Nov 4-6, 2011 saw the 7th ever Event Camp hosted in Vancouver at two beautiful venues, the Westin Bayshore & the Vancouver Convention Centre. Over 80 event professionals attended in person from Vancouver, Alberta, Washington, Oregon along with speakers from California, Denver, & Washington DC. We also had over 50 virtual attendees from Sweden, Belgium, Canada, USA & England to name a few. It was for those 50 virtual attendees that I was assigned to the task of Social Media Concierge. Here are my takeaways.
DEF: Social Media Concierge – a person dedicated to monitoring the virtual conversations taking place at a conference/meeting/event & to provide assistance to the virtual attendees as well as being the voice for them at the conference. Being the in room representative for the virtual attendees, asking questions & sharing knowledge. A conduit for the show organizers to gauge real time feedback on the event
Here are my 10 Do’s & Don’ts
1. Make sure the Social Media Concierge really understands the social media channels you are using & actually uses them efficiently for their own business/use.
2.Have dedicated hard line internet access. Wi-Fi is good but occasionally I was bumped off and it took me about 10 mins to re-establish myself which meant I was losing some potentially valuable engagement
3. Make sure your laptop or desktop is up to date and fast! if you are going to be multitasking on it all day the last thing you need is for technology to slow down. Invest in the best you can afford.
“What I adore about hybrid events is the networking that can happen between people on-site and people online. Event Camp Vancouver was a stellar example of the kind of community that can be created when you have active and visible stewards at the social media helm. With a dedicated concierge, someone who’s sole role is to bring the voice of the online community into the face to face event, not only do the remote attendees feel more engaged and valued, but the overall quality of the learning is enhanced by the dynamic exchange between online and onsite delegates.” – Erica St. Angel, VP Marketing, Sonic Foundry
4. Two screens are better than 1. When multitasking between Tweetchat , the Twitter List I was building & the other programs 2 screens would have made it much easier & efficient.
5. Provide the Social Media Concierge with the Key Points from each presenter in advance so that they don’t get missed. Having these in advance would have allowed me to pre type some tweets to coincide with the on stage presentations
6. Have a pre event meeting with the Event Producer/Show Manager & the Host/MC/Moderator. This ensures that all parties are clear on the roles & the Social Media Concierge adds to the event and is not a distraction
7. Treat the Social Media Concierge just like a presenter or co host. To be truly effective a Social Media Concierge is the voice of the Virtual Attendees as well as those in the room that don’t want to stand up. I thought Glenn Thayer & myself made a great team.
8. Understand the Social Media Concierge can in real time be the feedback gauge of the event. He/she can tell you exactly how the attendees are reacting to the venue/programming & speakers. Allow for real time communication with the Event Planner so that adjustments can be made to enhance the attendee experience.
“In the case of EventCamp Vancouver the social media concierge had a dual role. The designated role was to monitor the Twitter stream for the virtual audience primarily and to share what they had to say with those in the room who may not be following along Twitter. (especially as we did not have a feed running at the front of the room) The secondary role that some would say was of the most value was when we had small group sessions that included technology and people could ask their own specific questions to improve their knowledge of social media. Both invaluable. “ – Tahira Endean, Director, Team Creative & Production Cantrav Services Inc.
1. Don’t run the show & be the Social Media Concierge at the same time, each is a full time job.
2. Don’t volunteer to be the Social Media Concierge if you were planning to be an attendee as well, you will miss some of the networking & learning opportunities. Better to have clear focus for either role – attendee or Social Media Concierge.