Are LinkedIn Events eventful?

LinkedIn (LI) Events is Meetup for LinkedIn members. It’s been around for over two years now.  What do you think of it? Have you found it valuable? What tips or other uses have you found?

I’ve used LI Events a few times for DallasBlue events. I’ve found it useful for supplementary marketing and services and have added it to my regular event operations. My review and comments are below.

Weak features:

  • Primary event listing. Don’t have a web page? LI Events allows you to publish the basic facts, including a link to a web site.  The listing does not provide payment or formal registration.  It’s OK for a simple and free get-together.  It’s adequate for a secondary listing.  But it’s not a selling or registration service.  I don’t recommend it as the primary home for a professional or corporate event.
  • LinkedIn community promotion. I’ve seen little evidence that business members turn to LI Events to find a new seminar or business event.  You might attract a few people.  But don’t count on it to fill your meeting.
  • Branding. There is little you can do to brand your meeting on LI Events.  The event is associated with your personal profile. You can’t provide a logo, HTML, or otherwise format your listing and description.  Your organization is a single non-descript line in the event overview.  LI provides a custom URL with the event name.  But that is quite long.  Use bit.ly or your favorite url shortener.

Recommended use:

  • Contact marketing. LinkedIn makes it easy to invite your connections. The event will also show up in LinkedIn updates on the home page and in email for your LinkedIn buddies.  LinkedIn messaging restrictions apply. You can only invite current connections and send to a maximum of 200 people at a time, which can only be filtered by metro area and industry.  Don’t rely solely on LI Events for your marketing. But it definitely should be a part of your outreach.
  • Social communications. LI Events supports comments.  It’s limited compared to LinkedIn group discussions.  Still, it’s a useful real-time and social way to publish event announcements and updates, receive and answer questions, and allow other comments and suggestions. My normal event publishing doesn’t provide this functionality.  I’ve found LI Events to be a nice supplemental resource.
  • Online event networking. I’ve been looking for several years for a free service outside Meetup that allows invitees and attendees to look up one another before an event to see who’s coming, plan personal meetings, and initiate contact, as well as to follow up afterward. Only people who RSVP in advance on LinkedIn will be listed in the LI Event, just a subset of actual attendees. So it’s far from a complete solution.  Similar to Event communications, I don’t have a solution for online event networking and so find this to be a helpful, albeit limited, feature.

Be sure to actively promote the LI Events event URL for communications and networking everywhere you list the event – your main event web page, your newsletter, all event marketing pieces, and all registrant messages.

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