Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Viral Impact: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge - What Event Professionals Have Learned

There’s no denying it - the #ALSicebucketchallenge has evolved into a full-on viral sensation. Pete Frates and millions of participants have raised serious awareness and research funds with this growing campaign. Donations from July 29 to August 20, 2014 have surpassed over $31 million compared to $1.9 million donated during the same time period last year. Event professionals are taking notes on how the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has exploded on the web. The impact of this campaign has given them valuable knowledge when it comes to  marketing their own trade show and event campaigns.

According to Kristin Veach, blogger for Live Marketing, event professionals can really take away three learnings from the ALS campaign.

1.) For a Good Cause

With most companies having a charitable donation program or a foundation dedicated to philanthropic causes, doing good has become a popular strategy for building brand goodwill.

How the #icebucketchallenge does it well: By tying in other hashtags such a #strikeoutALS to commemorate former baseball star Lou Gehrig, who is one of the first professional athletes to suffer from and receive media recognition for the disease.

2.) The Social Network

Social integration is now part of many event marketing programs.

How the #icebucketchallenge does it well: Having downloadable graphics available at that say “I Completed the Challenge” and include the ALS logo and 2 Challenge-related hashtags plus calling out others to complete the Challenge, and mentioning/tagging them in posts or tweets, extends the message to a much larger audience.

3.) People-Powered Content

Compelling user-generated videos, pictures, etc.

How the #icebucketchallenge does it well: It’s incredibly easy for any smartphone or social media user to capture video. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge used that capability to their benefit with the posting of millions of icey-water videos.

While the buzz of the #ALSicebucketchallenge keeps growing, it will be hard to top the success it has achieved but hopefully these three learnings will help you devour the details at your next event or trade show. Read more at:

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