Here are 5 Ways To Better Meetings With Social Media
1) Go where the Fish are
Spend some time finding resources online to peruse each day. Social Media is a great way to find what you are looking for. This will make life easier when the boss asks for team building ideas, audience engagement ideas, creative staging ideas, networking ideas, promotional ideas, speaker ideas etc Find folks who have the answers you need. Not to mention you might be able to help others with your own experience when you join in the conversation.
2) Build a List (Your personal database)
Once you have found where the fish are start building your lists. Building a networking/ resource list and keep it handy. When the time comes to put together your meeting you can easily refer to your list of friends, followers, fellow group members to get answers. It sounds daunting but is quite simple. If you spend a little time everyday building this list. You can really hone in on the right resources for engaging your audiences, finding that right promotion, team building activities, staging companies, entertainment.
3) Size Matters
I write this because obviously if your resources and networks get larger the opportunities you have open up exponentially. You then have more time to create a fantastic meeting because you have more choices and options. Go build your network via social media and face to face meet ups regularly.
I presented a session on taking a dip in social media at last years MPI Work Education conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. What I was trying to do was give some simple steps for the audience to get started in Social Media. http://www.slideshare.net/mikemcallen/wec-ppt
Here are couple of steps to get started:
—– Join Twitter– If you are looking to make your meetings better then try the organized tweetchats with event professionals on #eventprofs: Tuesdays, 8:00pm to 9:00pm CST and Thursdays, 11:00am to 12:00pm CST. Just log into www.tweetchat.com and type in the hashtag (link internally) and introduce yourself. Make a few friends and follow a few of these people on your own twitter stream. Its a great way to learn about new resources and industry topics.
Here are a few folks to start you on your way to a fantastic twitter list —
Event Professionals: @mikemcallen (me) @GreenA_V @psalinger @jessicalevin @mizcity @gregruby @iconpresentsav @jeffhurt @michaelmccurry @ready2spark @susanlynncope @samueljsmith @asegar @tracibrowne @emiliebarta @kristicasey
Creative resources- @songdivision @andy_lawson @dwheeler11 @klrichardson @thetimhayden @sprkrlinteractive @asegar @matthewebel @rayhansen
A/V–@mmcallen (me again) @greenA_V @iconpresentations @jontrask @klrichardson @corestaging
Social Media- @jessicalevin @chrisbrogan @jasonfalls @mitchjoel @cc_chapman
Tech- @cspenn @brettbum @croncast
They also have organized twitter chats for whatever you might be interested in like for business or hobbies etc…
Here is a another Meetings type twitter event: #assnchat: Tuesdays, 1:00pm-2:00pm CST.
Also, once you get the hang of Twitter use Tweetdeck.com to organize your twitter friends and hashtags in nice easy to read rows.
—-Get a Google Gmail account and sign up for Google reader-
With google tools that come free with a gmail account you will quickly see how efficient you can be going where the fish are and building your list to a nice size. Google reader is a great place to start organizing your blogs in one place for daily reading. This will also connect with your mobile device for even easier reading! (check back to the meetings podcast Blog soon I am putting together some blogrolls you can use to get started)
—Join Facebook– 400 million folks use facebook – 95 million in the us alone
Some groups you might consider joining—
Travel Directors Club
Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) – Official Group
Hotel Management – Hospitality Industry
Event Planners Forum
Production Freelancers – Producers, Coordinators, PA’s etc…..
Wedding and Event Planner and Any Related Industry
Event and Meeting Planners Forum
— Join Linkedin– It is a great way to connect with your network. Join groups and utilize the Q&A feature. This is a place where you can ask your network and others for a resource and idea etc. And you can also help others with your experience.
Here are a few groups to get you started:
Event Peeps: For Live Event Industry Professionals
Event Planning & Management – the 1st Group for Event Professionals
Networking & Networking Events for Event Planners & Managers
SPIN: Senior Planners Industry Network
Also connect with me if you haven’t already. http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikemcallen
5) Remember good old face to face meetings are what it is all about.
Get off your computer and go meet new resources in person!
Check out your local industry associations-PCMA, MPI etc…
So once you have built your network it is much easier to focus on your meeting flow and attendee experience. Think about engagement, education and giving them opportunities to network. So in closing this post out I think Social Media is a great place where you can build a foundation to better meetings through online resources!
Please contact me with any questions or comments.