This afternoon, I delivered a keynote at the Cisco Partner Velocity event which I titled Amplify Your Brand Voice - Turn Up the Volume to "11". I shared ideas for how Cisco’s partners can develop a “super voice” and reach millions.
Social media engagement at your event
What I really like about the Cisco Partner Velocity event is how social networks have been made an integral part of the experience.
Unlike most events where the organizers toss out a hashtag and that’s it, Cisco marketing and social media staff built virtual aspects into the entire event to enhance attendees’ experience.
I particularly like the real-time social dashboard which shows tweets using the #mktgvelocity hashtag in real-time, images of attendees photos, and a leaderboard of the most active people. There’s also a graph of the number of tweets and sentiment analysis (positive vs negative tweets). Great stuff.
Cisco staff were available at a social media kiosk to answer questions and help newbies. It was a popular destination among attendees. In this photo I’m with Bryan Sherlock, Corinne Dickey, and David Durham.
The social stream and dashboard is also used by Cisco partners who are not actually at the event. It spreads the ideas shared at the conference beyond the venue and gets those not in the room interested in attending next year.
Events are no longer a point in time and place. Real-time technology means the event starts before people show up, it involves people who aren't physically there, and it continues after people depart. It is a new world.
Selfies are real-time
During my talk, I managed to stand on a chair and shoot a selfie of me and the audience without falling! I then tweeted it live from the stage to show the power of real-time. And a few moments later, we popped the real-time dashboard onto the screen to show the result: dozens of retweets and favorites.
If you’re planning a live event, try to integrate social media into the core of the experience like Cisco did for the Partner Velocity event. The audience is more engaged and everyone is able to participate on the social backchannel, enriching the experience for all.