How ZN gave TEDxBrussels a digital buzz

On March 14th, the annual TEDxBrussels gathering brought fans of social media, entertainment and technology together for a day of great speeches by international experts and visionaries.

The 2016 edition plunged its audience into its “DeeperFuture” theme with innovative talks on topics such as Food Computer, international civil society platforms or even on the expanding Belgian craft beer market. Unlike past events, this TEDxBrussels was held at the Brussels Event Brewery, but, just like in previous years, was sold out months before the due date to more than 1,500 TEDx aficionados.

ZN has involved with TEDxBrussels since 2009 and helped create the international event it has now become. We supported TEDxBrussels with social media coverage and innovative ideas and digital concepts like “TEDxify Your Office”. This initiative gave offices and universities the opportunity to follow the livestream video of the event, letting them replicate the TEDxBrussels experience in their work place.

ZN Consulting was also behind the social media team covering the talks on all media channels. The numbers show how we made the most out of the event’s digital potential. On Twitter, the event achieved more than 80,800 impressions, 372 retweets and 344 likes. The TEDxBrussels Facebook page had a total reach of 46 000 people, 1,414 video views and 129 more likes during the event. Overall, that’s an overall reach of more than 96 000 people on one day alone and we were ranked most trending topic in Belgium on Twitter during that day.

Here is what TEDxBrussels’ Curator Rudy Aernoudt had to say about ZN’s digital contribution:

“Some know how to use the new media,
some are brilliant in doing so;
and then …. there is ZN.
Thanks to them for the visibility they assured for TEDxBrussels 2016″

So the question is, how did we manage such a digital knockout?

Creating online buzz for an event isn’t as easy as it seems, the work requires dedicated effort, multi-disciplinary resources, and most importantly organization and planning. This is ZN’s recipe of social media insights for making your event a trending success:

  1. Choose your weapons: As you probably know, many channels will be at your disposal for you to spread your message: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or even a dedicated blog. While it’s better not to select too many platforms, select the social media you feel your audience is more likely to follow and engage with. You can also try new channels as well.
  2. Set up your social media team: To cover an event on different social media channels, you will need to surround yourself with social networks enthusiasts and experts. Pick about 1 or 2 people per channel, and make sure they feel comfortable with the tools you are providing. Don’t ask a colleague who’s never put out a tweet in their life to be responsible for an active and challenging channel such as Twitter.
  3. Anticipate: Research your participants and speakers (if doing a conference for example) and prepare posts and tweets about what you know will happen at your event in advance. We recommend creating an Excel sheet featuring all of your prepared tweets arranged by its publisher and the time you want it to be published. The last thing you want is to create a last minute post on a topic you know very little about.
  4. Engage with your audience: Remember that social media management is not only about disseminating your message, but more importantly engaging with your audience. Monitor your activities and monitor follower responses. Always stay on the lookout.
  5. Have fun!: In the end, don’t forget to play around and test things. These activities are great learning experiences to better understand the great tools you have at your disposal, but also to experiment with new digital tools. We recommend using free social media tools such as Hyperlapse on Instagram, or Twitter’s Periscope to set up your own video live stream.


These are, of course, just the essential mechanics involved in creating a real buzz and a trending digital success. The secret to hosting events and covering them online implies many other crucial elements and understanding of the social media landscape.

As we did with TEDxBrussels this year, we can help you set up your social media platforms, provide insights on how to better design and implement your social media strategy for events or campaigns. If you would like us to help you out for your next event, be sure to drop us an email.

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