LinkedIn Events Reviewed
Welcome to this weeks episode, a shorter one due to work commitments but I’ve had a week to play with the new Events feature and wanted to share my thoughts.
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
Save posts to read later – this one is an absolute belter!
Now you can save a post when you see it in your feed and read it at a more convenient time. This has been a feature for Articles for some time but it was much more acutely needed with posts because you often see something and think “ah that’s something I could and should engage with but right now I’m busy”. In the past, if we ignored it we would have a terrible time trying to find it again.
What will be interesting to see is whether this increases views (maybe the algorithm will log the save and see that as a reason to boost) and the engagement. In theory, it should but my concern is whether people will actually revisit their saved items.
Great feature though.
LinkedIn Events Review
I know several people who were lucky enough to be included in the beta test and I had heard mixed reviews so I was happy to finally get my hands on it this week.
A welcome return to a feature that should have never been dropped. Face to face networking and live events have always been a complementary practice to online networking.
It’s not a ticketing app so it really only serves the purpose of promotion and pre and post attendee engagement.
It’s not amazing, to be honest, and not one of LinkedIn’s best pieces of work but it’s better to have this than nothing at all.
Events can be found in the left panel of your homepage on desktop, this panel can also be opened on mobile by tapping your profile pic, top left.
If you are attending or have organised events you will see them in this panel, if not just click on the + to create an event
You can only create events from a personal profile, company pages do not have access to this facility.
Creating an event is pretty simple and intuitive, some of the fields are compulsory (indicated by a *)
The time zone field is weird, for me and others I have consulted in the UK the time zone is set to Eastern europe! On the mobile version, there is no field for time zone so I assume it’s assigned automatically – this could be interesting if you were abroad and setting an event in a different time zone!
Another issue with this form is that a location is a mandatory field and has to be selected from a list of locations – in some respects, this is great and if your location is not included just add the postal code.
The problem comes when your event is a virtual one. You can’t add ‘Zoom’ or ‘Skype’ etc. My advice is to add your business address but just make it very clear in the Venue details field and Event description field that the event is a virtual one. This should work fine but it is odd that LinkedIn hadn’t considered this with many webinars and virtual conferences happening all the time.
You can add an external url for the ticketing or event homepage. Unfortunately, LinkedIn have decided against making this a full-blown event organisation tool so you still have to use something like Eventbrite. This brings me to one of it’s biggest faults – When you invite someone or they go to the event page and click ‘attend’, it does not mean they are attending, in effect, this is merely an ‘intention’ to attend so the list of attendees isn’t actually that at all.
If you charge for your event (officially against the terms!) or it’s free but you need to limit the numbers (most common) then you will need to use a ticketing service. This means you will likely end up with two lists, those that have clicked attend on LinkedIn Events and those that have been allocated a ticket via the likes of Eventbrite. It is only the latter that can attend the event but the former may not understand this – they did, after all, accept an invitation to attend!
Net result – you get unexpected people turning up to your event, an event that may be fully booked! This just doesn’t seem to have been thought through properly. I know for a fact that many on the beta trial expressed this concern but their request has clearly fallen on deaf ears!
Events can either be public or private. Public means that anyone can attend, private means you have to approve attendees, you can also state in a private one whether you want attendees to be able to invite their connections or not.
Events can’t be set up as recurring, nor can you copy/duplicate a previous event. This will be a real pain for those who organise monthly or weekly events.
Once you have set up the event you are able to invite people to it with the 2 methods shown below, the 3rd one ‘Post about your event’ is not what you might think, it’s merely a post shown within the event to all attendees. The Share option is actually a post to your followers.
It may seem a bit restrictive to only be able to invite your connections but LinkedIn do need to be careful about people abusing this feature. What does seem overly restrictive is that you can’t send one message to all attendees – if they have expressed an interest, I see no issue with being able to message them. The ‘post’ option is the only way to communicate with attendees as a group. Connections can obviously be DM’d but others would have to be sent an InMail.
There is no automatic reminder feature for attendees meaning that you have to manually send a DM to each person if you want to remind them.
Firstly you can start by inviting connections, this has to be done individually and you can’t personalise the message and most bizarrely the invitation arrives with their invitations to connect in the ‘My Network’ section, this just seems like completely the wrong place to me, it should arrive in their inbox. If the person clicks on ‘ignore’ you are not notified but they no longer show as an ‘invited’ person in the manage attendees page and you are not able to invite them again. You can, however, send them the link to the event and they can register as an attendee themselves.
Secondly, you can ‘Share’ the event via a post. This has the advantage of being seen by a much wider audience. The only problem is that the post looks awful and is unlikely to be noticed in the feed!
For some reason, LinkedIn have already populated the post with the cheesy text ‘excited to organise’ <event details> ‘Anyone interested in going?’. Fortunately, you can delete this and type something more interesting and compelling! The good news is that these posts are likely to be treated favourably by the algorithm initially, as is always the case with new features.
My Biggest Issue.
Events can not be found! There is no search facility to find events, the only way of knowing about an event is to be invited or see a post. This was a feature in the old version of LinkedIn Events in 2011! Surely this has to be one of the most basic features of an Events app?
The only way I was able to find events was to perform a content search on the phrase “Anyone interested in attending?”
In addition, you can’t see who is attending an event unless you register as an attendee, not even if they are a connection. This is often one of the key attractions for an event so I can imagine people clicking that they are attending only to check the attendee list.
As I stated earlier, I’m glad we have it but it’s far from being something to get excited about.
Thanks to Mark Lee for the nomination.
A great post with good structure and a topic that most people in business can relate to. It also provides the reader with enough information about her business without obviously ‘selling’ it.