Welcome to the first in a series of quick slidecasts about using social media for meetings. My name is KiKiL’Italien and I am a senior consultant in technology management for DelCor, a consultancy firm based in the Washington, DC Metro area. I work with all types of communication, focusing on relationship building and social media. Part of my job includes training association executives on how best to use social media for business and right now I am talking to you about the before. Before. There is a lot of power in that word…a lot of promise, a lot of possibilities…Today we’re talking about beginnings…the very beginnings…the befores.Before we go on, I want you to stop and write down these three words. Listen Build Communicate. If you dedicate some early time to strategy and make sure to listen, build, and communicate using the social media tools available to you today, you will be much happier when you have your post-event meeting.
In this slidecast, I will talk about the people, planning, and communications you will want to have in mind before you have a meeting or event. You absolutelycan and should leverage social networks to market and enrich your events.Strategy today will lead to greater opportunities and events tomorrow.**By the way…this is a tip for you** if you aren’t already a part of the ongoing weekly #eventprofs chat on Twitter, you should make a note to look into participating. This chat is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays – Tuesdays at 9-10 PM Eastern and Thursdays at 12-1 pm Eastern and it is a gathering of event professionals and is really quite active.By the way, what are your three points to remember? Do you have 1. Listen 2. Build and 3. Communicate written next to you? Great! Okay, you’re already ready to start (and start early)…
Launch your campaign as early as possibleAs with anything, there is a learning curve — time needed to figure out and form relationships with the influencers, determine what topics resonate best with audiences and define posting and updating strategies and processes.By now everyone probably knows what a hashtag is, but here’s a quick explanation: A hash tag is simply a way for people to search for tweets that have a common topic. For example, if you search on #sxsw,you’ll get a list of tweets related to the South by Southwest Conference. Decide on your hashtag early and include it in all your meeting correspondence and materials. Put it in your signature line. Share it with everyone and reserve it on WhattheHashtag.com.
Meetings are all about the people. Without the people there is no meeting. We’re talking about having a meeting here, so the first thing you need to do is to figure out who you need to communicate with. Who are the people? This goes beyond who will be in attendance and really speaks to who might be affected by the meeting. Before the room setup and the AV decisions, you need to decide who your audiences are and what you want their relationship with your meeting and organization to be like.The people include:1.Staff 2. Attendees – (live and virtual)* Governance – your Board and committees3. Exhibitors4. Press/PublicWhat kind of communication would these people expect and what would they desire to come from your group about the meeting? This is about meeting and exceeding expectations. Communication methods are changing…has your communication methods kept up with the times?Who on your staff will be listening to the social networks? Who will be responding? Who are your bloggers? Who is out there already blogging about your organization? Who is tweeting from the Exhibit Hall? Who would your exhibitors like to hear from? Who might be attending the meeting via the internet only? Who in the press might benefit from an early interview from one of your speakers?
At the outset make sure your staff understand what you are doingDo you have a social media policy? Make sure everyone knows it.Does everyone know how they can interact? Help them by sharing your vision.Do some of your attendees need help with understanding some of the technology? Provide them with tutorialsMake sure you know how to use the technologies you are suggesting to your attendees
Your online real estate is your online event blog, your meeting website, your Twitter alias, your Meeting Fan Page site and any other place you might be where your audience can find you virtually. Your meeting website is CRITICAL to your event. Make sure it is easy to find your event website. Make sure the information on your website is up-to-date. Make sure you have links to associated social media sites on your website. If possible, integrate. Add the official Twitter feed for your event to the website. Be sure the hashtag for your event is easily available. Depending on which tools you wish to employ and where most of your audience may already be, make sure you monitor those sites and keep the latest info fresh. In other words, your Flickr, Twitter, and Blog should not lie dormant for more than a week. At least once a week find something to freshen up your blog or online space. Make sure you Twitter alias sends out regular tweets (more than one a week).
Listen Build Communicate
At every opportunity integrate your Twitter account with the blog and vice versa. Blog articles serve as source material for tweets and in turnTwitter was the second highest driver of traffic to the blog, behind only the event Website.During the early months, you may only need one person managing the social media campaign, since there is only so much to discuss. However, as the event nears, the more responsibilities you’ll have, thus the less time to monitor, participate and publish. Unfortunately, this coincides with the time people really take an active interest in the event. My recommendation is to team up and assign specific topics to each member. Someone can be responsible for interview quotes (also a big draw), another for event recaps and another for interesting facts and figures. By teaming up, everyone knows their responsibility and can focus on one area instead of spreading one person too thin.Also, you may wish to consider the smartphone/Blackberry tribes and look into whether or not you wish to make sure your website is mobile friendly – or if you should consider developing a secondary website for viewing on a mobile device.provide an opportunity for registrants to provide their mobile numbers for SMS updates relating to the meeting.
Communicate, communicate, communicate…Use email, use direct mail, use Facebook, use Twitter, use LinkedIn, use Flickr, use YouTube…decide on your tools and your online real estate (or outposts) and engage! Don’t be afraid to interact with a human touch when you communicate. Avoid marketing speak, if possible. We are all so bombarded with messaging and data we cannot stand one more commercial…talk to us, but be real.
Meetings can be hairy. There is a lot to do and everyone is nervous about it going well. If you dedicate some early time to strategy and make sure to listen, build, and communicate using the social media tools available to you today, you should be able to find peace during meditation in the morning…or be able to kick back and enjoy a nice glass of wine later in the evening. If you educate the right people to use tools as you wish for them to be used, you will see amazing results with your meetings. But you have to empower your staff and you have to empower yourself to understand how these things work. So invest some time and check out how many of these platforms work. Start listening to the conversation, start building your engagement plan, and then communicate with energy.Thank you for listening to this presentation about preparing for a meeting using social media. The next in the series will be about using social media DURING the meeting.
In the meantime, if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email me or contact me on Twitter. Thanks for your time and talk with you soon.
BEFORE: Using Social Media Before Your Next Meeting
before<br />1<br />
before the event<br />Using Social Media to make the most of events<br />#eventprofs<br />2<br />
12<br />http://www.whatthehashtag.com<br />http://www.commoncraft.com/<br />Twubs: uses a wiki system to help disseminate information on a hashtag. <br />Tagalus: Tagalus is a simple dictionary for hashtags. <br />