Tag Archives: facebook

The Best Posts in March 2013 on @EventMB

March is usually filled with great content and excitement – March 2013 was no different. Plenty of action on the blog and useful content.

For those who missed out. Here is our monthly recap of the most shared and read post over the last 30 days.

The Best Posts in March 2013

1. The Hashtag Revolution

Rumor has it that Facebook is introducing hashtags. This article gives you a brief overview of what hashtags are and how to use them properly.

2. Event Startups: Keep an Eye on These Up-and-Comers

Here at EMBlog we love event startups. This is our latest round up of the rising stars in event tech.

3. How to Ensure Speakers Diversity at Your Conference

Ensuring diversity in your speaker line up is a tricky one. Hopefully this calculator will help.

4. Event Discovery Is on Fire

There is a new breed of apps helping attendees to find an event near them. Here is how to make sure they find your event.

5. How Technology Creates the Time to Be Creative

Awesome guest post by William Thomson on the upcoming Event Tech Circus and how he planned it using technology.

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If you are new around here, you can read the latest posts by subscribing to our RSS feed, via Email, on Twitter, Google+ or on Facebook.

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© Julius Solaris for , 2013. |
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The Hashtag Revolution

#Hashtag means Event on social networks.

This post is a tribute to the hashtag, featuring some little known facts, a good dose of news and some predictions of what role hashtags will play on social media in the upcoming future.


The reason why I am writing this post is the recent speculation that Facebook may introduce hashtags sooner than we think.

If this news will be confirmed, it will be good and bad news for the users. At the end of the day hashtags are a mix of the best and worst use you can do of my preferred social network, Twitter.

One thing for sure, it certainly will be good news for event professionals.

Hashtag, What?

So it all started with this tweet, from Chris Messina (co-founder of BarCamps and presently Google+ UX Designer):

There was a quest at the time to create groups on Twitter. It seemed like 100s of followers were too much to keep track of. Despite the initial idea of using it for groups, a new concept was born: identifying events.

Up until then, there was no way to quickly state what you were talking about on Twitter. If you, say, were attending an event called Conference234 and wanted to make a comment, in 2007 you’d tweet:

“I am at Conference234, and I am enjoying the speech by @tojulius”

after hashtags were introduced, you could easily write:

“Nice talk by @tojulius #conf234″

There is a heck of value in this change. First, the tweet is shorter. Find ways to shortening tweets has created standalone companies (see URL shorteners).

Second, when Twitter later decided to make hashtags clickable, they instantly became a promotional tools for events. In the above tweet, a third party could have clicked on #conf234 and learn more about the conference and who is attending.

Not All That Glitters Is Gold

So we have this amazing invention and the Interwebs embrace it. Great. Kinda.

Hashtags are almost 6 years old and they grew up not without controversy. To date they are the most hated and praised introduction of social networks.

Let me give you another example.

I am writing this at 10.51 am CET. Right now Worldwide trending topic (ie the most tweeted subject) is #LokiPayneFollowMe.

We are talking about fans of boyband 1Direction, asking the dog of one of the band members, named Loki, to follow them or in some cases stating they’ve actually been followed by the dog. Needless to comment all of the above.

But once again hashtags like #Egypt in 2011 were instrumental in creating awareness about the Arab Spring revolution.

Same goes for events.

Sometimes event hashtags are used to share valuable information, pictures and videos. Some other times hashtags are used for twomiting.

After all hashtags are just tools, they can be used for the good, the bad and the ugly.

Google+, Pinterest and Instagram

Despite hashtags have been a Twitter thing for a while, newborn social networks adopted them instantly.

Instagram is a great example of that. Hashtags have been present from early days on this platform. Users immediately understood how to use them. As in fact most Instagramers like to share their pics on Twitter, adding hashtags on Instagram works seamlessly and that is super cool.

Same goes for Google+ (obviously, as the inventor of hashtags now works on it). Hashtags were imminently added to the platform. Using hashtags in Google+ updates is seen as a very powerful way to help Google Search identifying relevancy with keywords.

Pinterest was another very powerful network to immediately embrace the pound sign as a way to categorize pins.

The cases of Pinterest and Instagram are quite obvious as they used Twitter login as one of the key drivers to grow subscriptions, therefore an immediate integration was quite expectable.

It is more surprising in Google+’ example, as it was born (and it still is) a standalone and non-integrated social network.


Two days ago, Flickr joined the party and added hashtags to its iOS application.

It is still a very basic addition. For the time being it translates into being able to search relevant pictures. And it is limited to the app.

In fact the main site is still hashtag free (nerd explanation: existing hashtags used as Flickr tags are not clickable).

This was a reaction to the real news we heard this week…

Facebook Introduces Hashtags

First of all this is just speculations. Nonetheless, it has been suggested by the Wall Street Journal, therefore it comes with a bit of authority.

I don’t usually like to comment on speculations, but indeed this could potentially be significant for the event industry. Let me tell you why.

The largest impact will be in terms of event discovery, hence promotion.

If in fact Facebook Updates (not counting tweets or Instagram photos sent via FB) feature clickable hashtags, your event will be immediately discoverable by a few hundred million users more than what we can count on today.

If you compute that into the opportunities coming from the upcoming Graph Search, the introduction will impact on most online practices of the rest of us.

Your Hashtag Strategy

As event professionals we have an advantage. Our product is an hashtag by definition. Hashtags have become a way to define an event in the making, a dynamic action. They are not great for static products or services.

Having an hashtag strategy will be the primary concern of event marketers in 2014.

Why? Well, looking at the information above it appears quite obvious. If you pick an hashtag and you define a wise use of it, then it will pretty much spread the word about your event across the whole Web.

It’s the universal currency in our fragmented social media world.

There will be no other action, text or element so universally accepted online. While in fact some social networks may decide to make a link clickable or not, hashtags will indeed be clickable almost everywhere.

The benefits will be also tangible for measurement. If in fact you like to measure your social media efforts (and I hope you do), setting up a universal hashtag will help you to fetch rich information from across the Web.

No wonder why nowadays some event professionals pick an hashtag as the actual name of the event, rather than its social alias.

In Conclusion

The recent news of Facebook and Flickr joining the hashtag movement reinforces the importance of a correct use of “#”.

It looks like the pund sign will conquer the Internet and offer event professionals a simple tool to amplify and measure their event online.

Setting up a short and sweet hashtag and making it iconic will guarantee an instant presence on all social networks.

So how are you going to call your next event? ;-)

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© Julius Solaris for , 2013. |
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The Best Posts in February 2013 on @EventMB

It was a busy month. Welcome to the 10,000 new readers that stopped by in February. We hope you like it around here.

This month we talked Slideshare, Facebook and improving on the event atmosphere.

Honestly, I can’t think how you could miss such incredible flow of useful content.

Here is the roundup…

The Best Posts in February 2013

1. 10+ Awesome Presentations for Event Professionals

This article is a collection of the most useful knowledge about events in form of slides.

2. 10 Steps for Achieving the Perfect Atmosphere at Your Event

Great guest post with 10 ready to use tips to improve the atmosphere of your event.

3. Cultural Events and Social Media: A Powerful Match

This post looks at an interesting report, downloadable at the link, on how Social Media add value to noprofit and cultural events.

4. Facebook Testing “Buy Tickets” Feature for Events

Facebook is rolling out a new Buy Tickets feature. Here is what you need to know.

5. New Conference Roles: Enter IdeaDJs

For your monthly dose of inspiration, this post presents the Idea DJs, individuals capable of resuscitating the most boring conference.

Never Miss an Article Again!

If you are new around here, you can read the latest posts by subscribing to our RSS feed, via Email, on Twitter, Google+ or on Facebook.

If you wish to sponsor next month’s “Best of the Month” post on EMBlog, contact us.



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© Julius Solaris for , 2013. |
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Facebook Testing “Buy Tickets” Feature for Events

Multiple reports yesterday suggested that Facebook is testing a “Buy Tickets” for events button. Here are the potential implications for event planners and marketers.

Facebook buy tickets button

Yesterday, while I was enjoying my cup of coffee, I got completely blown away by some potentially disruptive news.

The largest social network on earth is testing a new feature that can potentially revolutionise the event startup ecosystem and event technology in general.

We don’t know much yet about what we can do with it, but for sure I can speculate a few scenarios that can impact the industry.

The News

First AllFacebook, then The Next Web broke the news.

Initially a social media agency vice president spotted the buttons and he took screenshots.

After a while new screenshots surfaced, only to discover that the feature is actually live in the Netherlands. Check it out yourself here.

Facebook Event Tickets

How Does It Work?

Apparently the way Facebook is testing the service makes us think of the average affiliate model:

User clicks on “Buy Tickets” -> User is redirected to the Ticketing Platform -> User Purchases the ticket.

It looks quite simple at a first glance, or does it?

Truth is that there are a several considerations intervening in this process.

Some Scenarios

Allow me to speculate on some of the potential scenarios and implications for both event planners and ticketing event startups.

1. Facebook is about to acquire a ticketing startup.
Potentially a large one to then capitalize on ticket sales. Event ticketing is one of the most successful event startups concepts. The first startups who began to operate with event ticketing are now large companies. The level of saturation in the market is incredible. If Facebook steps into the game, they will have an enormous competitive advantage.

In this perspective, the current affiliation model is just a way to prove the concept.

2. Facebook is developing partnerships with some ticketing providers.
In the above example the partner is Ticketmaster. If Facebook picks just a few partners, it will be a big shake to online event ticketing. A likely scenario is that those who manage to get an agreement with Facebook will be a step ahead of the competition. Big times.

Facebook has a history of collaborating with a few ticketing companies, therefore this scenario is not unlikely.

Note that on some other examples (see this Dutch soccer/football team), the third party is the organizer of the event itself, therefore it may not be a ticketing provider-only deal.

3. Facebook is opening “Buy Tickets” to the rest of us. As you may or may not know Facebook is launching new buttons such as “Want“. “Buy Tickets” can potentially be the next button we’ll add to our site to let users purchase tickets via Facebook.

These of course are just speculations. Meaning that Facebook can decide to discard the feature all of a sudden. Given the behaviour of other social networks in regards to events this is not a remote possibility.

What Should You Do?

As an event professional, you should just be aware of this move. If this article was an email sent by a friend to your Inbox, it would have “FYI” as subject.

Truth is that I would closely watch those event ticketing providers who work together with Facebook. I would also monitor integrations we haven’t noticed before. Once again, this is just speculation, so handle it with care.

I would care about this development if Facebook represented an important player in my online marketing mix. Meaning that if you mostly sell tickets via Google Ads, this news may not necessarily have an impact on your event.

One thing for sure, exciting times ahead!

Photo by Viktor Hertz

© Julius Solaris for , 2013. |
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