Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Technology and Meetings of the Future - Experient Webinar

Experient just broadcast a great webinar on the future of technology and meetings. Stephen Nold of Advon Technologies moderated a panel that included Nicole Buraglio (Hanley Woods Exhibitions), Mike Immerwahr (Microsoft), and RD Whitney (Taurus Online Media).

A few of the big insights that I heard:
  • Twitter isn't "media" in the traditional sense -- it is a PR and communications tool
  • There are a lot of SM fairy tales out there (beware social media "experts"), but there IS a new reality
  • Most marketing departments are set up for pushing content, but the present and future of marketing is participating in "pull" marketing -- the customers are in control now and forever.
  • Whether or not Twitter will succeed as a business, this form of communication is the new normal. You HAVE to use this technology.
  • PR departments can no longer control corporate communications. Establish guidelines and allow the rank and file to interact with constituents through social media -- it puts a human face on the company.
  • SM is a new tool in the "Business 101" sales model - "Know me, like me, trust me, buy my stuff!" Real time customer feedback provides a stream of opportunities to build trust.
  • Use SM to build excitement before an event, and connect participants within 30 days after the event with great content. (If you don't hook them quickly, you will lose the sense of community until the next year's annual meeting.)
  • Attendees want you to post all of the content online and in advance. This fundamentally shifts the value of the face-to-face experience - their focus is now interactions with the people they want to talk to. The face-to-face experience must be extraordinary to get "butts in seats"!
  • Every event should have a Facebook account, a Facebook ad and a Twitter hashtag. Your customers will be talking about you in these media anyway, so why not facilitate the discussion?
  • Get to know your customers - it all starts with them. What do they want? How do they want to interact with you?

What have I missed? What are the big insights that you heard?