Social media and websites for government meeting planners


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A presentation aimed at government meeting planners and other meeting planners, with fresh information about new cloud-based meeting planning software, mobile apps, and how to use social media to enhance your convention or event.

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Social media and websites for government meeting planners

  1. 1. January 13, 2011 By Carla Pendergraft, Owner Carla Pendergraft Associates Web Design & Consulting [email_address]
  2. 2. Learning Goals <ul><li>Discuss cloud-based and mobile meeting planning websites </li></ul><ul><li>Identify major social media technologies for planners </li></ul><ul><li>Learn about The Power of Weak Ties </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the role of a meeting planner in creating new ties between people </li></ul>
  3. 3. Before We Start <ul><li>Is there anything you want me to be sure to cover today? </li></ul><ul><li>Any burning questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Also: feel free to tweet or facebook about this presentation as we speak! </li></ul><ul><li>Listen for good sound bites that will get retweeted! </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>This presentation will be posted at: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Websites for Meeting Planners <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This service seems to have outlasted many others. HelmsBriscoe, among others, uses it to issue leads. </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free if event is free; 2.5% + $.99/”ticket “+ credit card processing </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mainly loosely organized, volunteer groups </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Drawbacks <ul><li>Most planners already have software installed on their computer to plan meetings, integrated with membership software </li></ul><ul><li>I have seen many cloud-based services come and go over the years. Before committing, you must consider: Will this service be around in 5 years? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Rise of Mobile <ul><li>Many new apps are fighting it out in the marketplace. </li></ul><ul><li>Big 3 – iPhone, Android, BlackBerry </li></ul><ul><li>“ Native” apps – built specifically for the smartphone </li></ul><ul><li>Custom programming required to create “native” apps ($$$) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Mobile Friendly” – a web page that is easy to view on a phone. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Mobile Friendly <ul><li>Big buttons and menu items </li></ul><ul><li>Push to call </li></ul><ul><li>Simplified information </li></ul><ul><li>Not a lot of text </li></ul><ul><li>Simple, big graphics </li></ul>
  9. 9. Sample Mobile Friendly Site
  10. 10. Mobile Apps (Native) <ul><li>Conference schedules </li></ul><ul><li>Trade show map </li></ul><ul><li>Info on speakers and seminars </li></ul><ul><li>Personal agenda builder </li></ul><ul><li>Area information </li></ul><ul><li>Course notes, speaker downloads </li></ul><ul><li>Text alerts </li></ul><ul><li>ALL ON A TINY SCREEN! </li></ul>
  11. 11. Sample Mobile Apps for Planners <ul><li>FollowMe - </li></ul><ul><li>EventKaddy - </li></ul><ul><li>EventLink – </li></ul><ul><li>EMA – </li></ul><ul><li>Zerista – </li></ul><ul><li>ChirpE – </li></ul><ul><li>Meetings2Go – </li></ul>
  12. 12. Drawbacks <ul><li>Not everyone has a smartphone </li></ul><ul><li>Costs of these apps can be very high </li></ul><ul><li>They don’t usually publish their prices on their website. </li></ul><ul><li>New smartphones every year </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rise and fall of BlackBerry </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Takeaway (hint: tweet this!) <ul><li>Be sure your event website is mobile friendly! </li></ul>
  14. 14. Social Media and Meeting Planning <ul><li>Facebook: 500 million users </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: 106 million users </li></ul><ul><li>LinkedIn: 65 million users </li></ul>
  15. 15. Facebook demographics Source: Jeffrey Van Camp/Digitalsurgeons, Yahoo! News, 12/21/2010
  16. 16. Twitter demographics Source: Jeffrey Van Camp/Digitalsurgeons, Yahoo! News, 12/21/2010
  17. 17. Key Concepts – the long tail
  18. 18. The long tail and planning <ul><li>How can this concept be applied to meeting planning? </li></ul>
  19. 19. The Strength of Weak Ties <ul><li>Mark Granovetter – Wrote thesis at Harvard about this concept long before Facebook was invented. He observed that job offers often came from weak ties, not strong ones. </li></ul><ul><li>More open networks, with lots of loose connections and weak ties, are more likely to result in new ideas and opportunities than small, closed networks. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Strong and Weak Ties <ul><li>Closed networks are similar to cliques </li></ul><ul><li>Are there any cliques that show up at your conventions? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we engage young people and new people who feel left out by these cliques? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we integrate young people into our networks so that we can benefit from their fresh, new ideas? </li></ul>
  21. 21. The Power of Ambient Awareness <ul><li>Social media gives you ambient awareness of what’s going on in many peoples’ lives </li></ul><ul><li>You feel more connected to them as a result </li></ul><ul><li>You get a feeling for who they are </li></ul><ul><li>You listen to their ideas and learn from them </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter and Facebook are great examples of ambient awareness. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Clout <ul><li>Power, or clout, does not automatically result from title or high pay grade. </li></ul><ul><li>Power within any organization often comes when an individual is at the center of many relationships. </li></ul><ul><li>People with many connections, both weak and strong, can act as a broker by bridging two networks. </li></ul><ul><li>In other words, by introducing people! </li></ul>
  23. 23. Let’s tie these together! <ul><li>Ambient awareness can lead to weak ties between people </li></ul><ul><li>Loose, open networks are full of weak ties </li></ul><ul><li>As a planner, you create the opportunity for people to join new networks through conventions, seminars, and events </li></ul><ul><li>Resulting in learning, growth, and a greater sense of connectedness between people… </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>… and social media is a great way to engage and integrate people prior, during, and after your convention! </li></ul>
  25. 25. Social media & long tail <ul><li>2,000 people on your email newsletter list </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually they have passively accepted </li></ul></ul><ul><li>300 people on your Facebook page </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All of them actively “liked” your page </li></ul></ul><ul><li>150 people following you on Twitter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All of them sought you out </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The long tail here is that you are reaching people the way they want to be reached. You are using multiple forms of media and reaching more people as a result. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Facebook for planners <ul><li>Facebook is based on personal profiles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You have to have your own profile first </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You can create Groups or Pages for your events </li></ul><ul><li>You can create Events on your Facebook Page </li></ul>
  27. 27. Facebook Groups <ul><li>These are networks with a membership </li></ul><ul><li>Mail goes straight to the member’s inbox </li></ul><ul><li>Try setting up a Facebook Group to help convention attendees get to know each other prior to the convention </li></ul><ul><li>Gen Y will be receptive to this idea. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Facebook Pages <ul><li>People “Like” your Facebook page </li></ul><ul><li>You can put a “Like” button on your website </li></ul><ul><li>Set up a Facebook Page for the convention </li></ul><ul><li>Update it with info on speakers and presentations, with links to their websites </li></ul>
  29. 29. Twitter <ul><li>Most of what I learn about social media and technology, I get from following smart people on Twitter. </li></ul><ul><li>They post a teaser statement and interesting links </li></ul><ul><li>Many uses for meeting planners </li></ul>
  30. 30. Twitter and Planning <ul><li>Like Facebook, you’ll post info on speakers and their presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Teasers about social events </li></ul><ul><li>Reminders on deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>Set up a hashtag for the convention </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows like posts to be grouped </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>#SXSW </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>#SGMP2011 </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Twitter During Presentations <ul><li>“ Monitoring the back channel” </li></ul><ul><li>Very difficult to do while speaking </li></ul><ul><li>Have someone do it for the speaker </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage questions via Twitter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May get more participation from Gen Y this way </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Text Message Marketing <ul><li>“ Text sgmp2011 to 41411 for conference updates” </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Super easy to use! Try it with your officemates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not very expensive. Monthly fee. </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Advantage: Doesn’t require smartphone. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Photo Sharing <ul><li>Encourage people to upload conference photos to Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Set up separate Flickr account as an easy way to preserve images ( </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure people know that if they upload photos, you might use them in materials. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Video <ul><li>This is the future! </li></ul><ul><li>You will need to learn how to do simple videos and edit them. </li></ul><ul><li>Recommend Flip video camera (not HD) </li></ul><ul><li>Easy upload to YouTube </li></ul>
  35. 35. LinkedIn <ul><li>LinkedIn profiles are so thorough that I feel I really know the person that I connect with. </li></ul><ul><li>Much smaller than the other networks, but still very important </li></ul>
  36. 36. Summary <ul><li>As a meeting planner, you have a unique opportunity to be a broker between people to enhance their learning and personal opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>You have true clout! </li></ul><ul><li>Consider using social media to extend your long tail clout and connect people prior, during, and after your conventions and events. </li></ul>