I was thinking a bit about give aways and whatnot at events and I got to thinking, which would provide a better return, in terms of goodwill and other maybe more “tangible” returns in our Social Media space (links, etc.)..I was thinking like would someone giving away a flip camera be better then sponsoring the food at a meetup? Does the return on either slide to one side or the other depending on the size and/or type of the event? Also would the type of people at the event change it?.For example if I were to give away a flip camera at the monthly meetup I attend in London be better then doing the same at a conference like PAB. Were talking 10 people at the meetup to 100 people at the conference. And how about the fact that I know maybe 50% at PAB, and most to a lesser degree then the 100% of people at the monthly meetup. What if it was a Sanyo Xacti camera instead of a flip ($800 vs $150)?.Any thoughts?.
Note: I’ve never made money from referring to any other these products or site, I just own both the cameras and highly recommend them and like both PAB and the MeetUp. Although if Pure Digital or Sanyo want to send me new gear I’d be game!!!
A funny thing happens when you leave a lunch meeting, meetup, or conference with a bunch of podcasters. Normally, in non social media (read geek) circles, you’d say goodbye to all your friends and make plans to get together again sometime. But leaving a social media gathering it’s a different good bye. You don’t have to arrange anything, usually by the time you get home, sometimes even before, the conversation continues online, or via mobile..It happens on Twitter, Plurk, Identi.ca, Facebook, wherever but it continues. It happens before a particular meeting too, your chatting about things that you’d like to get more in depth about, or gadgets that someone has that you’d like to see. The nature of connection has changed, it’s much more fluid now..By the way, if you’d like to meet some cool people and your in the Niagara region, or would like to make a trip there, come out to the Niagara Meetup Aug 16th. I’ll be presenting a bit on video online and there is going to a bunch of other really great sessions. The area is full of other things to do. I’ll be up on the Friday before till Sunday, and I’m hoping to get to some of my favorite wineries with some of you cool people. Bring your whole family too, there is plenty to do. You can go to http://niagarameetup.org/ or follow @niagaraotl2008 on Twitter. Hope to see you there!
Wow this is an old one but time isn’t relevant..
.As I’m in Ottawa for a table top show I began thinking about just how valuable it is to meet face to face and shake hands. In a business with four locations spread across south western Ontario people here keep asking us why people from all four locations are here when we all do the same thing. The way the business are set up is different then most, each location operates as a separate business, if you order from a location they are the ones who ship, bill and look after the order. Pick who you want to deal with based on what you need. Do you want to deal with one because of past relationships? Great! Is on location better for you for shipping or picking up? Excellent! As for why we are all here, those past relationships can only truly be built upon face to face. As humans we don’t get the same feeling talking over the phone and yes video calls are great but it’s still not the same..
What this means to you as a Social Media person.
.Now we in Social Media have amazing connections because we all use these multimedia forms of communications. Thats all fine and well bit it’s still not the same as an actual face to face meeting. Ever heard about how all the great stuff and conferences happens in the hall ways. Expos, I’ve been to more then a few for my industry, are basically just one big series of hallways..
So what is my advice?
.In the Social Media scene, first and easiest thing is to get out to a local meetup. Use Facebook Event, Upcoming.org, eventful and meetup.com to search for one. If there isn’t one in your area, START ONE! Sure for a while it might be just a couple of people but that connection alone is amazing. I’m great Friends with some of the people who were at my local meetup from the begining. If you all do a good job using all the platforms to get the word out you’ll see it will grow! (Tip: TwitterLocal is an amazing way to find local twitter users!) To go one step further go to your nearest podcamp, it may involve a bit of travel but it’ll be well worth it. I’ve also found that presenting, no matter how simple that presentation may be, is a great way of making connections. After your presentation, stick around in the room, or just outside it in the hall, and talk to the people that were there. Take their questions, and more importantly ask some too. Be sure to get some sort of contact info from them, and give yours, as well..
Outside The Social Scene
.Find the events where your industry meet, industry magazines is a good place to start, and get out to them. It’s a little steeper step to start an Industry Association but by all means don’t let that stop you. Aside from googleing others in your area there isn’t much more to it then that! Although from experince unless you live in a major city larger expos and conferences may force you to travel, but hey it’s business so warm up your expense card!
.As uncomfortable as it may be get out there and meet people it is the best way to connect. So get to it!