. Why Reddit May Be the Most Undervalued Social Media Platform for Meeting Planners | Northstar Meetings Group

Why Reddit May Be the Most Undervalued Social Media Platform for Meeting Planners

The popular website is home to thousands of active communities and offers event professionals the ability to connect anonymously. 

Among social media platforms, Reddit has racked up a bit of bad rep due to its lack of censorship. But the site, which describes itself as a "home to thousands of communities, endless conversations and authentic human connections," shouldn’t be written off so easily by event professionals.

According to Alexa, Amazon's web-trafficking arm, Reddit is the sixth-most-visited website in the U.S. It also touts more than 330 million active monthly users, as well as 130,000 active communities on topics ranging from personal finance and self-improvement to science and literature. There’s a community for everyone on Reddit, including meeting planners. While Reddit might not be the first place event professionals think to turn to in times of need, you may be surprised by what you can find on the site.

"When you're a new person coming into a platform like Reddit, it looks and feels a lot like other social platforms, but it has a really different mentality," says Joe Federer, a social media expert and the former head of brand strategy at the social media site. "There's a sense of community built up in this place that is tangible; if you look for it, you will find it."

Reddit, which is nearing its 15th anniversary, was founded in 2005 by college friends Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian. The heart of the site lies in "subreddits," or communities were users can share posts, links, videos and images. Other members can respond via comments, as well as by upvoting or downvoting a post. The most popular submissions rise to the top of the community page and might even land on the Reddit homepage, which features trending posts and growing communities for users to explore.

Unlike other social media platforms, Reddit is built around anonymity and the use of usernames rather than real names. The site is also open to nonmembers, who can browse any and all Reddit communities. Sharing or interacting with content on the site, however, requires signing up. And according to Federer, Reddit’s strong community is its best asset.

"Reddit has this really deep sense of tight-knit community that isn't present on other social media channels," he says. "People on Reddit call each other Redditors in a way that people on Facebook will never call each other Facebookers. They feel kindred to this community and want to point you towards something helpful."

Meeting planners might want to consider branching out and joining this site, which is home to a number of communities that can be used for connecting with peers, staying one step ahead of industry trends and even blowing off steam after a stressful event comes to a close.

Heard It First

Event professionals are always on the hunt for the latest trends and technology that will wow attendees. Reddit, which bills itself as the "front page of the Internet," is a prime place for discovering new fads before they go mainstream. 

Joe Federer

Given the vast number of Reddit users and its popularity ranking, many topics and trends might pop up on the site before they appear on other social media platforms. The Reddit homepage is particularly useful as it houses trending posts that can be sorted by categories such as hot, new, rising and more. Users can also browse popular content by state or country. 

"For keeping up on trends, I don't think there's a better platform out there and you can get as granular as you’d like," says Federer. "When you go to the front page, you're seeing massive trends. But you can also go to smaller subreddits and more localized communities and find the content that will eventually make its way to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest."

Stay Connected

Reddit is a social platform built entirely around communities and discussion boards. Thousands of active subreddits await for those willing to seek them out. 

"I think Reddit, like many social networks, is as good or as irrelevant as you curate it to be," says Federer. "So if the front page isn't your jam, that doesn't mean that you can't find something interesting to you on Reddit. It just means you have to figure out what are the communities that are relevant to your interests? Often, the smaller communities are where the soul of Reddit is."

Some communities for meeting professionals to consider joining are r/eventprofs (194 members), r/Events Management (426 members), r/plananevent (347 members), r/EventPlanners (1,000 members) and r/EventProduction (1,500 Members). Here, you can find links to helpful planning resources, discussions on event tech, contracting and even certification courses. You can also pose questions of your own to peers. 

"When you look at the types of communities that exist on Reddit, some of them are deeply functional and very relevant to the planning of events," Federer says. "Reddit is a place where thoughtful discussion and long-form text as a format tend to thrive, so you can get a real depth of conversation within Reddit communities."

But don't stop there. According to Federer, there's plenty of value to be found beyond event-specific communities. Take advantage of the search bar to discover other posts and communities that might be of interest. Federer also recommends joining location-specific subreddits for event venue/vendor recommendations and general advice about a city.

"Reddit is always going to be a consistent resource for particular venues or particular geographies because every city has its own subreddit and every state has its own subreddit," he says. "This gives you the opportunity to talk to people who live in the area and may have some familiarity with the venue."

Let it Out

Pulling off a successful event is no easy feat. Meeting planners must wear multiple hats and work long, irregular hours to ensure everything runs smoothly from beginning to end. It’s no wonder event coordinator was named the sixth most stressful career of 2019, according to CareerCast.

For meeting professionals looking to vent their frustrations, Reddit is there. The anonymity of the site offers a safe place for planners to blow off steam and ask others for advice without worrying about having their names attached to queries.

"There are some mental-health communities where people who are in similar industries or are going through planning events can go and kind of vent what's on their mind and what they're going through," says Federer. "There's an enormous emotional benefit to being able to be honest and anonymous on Reddit."

 

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