Delegates are willing to try almost any new technology, as long as you teach them how to use it.
We’re starting to see iPads mingling with laptops (and pen and paper) at our conferences. People hold up their smartphones and their flip cams to catch snippets of presentations. I don’t always advocate using new tech for old purposes (I still carry index cards), but sometimes it can positively affect the very foundation of a meeting or event. Hashtags & Notes
If your content isn’t top secret, promote a hashtag for taking notes via Twitter. Pick out a few characters that are not likely to be used by others. A note would look like this:
“Brogan says to divide time equally between prospecting, executing, and customer service. #clx11”
You have more than one person taking notes from all sessions. Delegates who couldn’t hit specific sessions at least get the notes. Online attendees share their thoughts. People who couldn’t attend at all follow along. Your entire community has access to the notes. Compare the hashtag’s content with the written notes that delegates only share with their colleagues back home. See the beauty? iPad, or Not
I’m not sure I like tablets. I purchased an iPad, stopped using it, then picked it up again. It’s useful when I need to jot a quick note or send a quick message while standing somewhere at an event. A laptop generally requires a table…or a lap. And tablets are simpler, faster to react, have fewer repair issues (unless you drop it, and then you’re doomed) and cost about as much as a small laptop. You can share information with them via social networks. There’s value in that.
Video for the Masses
Smartphone videos are easily uploaded to YouTube, where they can live in public or private (depending on the nature of your event or meeting). Community members who couldn’t attend can get a taste of what they missed. But there are other ways that video can prove useful to your organization.
- Record interviews with key members or delegates. Ask questions that the community at large wants answers to.
- Take video walkthroughs, especially if you’re responsible for finding new venues for your organization.
If you’re not sure how to post videos, there are tutorials everywhere. If you need detailed help, pick up Steve Garfield’s book Get Seen, which has lots of how-to info. Sharing Your Plunder
Share everything. Post photos on Flickr or Picasa and videos on YouTube or Vimeo. Publish updates on your Facebook groups and business pages. Send links via Twitter. Update blogs and newsletters. Use social sharing sites such as Delicious.com.
The more info you share, the more you receive and the more your community will appreciate the opportunities you provide. Encourage sharing. Make sure your Twitter hashtag is posted everywhere, so that people understand there’s a virtual conversation. People who can’t attend will know how to get onsite knowledge.
Encourage delegates to tag photos and blogs with the Twitter hashtag, so that you can find them later. Ask presenters to publish slides on Slideshare.net. Later, you can gather all the media and create a robust community resource. Mileage May Vary
It’s up to you how high tech to go. Delegates are willing to give most things a go, especially if you craft a few simple tutorials to get them started. Even at traditional events and meetings, I’m seeing people adopt new technologies, and there’s great benefit in shaping events to accommodate all available opportunities.
You tell me. Have you adopted any new tech for your meetings and events? How is it working for you? One+
future of meetings,
One+ July 2011,