ones.
4. Charging Stations: The average smartphone battery last an average 2/3 hours so if your event will take longer than that or incase your guests do not come with fully charged batteries, make sure you have some charging stations around, (with someone watching over the phones ofcourse). This will help you achieve point (1.), to share the event with others on social media, boosting your popularity in turn.
5. Softcopy Files: If you have a website where attendants can register with their email addresses, perfect! All you have to do is email them important points about the event that you think they might want to have a copy of. For example, if you’re hosting a product launch, not everything said verbally is stored in a person’s memory or even fully understood so you can give detailed descriptions in written form. If not via website, then you have to manually transfer to their storage devices like USBs for them to get a copy.
I hope those points helped with your next event planning. You can’t avoid the technological parts, they will definitely help get your events where they deserve to be,i.e NOTICED!