Significant social media presence seen in events industry

Social media could be an attractive option to those advertising venues for hire as an IMEX survey reveals a significant rise in the use of online networking among event professionals.

The explosion in the use of social media was revealed by delegates at the IMEX conference in Frankfurt, an event that claims to be the essential worldwide exhibition for meetings and incentive travel.

According to the Hosted Buyer Social Media Survey, 71 per cent of meetings professionals now use Facebook for networking and business promotions, up from 60 per cent in 2010.

Twitter also saw a solid growth; its usage with respondents was up 41 per cent, compared to 27 per cent in 2010.

Meanwhile, LinkedIn – often considered to be the social network of professionals – was used by 69 per cent of buyers surveyed.

Interestingly, the readership of blogs declined somewhat, with 86 per cent saying that they do not read them compared to 83 per cent in the previous year.

In a statement, suggested that it is possible that longer blog formats are proving more challenging for meetings industry professionals to squeeze into a busy working day (as opposed to short social networking messages). cites Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, who comments: “It is interesting to observe the continued rapid growth of marketing channels such as Twitter and also to see that Facebook has maintained its position as the most commonly used social media platform among hosted buyers.

“New technologies are being introduced all the time and are fundamentally changing the way we work, communicate and do business.”

Bauer explained that QR codes, for example, are a “relatively new innovation but are already being widely used by many organisations in other business sectors” adding that she expects to see their use increase “significantly” across the international meetings industry in the next year.

Bauer also speculates that mobile payment systems, environmental monitoring and even intelligent sensors embedded into mobiles are the next areas to watch within the industry.