by Matt Alderton | November 10, 2013
Most event planners know: Social media is a great tool with which to promote your event. What many may not realize, however, is that it’s also a great tool with which to improve your event, suggests Successful Meetings contributing editor Agatha Gilmore.
According to Gilmore, event planners that monitor social media — and respond to attendee criticism in real time — are well positioned to overcome challenges, and therefore execute successful events.

“All the experts agree: The most critical part of any social media strategy is real-time response. Addressing complaints right away often prevents them from snowballing into full-fledged meltdowns involving multiple attendees,” says Gilmore, who cites an example from Melissa Van Dyke, president of the Incentive Research Foundation. “Van Dyke recalls an incident at an event where the venue brought in food trucks with different culinary offerings; some of the trucks were extremely popular and, as a result, became overwhelmed by the demand. Lines began to form and attendees began to tweet about how they couldn’t get the food they wanted because of the crowds. Van Dyke says the company hosting the event was monitoring its Twitter feed, saw these comments, and supplemented those food trucks with more stations, so the next break ran much more smoothly.”

Van Dyke’s anecdote is proof: Social media isn’t just for marketing your event. It’s also can be useful in the course of executing it.

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