Yesterday we celebrated our second year with our Music & Technology Festival here in Indianapolis. The event is a day of celebration to for the tech sector (and anyone else) to take a break and listen to some amazing bands. All of the proceeds go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in memory of my father who lost his battle a year and a half ago to AML Leukemia.
With 8 bands, a DJ, and a Comedian, there's truly only one place online to market and communicate with prospects, friends, fans, event staff, and attendees… Facebook. The fact that I could share videos and photos, tag groups and sponsors, and then promote the bands and sponsors of the event and bring them all together in a single place is just too simple. Add Facebook advertising, and we were able to expand the reach of our event significantly.
While I site had information, it's hardly going to be a thriving community like Facebook is. We often get asked by companies on whether or not they should develop a community on their site and I explain how difficult it is. People don't center their lives around a product, service, brand… or event. This event was just one piece of a supporter's weekend and that's where Facebook is a perfect fit.
If I had a couple wishes for Facebook Events, they would be:
- Allow ticket sales – we worked through Eventbrite for our sales but that still meant there was a huge disconnect between the number of folks that said they were going and the people that actually purchased tickets. How could would it be if I could have handled ticket purchases, ticket discounts, and even ticket purchases for groups via Facebook?
- Tag Events in Photos and Video – let's face it, we're all too busy to hashtag every comment, photo, or video for an event. Wouldn't it be great if Facebook allowed you to not only tag the venue and people… but how about the event itself? Leave it to the administrator to approve or remove the tag like you would on a Facebook Page tag.
- Allow Email Exports or Marketing – Now that I had the event… how do I go back and invite people to next year? Seems kind of dumb but when I export the guest list, I just get a list of names. How does that help me?
- Unlimited Invites – I set up a few administrators for the event and all of us eventually hit a limit on the number of invitations we sent out, even though each person only got invited once. These are folks that are friends of mine or following me… why would you limit the reach of Event invitations like this?
If I had those options, I'm honestly not even sure if I would build out an event site or use a ticketing system.
We used Twitter and Instagram as well, but some of the bands didn't have Twitter accounts and others weren't monitoring Twitter or Instagram. But everyone was on Facebook before, during, and after the event. Let's face it – Facebook Events are the only game in town.