Updated: Jan 23
I'm sharing 5 things I learnt while hosting 10 events
At the beginning of 2019, I applied to become a LinkedIn Local host and was automatically paired with the Spanish speaking group for the introductory meeting. After requesting to change my default language the meeting was rescheduled and I was placed in the North American session at 8 pm a few days later. Little did I know that was going to be one of the last video calls with potential hosts as LinkedIn would take over the hashtag a few months later. Regardless, I got to meet the trailblazer Anna Mcafee who informed me that I was going to be the first host from the Caribbean which I believed has fuelled my approach to the movement ever since.
I can’t remember where I saw the link to apply for LinkedIn Events, but I applied and on the 29th of April 2019, I became a Beta User. Since then I’ve posted four events with an average of 90 persons per event, across Trinidad and Barbados, confirming their attendance via a click. There are rumours that they will be releasing it soon to the general public, so here are some tips from what I’ve learnt;
Fill in the Blanks
Information about your event is very limited but specific. The name of the event, location, hashtag and description are mandatory details, and you can add more information based on the format given by LinkedIn. They are still making changes based on feedback, so I’ve experienced the addition of a toggle for Private and Public events. One very important thing to note, once you’ve chosen to make the event Public you cannot change it and vice versa for Private.
Permission to kill the Share Button
Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn does not automatically notify your audience that you have a new event. They give you a Share feature that is pre-filled with the following text “Excited to organize *Name of your event* in *location*! Anyone interested in attending? #yourhashtag”. You can easily post on LinkedIn groups, your profile and Twitter feed straight from the event page. I found success in inviting connections, which have been recently upgraded to include the filter option for location, company and school. This may change over time as the popularity of the tool increases the value of being notified of a new event diminishes.
Humans do not Read
The layout is simple, and the fields are great to share insight on what to expect, in addition, the About this event section gives you an opportunity to elaborate on the value your event will bring. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough because people don’t read. It doesn’t make sense kicking up a fuss and complaining because it’s a trend that I’ve noticed across platforms and industries, you’re better off being proactive and head to the next point.
Engage the hell out of your Attendees
When you click ‘yes, I’m attending’ to an event, are you really going to show up? This question gets trickier when there is no payment involved and leaving your office to head anywhere else but home just seems unappealing. That’s why content that shows value is extremely important to share on your event page. The layout is like your LinkedIn profile with image, video and document options that you can share solely with attendees. It will not show up outside of the event page.
Don’t rely on LinkedIn Events
I must go into Digital Marketing Consultant mode and share some insight from an ROI Perspective, please do not gamble all your time on LinkedIn. This platform has done wonders for my business and I will always encourage all professionals to be active to expand your network. I’ve also been lucky with having Beta access which makes my experience unique because once everyone has the tool, your notifications will become unique as a Facebook post. What you need is a long-term goal that includes LinkedIn which will take the audience beyond social media and help you build your brand without wasting time and money.
I can confidently admit that #LinkedinLocalTrinidad and #LinkedinLocalBarbados would not be as popular without the Linkedin Events tool. Without a doubt, it’s awesome to be from tiny Trinidad and Tobago and be able to influence such a global network. I’ve been able to give feedback to the Senior Product Operations Manager at LinkedIn and many persons from around the world have asked me about using the Events tool. I’m excited to see how business people in the Caribbean adopt the feature and I look forward to your invites.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn here.