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Using social tools to manage your conference

In the past weeks I addressed number of social media strategies that could help to improve the 34th IGC congress. In this post, I will illustrate how social tools can help with conference management in general. Social tools are great inventions and nowadays they have been used to manage conferences. Social media can play a powerful role in the planning, promotion and execution of the event.

There are three ways to incorporate social media into your marketing activities:

Pre-event: creating a Facebook page and a Twitter account with a hashtag for the event is a remarkable idea to get the word out about it. This also offers your attendees great spaces to interact and get to know each other before the event. In addition, a blog can be very useful to post event updates like the speaker line-up, special details, and discounts, and blast these out regularly to attract attendees, sponsors, speakers, and media. This could encourage attendees to share information and collaboration.

During the event: a large screen where a Twitter stream of the event hashtag can be viewed in real time and attendees can see their tweets. Also they can see who’s at the event and activities happening throughout the venue. Thus, the attendees will be connecting and engaging with each other. Also if there are speakers, attendees and non-attendees can post questions through different social media channels such as Facebook page or Twitter.

Post-event: create a post in the blog highlighting key points of the event as wrap-up. Also using Flickr or Facebook to post pictures and Youtube for videos of the event is a really good interactive recap. Encourage attendees to use the event’s social media channels to post their feedback, favourite moments and key takeaways from the event.  In addition, connecting attendees with each other on LinkedIn can be great way to share knowledge and benefits in the future.

 

These three ways are great to help attendees connect with each other, broaden participation, encourage attendees to share information and provide recreation. Finally, social media has revolutionized events. If done right, your conference or event can become a global experience.

Hopefully this post can help INB students gain more knowledge and idea for the 34th IGC congress.

 

References

http://prinyourpajamas.com/using-social-media-to-enhance-your-next-event/

http://mashable.com/2010/11/21/social-media-events/

http://redcarpetrollout.com/2011/09/28/social-events/5-easy-ways-to-use-social-media-to-promote-your-event/

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Strategy to utilize Social Networking sites to promote the 34th IGC event

In this post, I will talk about utilizing the social networking sites properly for this event, we must need to devise a well worked-out strategy. I believe that an aggressive marketing strategy near the event organization time will be more effective to achieve the goals.

But for this we must have to work on our objectives and the complications that are related to working on these sites. As we know that the importance of such social media has rapidly increased in the current world scenario and these websites have got a lot of prominence over period of last 4 to 5 years. If we look in the case of IGC, these networking sites can provide a great helping hand in the marketing an event of such a big scale and making it successful in every means.

I would suggest developing a strategy has three major phases:

Development

In the development phase we will devise a well planned strategy according to the required objectives.  As these networking websites are not the only tool that we are going to use for this purpose therefore symmetry in the whole marketing and promotional activities is required to achieve the core objectives of this event.

This phase will include these steps.

1-         Defining the objectives

2-         Deciding the targeted population

3-         Selecting the appropriate websites and blogs

4-         Deciding the budget and the time period of implanting this activity.

5-         Developing the messages that we want to spread among the targeted audiences.

Implementation

In this phase the most important task will be to purchase the space on the sites and starting the activity. The most successful results that we can achieve from implantation of this strategy will be from the mobilization of the local public. We know that the basic objective of using this micro-blogging websites is to attract the Australian and New Zealand youth to this event that is aged up to 35 years and spend a lot of time on such forums.  Due to the prominence of these micro-blogging networks like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube among the youth, it is very important to implement this strategy to attract more of the local population. If we implement it accordingly, it will not only result in the successful organization of this even but it will also result in many after-event benefits for the enterprise.

Evaluation

The last phase will be to closely monitor and evaluate the whole activity and make necessary changes timely, if required.

So if this strategy is devised and implemented in proper way, it will not only attract more and more delegates and visitors to this event and but it will also help the organization in building its repute among the masses as international level.

Relevant references

http://www.marketingprofessor.com/

http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/6187.html

http://www2008.org/papers/pdf/p189-hartline.pdf

http://www.toprankblog.com/2011/01/social-media-marketing-strategy-commerce/

The importance of Enterprise wiki for the 34th IGC congress

Last post I talked about particular blogging / micro-blogging strategy and how it’s important for the 34th IGC congress. This post I will be focusing on an enterprise wiki which is a publishing online platform that enables the users to share, edit and update enormous amount of information related to some enterprise or organization.

Knowledge retention and sharing:

If  we want to develop a forum for our organization ,  that can facilitate us with a  huge amount of  integrated knowledge warehouse  and  not only  supports the information storing features  but also helps to  share information at wide scale then we will have to use  an Enterprise Wiki.

This strategy will help this congress and the participating delegates in many ways. Some are the short term benefits and some are long term. If we apply this strategy it will help the organization to collect, organize, and distribute the relevant information among the members and the masses. It will also motivate many people belonging to this sector to share the knowledge as it offers the features many-to-many communication and sharing. It will become our repository for the unexpressed knowledge, which otherwise might not be shared or stored anywhere It will provide us a stage where all the delegates and the congress members can collaboratively exchange information. As such websites also provide the option to insert images or files in the pages; this will make this sharing more successful and interesting. It also makes it easy to mark different pages for referencing purposes by just labeling them with keywords. Another important advantage of using this strategy will be the encouragement that it will provide for the informal learning process for the users visiting from different parts of the world and different background and age groups.

 

Strategy Implementation tactics:

Before implementing this Enterprise Wiki project, we will have to decide the objectives. All the above mentioned advantages can be the objective of implementing this strategy. Different representatives from the organization will be involved in the decision making process and most important of it will the IT and marketing related people. Its goal will be to provide a virtual place where members of the organization can generate, change, or remove content that might include content that is provided by the other contributors. We will use this forum to enable our members and the delegates to employees to contribute content to the Wiki pages about the geographic sciences and the ongoing event. There are many technical aspects like where it will be hosted, what will be the allowed number of users, what will be the requirements for the contributors, how the access to the Enterprise Wiki will be controlled and how the control over content will be implemented etc.

After all these decision making, we will have to market this forum and spread the word about our wiki. We can start by e-mailing about this to our fellow employees, members, delegates members, and friends. It might take some time to establish but it will defiantly grow and will result as great source of knowledge and experience sharing for a very long time.

Relevant Sources:

http://www.businessweek.com/mediacenter/podcasts/guide_to_tech/guidetotech_03_12_07.htm

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee721051.aspx#section3

http://www.informationweek.com/blog/229214609

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hinchcliffe/corporate-wikis-breaking-out-all-over-msdn-wiki/48

http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/156066/seven_tips_to_success_with_a_corporate_wiki.html

IGC’s Social Media Strategy “Micro-blogging”

What is IGC?

The International Geological Congress (IGC) is one of the most important global event related to the Earth Sciences.  It is held once every four years and usually attracts 5000 delegates from over 100 countries. The 34th IGC is being hosted by the Australian Geoscience Council (AGC). The AGC is the peak representative body for geoscientists in Australia. It will be an assembly of geoscientists and common public to discuss and exchange different topics and researches in the field. This forum will not only provide the opportunity to examine the geological problems and the recent developments in this filed but it will also help to attract more young people to consider careers in the geosciences.

Importance of using Social Media to promote this event:

Marketing an event of such a big scale requires a very tactfully developed plan and its implementation. Along with other promotional tools and tactics it is very important to focus on the Social Media to promote this event especially targeting the youth to attract to it.  The micro-blogging networks like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have gained a very prominent importance in the lives of young people around the globe and the Australian youth is no exception. Therefore it can be a very fruitful and approach to utilize these social networks to market this event. This strategy has many advantages. The most important advantage of it that it is a more targeted and inexpensive approach if we compare it with the main stream Medias like TV Channels or Newspapers. Another important benefit of adopting this strategy is that the  real time results can be measured, tested and observed through different tools and methods like pay per click, pay per impression, pay per play, and pay per action that are available on these micro blogging websites.

Tactics for the Strategy:

This strategy majorly involves the following tactics:

  • Defining the objectives

This first and the foremost step is to define the objectives of this strategy.

Our major objectives should be to attract a large numbers of international and local delegates to attend this event; especially the young geoscientists as they are the prime users of such networks. Another important objective is to create awareness among the common public especially the young part of the society and spread as much information about the congress as possible, regarding this event, among these potential delegates, especially in Australia and New Zealand.

  • Selecting the Targeted Audience

The IGC is a multi‐disciplinary global event regarding the Earth Sciences but through this strategy mostly the young people will be targeted as these websites are mostly populated with people under the age of 35.

  • Selecting the appropriate Micro blogging Websites

Mostly Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are selected for this as they have the maximum number of users and visitors.

  • Developing attractive and informative messages

Developing attractive and informative messages is a very crucial and important part as the impact of whole campaign will depends on these words and visuals.

  • Budgeting for this Purpose

It will be determined by tactics approved, and by availability of funds, commitment of administration.  A reasonable budgeting is required for this purpose and it will depend on the time period for which we want to display our messages.

  • Purchasing Space on the sites and executing the plan

The plan will be executed within the already defined parameters.

  • Evaluating and measuring the results.

In the end the whole activity performed on these websites will be evaluated.

References

http://www.economist.com/node/15351002?story_id=15351002

http://techcrunch.com/2009/06/10/the-more-followers-you-have-the-more-you-tweet-or-is-it-the other-way-around/

http://gcn.com/Articles/2009/11/30/A-Space-side-NASA-social-networking.aspx?Page=1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microblogging#cite_note-16

Calculating ROI for Enterprise 2.0 projects

  • What is ROI?

Return on investment, can be used to measure the value of an entire company or of a specific investment that a company might make. To define ROI, it is “The ratio of money gained or lost (whether realized or unrealized) on an investment relative to the amount of money invested. The amount of money gained or lost may be referred to as interest, profit/loss, gain/loss, or net income/loss. The money invested may be referred to as the asset, capital, principal, or the cost basis of the investment. ROI is usually expressed as a percentage rather than a fraction”.

  • How to measure ROI?

Thus, the simplest term to calculate ROI that is companies must have more money coming in than money being spent on something.

Simple ROI = (Gains – Investment Cost) / Investment Cost * 100

The following picture illustrates ROI in a good way:

 

Lenovo was able to achieve cost savings by a 20% reduction in call center activity as customers go to community website for answers

Dell sold $3,000,000 worth of computers on Twitter. Dell also tweets about existing promotions and answers customers’ queries.

BlendTec use low-cost online video with the theme ‘will it blend’ on YouTube. As a result, their videos have received over 50  million views  and over 200,000 followers as well as  700% increase of their sales.

Gary Vaynerchuk – Family Wine Business uses social media to run his business. $15,000 in Direct Mail = 200 new customers, $7,500 Billboard = 300 new customers and $0 Twitter = 1,800 new customers. As a result, the family business exploded from $4 million to $50 million which is a remarkable achievement.

Social Media, a big concern to most organizations!!

In this week’s post, I will be talking about potential risks that organizations may face as a result of their participation in Social Media. This post will be focusing on the largest and the most leading company in the world in coffeehouse field, it is Starbucks.

Starbucks is a global coffee and coffeehouse chain based in Seattle. Starbucks can be found in almost all over the world. The main services they have is coffee, however, they have various types of drinks and food including cold drinks, sandwiches, coffee beans, mugs, salads and others. Starting from this year (2011), they redesigned the company’s logo to be like the below picture:

 

Starbucks Company has been using many Social Media tools as a way to communicating with its customers. Fan page on Facebook has nearly 5.4 million fans,YouTube channel has more  than 11.100 subscribers and hundreds of videos and more than 1.5 million people are following Starbucks on Twitter. As a result, there must be many risks associated with Starbucks regarding Social Media.

Reputation Risk: Starbucks’s employees involve in these Social Media so they my tweet inappropriate content or post a video on YouTube like the one with Domino’s. This can significantly damage the hard earned brand, in a very short time. Thus, Starbucks must have implemented several safeguards against the unwanted conduct of its employees, contractors and third parties on such as monitoring employees’ use of Social Media Sites whilst at work, engaging a social media reputation monitoring service and preparing a Crisis Management Plan to deal with a social media crisis.[1]

Confidential Information Risk: Since the employees have access to Social Media confidential information may be exposed in somehow and as a result, it can be very harmful to the company. It may happens in different ways such as leaking information by an employee, release too much information on Twitter or Facebook and important information may be transferred by a former employee.

To conclude this post, Social Media is a remarkable way for organizations to communicate, share knowledge and get involved with their customers; however, strict policies must be applied to control the use of it.

Benefits and risks behind Enterprise 2.0 implementation

In this week’s post I will be focusing on potential benefits and risks associated with implementing Enterprise 2.0 technology. According to Implementing Enterprise 2.0, when a particular organization decides to implement Enterprise 2.0 technology, it means big changes will occur. Deploying new technology, evolving work process and possibility of shifting organizational structure; are directly connected with possible benefits and risks. These benefits and risks differ from organization to another, therefore; organization size, employee distribution, age distribution, industry, knowledge intensity, regulation, organizational culture, stakeholder outlook and current technology systems are may have an impact on how benefits and risks may apply.

Potential benefits of implementing Enterprise 2.0

There are many potential benefits of implementing Enterprise 2.0 technology. The following table illustrates some of these benefits:

 

Also the following table illustrates some risks of implementing Enterprise 2.0 technology:

In addition, there are many risks of not implementing Enterprise 2.0 technology:

  • Unauthorized use of web tools – meaning that even if the organization has well-communicated framework for use of Web 2.0 tools but without coherent, staff may be forced to use unauthorized external tools in order to increase their work performance. This will lead on IT security risks and lack of integration with existing systems.
  • Fragmentation of information – this risk is highly to be occurred when staff use Web 2.0 tools outside of a clear, logical organizational structure.
  • Increasing difficulty in attracting and retaining talented staff – this might happen if organizations are not interested in adopting new technologies.

 

Enterprise 2.0 success examples

–          MWW Group One of the US’s top 10 PR companies adopted a wiki for communicating on projects, tracking media and integrating new media services – Success in reducing the use of email in the organization.

 

–          IBM spent $700k tagging content across the Enterprise as an alternative to traditional search – Success when the average employee saved 12 seconds on average on search resulting in at least $4.5million in savings per year.

 

–          Oracle Idea Factory – created to share ideas across the whole organization – Success in generating excitement in applying 2.0 concepts to the workplace.

 

–          McDonalds a real time blog and feedback Awareness platform available once a week for employees – Success in allowing employees regular feedback and access to a senior executive.