The Social Media Strategy Behind CEA’s Big Event

The Consumer Electronics Association just announced several social media promotions it is sponsoring at its upcoming International Consumer Electronics Show to help attendees stay informed, engaged, and connected.

Looking to revamp your social media strategy—or just initiate one—at your events? Take a cue from the Consumer Electronics Association, which announced it is bringing back one successful past social media promotion and introducing a new one at its International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.

You have to keep things fresh.

“You have to keep things fresh,” said Tina Anthony, CEA social media manager. “I think there are certain things that attendees want to see year after year, but they also want to be surprised. They want to have a new thing to interact with and engage with.”

Back this year, CEA is sponsoring a Social Media Command Center—a sort of “newsroom on steroids” that gathers information from social media as well as from news articles, blog hits, stock prices, anything that has to do with the event’s hot topics, Anthony said. Attendees can walk up to one of the center’s touch screens, sort through topics of interest—such as 3-D printing, health tech, and wearable technology—and pull up a dashboard featuring all the information CEA is pushing out related to those topics.

And for the first time this year, CEA will sponsor a “social media vending machine”—an actual vending machine that will dispense T-shirts to attendees who issue it a tweet using the #CES2014 hashtag. Attendees seen wearing their shirt on the show floor may be approached to win a gift card, Anthony said.

“We were brainstorming another activation that we thought attendees would be excited about, and we found that a lot of them do like our merchandise—they like things with our CES branding on it—and we thought [the vending machine] would be a great way for them to get that but also push out more information on social.”

Social media promotions at events like CES are important because it is where attendees are, Anthony said. “All sorts of information from news to health—anything—comes out of Twitter, so we need to be there because news breaks at our show. We need to make sure we are as active on social media as the people attending and as the companies and the press that are attending.”

It’s also important to develop a genuine social media “voice” for your events, Anthony said.

“One of the most important things we’ve done is create a voice for our handle,” she said. “It’s very authentic and it relates well with our attendees.”

The Consumer Electronics Show's Social Media Command Center is making a comeback in 2014. (photo via CES' Facebook page)

Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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