ep. 28, 2009 - Developing Online Communities: Step Five
Take advantage of your association face-to-face activities to grow your online activities!
“How many of you went to the last AE Institute? Raise your hands.”“How many of you didn’t go?”“Me! Me!” I say. “But I WANTED to!”
And in a way, I did. Because I followed the Tweets. That means I listened in the electronic hallway. I knew who were good speakers. I overheard short, memorable statements and words of advice from speakers. I knew where the ‘meet-up’ was for the Tweeters, and I even got a couple of photos of half-full (or was that half-empty?) beer steins. I watched a couple of real time broadcasts on social networking. And then, later, I was able to review the presentations on-line.
Was I glued to my computer the whole time you all were meeting? You betcha!
Did I feel like I was missing out on some really good stuff? Absolutely!Would I do almost anything to get to the next event? In a heartbeat!
Using online communities to reach out to people who can’t attend certain events is a terrific way to generate interest and extend the conversation to many more members. So as you’re planning your event, make it easy for people to share photos, blog the event, and use Twitter to comment and converse. It will add a new dimension to the event and create a new audience.
Above all else, it’s important to be interactive, whether online or in person. Though we’re talking about online communities in this series, your image of listening to your members has got to be proactive and consistent. Association blogger Maddie Grant suggests an interesting idea for face-to-face events: “Create a Wall of Feedback at your annual conference – give each attendee 12 post-its (6 critical, 6 nice to have). Arrange post-it’s under topical areas, and use the closing general session to recap people’s comments. Next year, report back on progress. “Paper Tweets, that’s what we’re talking about here.
But whatever medium you choose, it’s the community that counts.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Developing Online Communities: Step Five : Off Stage