Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Local Event Organizers Need to Adopt Social Media

A while ago I posted about Secret for Networking at Events - Prenetworking where I recommended that people should look at who's attending the event prior to going to the event in order to make their networking more effective. I've received a lot of positive feedback on the post.

Since I posted on this and since I've been using this approach for quite a while, it has become pretty obvious that part of the reason that old school organizations / event producers are not getting the value of providing this kind of list. And I think it hurts them in attendance.

If you are an event organizer, but you don't have a system for posting attendance, then at a minimum you should post your event on Facebook and Upcoming and link to those from your site.

The spark for this post is that I'm going to go to Caltech/MIT Enterprise Forum on Saturday. I've presented there before and it's a good group. But there's no attendee list in site. I can't find them listed on any kind of social site. I did a quick search and didn't find many blog posts mentioning that specific event. So, I've got no idea who's going.

This also happens for Technology Council of Southern California, AITP-LA, TechBizConnection
and others.

They really need to take a look at how Twiistup, Mixergy and others are doing to both promote and help make their events better for attendees.

I personally think the content provided at the old school event providers is often very high quality. So, I'm still hopeful they will find ways to include some of these capabilities and hopefully attract new audience.

For more discussions on networking and LinkedIn see Networking Events in Los Angeles and Southern California, Secret for Networking at Events – Prenetworking, Pre-network with LinkedIn, Local Event Organizers Need to Adopt Social Media.

2 comments:

Yu-Feng Wei, PhD said...

Well said Tony. We are launching a startup catering to exactly that needs - prenetworking for event attendees, and networking among event organizers. The site provide all the handy tools an event organizer will need, meshed with social network features. Right now we are in alpha test, but welcome to take a look: www.aitito.com

stevew said...

Tony, completely agree.

Through our customers I've seen the same. The event organizer is not motivated to encourage pre-networking as they feel it doesn't contribute meet their core need of increasing attendance, and see it more of a value add which slips out of the priority list for these guys when organizing small
and medium sized events.

Also a lot of people just aren't aware that the option is available on some online registrations services. On Madeit.com for example there is an option to "Show Attendees" on your event registration page, and event to ask custom questions which wil display on the event page next to their name, for example "What is your role and company?". This sort of information will obviously ad significant value to the pre-networking, and only takes a minute for the organizer to add. Its more a matter of informing them how easy it is.

Best,
Stephen Weir
CEO - Madeit.com