Using real-time social media to promote events

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I’m in Washington D.C. today (and yesterday) attending the Association Media & Publishing Conference, an annual meeting hosted by the Society of National Association Publishers (SNAP). Some of you may be interested in checking out the “real-time” event website Live.SNAP09.com today. I believe it’s a great example of how to pull together some of the streams of the “live” web (Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, SlideShare, blogging) to help capture the activities of an event for those who are attending — and those who can’t make it to the event, but who would like to at least “follow along.”

Hammock Inc. developed and is “wrangling” the site today. (I say “wrangling,” because “raising” a community, like raising children, takes a village.) We also developed and helped the folks at SNAP host a six-week pre-conference community at SNAP09.com that helped to start the “conversation” leading up to the conference. While good “content” and networking are the keys to a great meeting, I’ll add that in this environment of magazine-oriented conferences being cancelled and having their attendance fall dramatically, this conference hit its attendance goals and sold out its exhibitor space.

I’m not suggesting that making social media a central part of the conference promotion is the only reason this conference attendance has held up, however, I do believe it has displayed how a focus on online “community” reinforces the intuitive understanding people have of the value of investing time and money in making the effort to spend time offline connecting with people with whom they share a professional passion.

If you are here, I look forward to seeing you today — check out the Hammock booth. If you’re not here, feel free to follow along online.