And the Survey Says…

August 26, 2009

headshot karenBy Karen Watson, CMP Experient

Can you believe three weeks have gone by since we all said our goodbyes at the 2009 e4 conference?? From the feedback Experient  received it appears everyone enjoyed and found tremendous value in the event.

I have been curious as to how many of you are already utilizing some social media applications or plan to in the future? As I awaited the results of the post event surveys I wondered what we would actually learn about our social media experience at e4?

Well, based upon the surveys received here are the findings:

  • Live Webcasts —
    • 24.43% of Experient clients are already doing live webcasts.
    • 45.9% plan to do so in the future.
    • Only 29.73% have no plans for webcasts.
  • Live Twitter Streams in Sessions–
    • 13.5% of clients have already utilized Twitter feeds in session(s).
    • 42.89% plan to do so in future
    • 44.59% have no plans to do so in future.
  • White Label Social Networking Sites (i.e. Social Collective)
    • Only 9.46% utilize white label social networking site.
    • 45.95% plan to do so in future
    • 44.59% do not plan to do so.
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ASAE 2009 — A Virtual View From the Cheap Seats!

August 19, 2009

Mike at podium alternate 800X800By Michael M McCurry, CMPExperient

This week I attended the ASAE Annual Meeting in Toronto, but the cool thing is I didn’t have to fly there.  I was a virtual participant!

While I obviously was not able to experience the normal networking and social opportunities that go along with physically attending a conference I was able to at least experience a significant portion of the educational content. Utilizing a live Twitter stream, marked by Hashtag #ASAE09, I attended three General Sessions (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) following the tweets posted by virtual and live attendees.  It was a very positive and interactive experience!  Sunday’s opening session featured Gary Hamel, and was outstanding, and I wrote a blog article recapping it from the tweets that were posted.

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e4 Wrapup — “Technology and the Future of Meetings”

August 14, 2009

Mike at podium alternate 800X800Michael M McCurry, CMPExperient

As many of you know Experient concluded its 2009 e4 Conference on Wednesday, 8/5 with a free live webcast of the panel discussion “Technology and the Future of Meetings.” Great news  — if you missed the live version of this event, a free archive of the webcast is available for post event viewing.  To access it click here.

Approximately 300 ppl were present in the live audience for the event and another 216 participated virtually. The Experient  official hashtag #e4chat drew 44 active Twitter users, some onsite at the event and the rest participating from cyberspace.  To view a recap of that entire chat transcript please click here.

The session featured the following oustanding panelists:

  • Stephen Nold (Moderator) – Advon Technologies
  • Nicole Buraglio – Hanley Wood Exhibitions
  • Mike Immerwahr – Microsoft
  • RD Whitney – Tarsus Online Media
panel closeup

(L to R) Mike Immerwahr, Nicole Buraglio, RD Whitney, Stephen Nold

For a recap of the discussion during this session about social media as well as the rest of the conference please visit my personal blog, McCurry’s Corner and view the article entitled “The New Business Culture.” There really were some terrific insights about the future of technology presented.

Adrian tweeting

Adrian Mabry posting on "Tweetdeck"

A remarkable aspect of this event was the fluidity of dialogue exchanged between the live and cyber audience via Twitter.  It felt like those folks tweeting from afar were right there in the room with us.  The panel fielded questions from the live audience, but more significantly they responded to the cyber participants as well.  This is the essence and spirit of a hybrid event!!

Face2Face Meetings are so important to the culture of doing business, but it is crystal clear to me that social media will play a critical role in enhancing the reach and value of these events for months and years to come. Please make sure you watch the archive version of the webcast.  You don’t want to miss it and we would love your feedback!

Question — In your opinion what is the next step to raising the bar in creating educational content that is viewable both live and from cyberspace?  I look forward to your comments.

Experient Welcomes e4 2009 Attendees!!!

July 31, 2009
Mike McCurry

Mike McCurry

Michael M. McCurry, CMP — Experient

Well, only two days until e4 2009 officially kicks off.  Some of you are already in DC enjoying the wonderful tourist attractions and historic landmarks of our nation’s capital.

There really is a fantastic program lined up for us this year.  Thanks to the entire Experient e4 team for putting this event together!

As we turn our focus to e4 just wanna throw a few teasers your way:

  • My e4 — if you have not setup your account for this “cutting edge” online community yet, please take a few moments to sign up.  There really are some terrific features there and the site will remain live Post-event.
  • Sponsor Fan Pages — Once signed up for My e4 please visit the sponsor fan pages.  They are fun and informational.  Of course our sponsors will appreciate your participation!
  • e4 Social Media Tech Squad — in the Maryland 1-6 foyer Experient will feature a social media learning center beginning at 1pm on Sunday, through Wednesday.  (see schedule for more details)  Our tech squad will assist you with your questions/challenges regarding Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • Live Twitter Stream — Experient has established a Twitter hashtag “#e4chat” which is already active.  A Live stream will be featured throughout the conference in the public areas and some general sessions.  Please participate as it will enhance everyone’s social media experience!
  • NEW!! Live Open Webcast — Earlier today Experient released a promotion inviting all event professionals across the meetings business to watch a live webcast of e4’s Wednesday morning panel discussion, “Technology and Meetings in the Future.”  This is a must-see event, please make sure you register for it!

Experient looks forward to your participation in the 2009 e4 Conference, whether that be in person, by webcasts, or via the twitterverse!  Thanks for being part of our event!

Does Technology Increase the Value of Face-to-Face Marketing?

July 20, 2009

Headshot_SNoldBy Stephen Nold – Advon Technologies

Social networks, distance learning, blogs, forums, presentation sharing, webinars, virtual shows, an old coffee pot… there is just a few too many digital solutions and no way, yet, to aggregate all these different sources of information. OK – coffee pot was just to see if you are listening.

Given I am a ‘follow the shiny objective’ guy anyway, I need tools that pull relevant information into one view. I can’t follow 1 billion people on Twitter…I don’t care if your dog ate a cheese puff this morning…and more than likely I will never be to Rugby, North Dakota so your restaurant review doesn’t provide me much value.

To get my brain into this entire shiny new social media stuff, I look for simple definitions and approaches. Simple works well for me.

RD Whitney describes in his e4 blog a marketing change as “moving towards a “search centric” world where buyers and sellers are connecting more and more online.” This description resonates with me because search centric define many business relationships.

The marketing is still about creating awareness and visibility – two very traditional marketing concepts. As attendees and exhibitors migrate to the Internet, show producers must compete to gain mindshare. In very simple terms, if potential attendees do not know about your event, what is defined as awareness, they cannot attend it. After awareness is established, if you have not captured their attention with a message, they will consider other options and may buy into another show or event. That is why it is important for ‘visibility’ during the decision making or buying process.

The excitement of social media comes from the power of influence on awareness and visibility. These tools create better results. Events and exhibitions can place their message in front of prospects that do not appear on any traditional marketing lists – no CRM database, no email list. The viral effect of sending a message that can be resent to new prospects is where social media starts to show value. If the message is relevant, the community will read it.

For example, if a plumber considering the latest techniques on concrete sleeve options, will certainly be interested in the Concrete Show’s session on concrete sleeves when it appears in his Google search. He may never have heard of the Concrete show, but their content has created awareness. If they continue to provide timely information, it is likely that he may attend the Concrete Show over other events that he is considering.

This is a simple example on how technology can increase the value of face-to-face marketing.

R U lost w/o the WEB

July 17, 2009

BMabryM Headshoty Adrian Mabry – Experient

For many workers currently engaged in the workforce, the Web, social media and the internet have been useful additions to our available tools.  For many entering the workforce these days, technology is more than just a ‘tool’ to be used as needed.  In this article from The Denver Post – Young workers lose way without Web – By Martha Irvine – The Associated Press many workers entering the workspace are finding corporate policies regarding internet use and access restrictive.

From the employers’ perspective, these policies accomplish what they are intended – to stop workers from wasting time online.  In some cases, these restrictions are getting in the way of actual work, preventing some workers from performing legitimate internet research.  For others, it’s just inconvenient.  The thin line where all this collides exists between corporate concerns regarding time wasted online, confidentiality breaches and liability for what employees do online versus the employee’s ability to experience the Web, interact with peers via  industry chat groups, and escape, if only briefly, the daily grind of the office.

As the article notes, it is believed that nearly half of all U.S. employers now have a policy regarding social-networking site usage.  With the advent of web-enabled hand-held devices (Blackberry’s, iPhones and other PDA devices) monitoring or enforcing these policies will become even more difficult to enforce.

Being what is typically called a ‘digital immigrant’, I understand the corporate drive to limit our encounters on the Web.  I’m curious though to know what you think about corporate policies regarding internet use.

  • Does your company have a policy about internet use during work hours?
  • Does your company have a policy regarding text messaging?
  • In you opinion, does your company policy restrict internet usage too much?  Text messaging?

Perhaps we can discuss this further in DC.  See you at e4!

The Great Marketing Shift

July 15, 2009

RDWhitneyBy RD Whitney, Tarsus Group plc

Many conference producers (and corporations around the world) are scratching their collective heads and trying to understand what all this marketing change is about. Actually it is quite simple, and something you are doing everyday:

We are moving towards a “search centric” world where buyers and sellers are connecting more and more online.

We are being conditioned to put any request for research into a little box on our computer or phone. We respond to the organic search results that are delivered. This shift has caused marketers around the world to react by proliferating the web with content and noise (articles, PR, thought leadership, video, user-generated content, etc) all in an attempt to increase the chance that their product, company, (or conference in our world) will come up in the first few organic results in a search engine.
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