Photo Credit: Allée Photography

Colorado Meetings + Events’ editorial advisory board recently met and shared insider insights about challenges and opportunities and where the meetings and events industry is headed. We’ll run most of the comments in our summer issue, but here is the conversation about social media among a few of the board members.

"We sell mobile media walls and are tied into every device you can imagine. Even though we push it and talk about, we don’t see it used that much. … Social media is feeling forced, kind of like green meetings a while back." - Scott Collinsworth, Freeman

"We use social media not as a sales tool but as an engagement tool. From a destination standpoint, to make an emotional connection is huge. Does it translate to sales? Probably not. Customer loyalty? Absolutely." - Chris Romer, Vail Valley Partnership

"The connection may start there but you don’t end up doing business via social media." - Terri Woodin, CMP, CHSE, Meeting Sites Resource

"It’s the same 15 people tweeting at conferences. It’s those who have outside interests, sponsors." - Glenn Thayer, Thayer Productions

"It has to be genuine." - Amy Drotar, CMM, CMP, Polycom, Inc.

"You have to be careful with it and make sure it’s an authentic effort. Don’t throw technology in there for the sake of having technology." - Kristin Hutton, CMP, The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa

"It’s Sales 101. Find out how your client wants you to contact them." - Pamela Mather, Brede-Colorado, Inc.

"I write a plan for social media for building brand and awareness. The best thing I’ve seen is from the Nuggets several years ago. They tweeted out a message for free tickets for those who came down to get them in the next 59 minutes. It hit the news, and they built a following." - Patty Moser, Blue Eyes Consulting

The times they are a-changing, and that has never been truer than when it comes to selecting an A/V partner and deciding whether the in- house A/V vendor or an outside third-party provider is the right partner for you. Due to advancements in technology, lighting and other A/V equipment that has come down in price, planners are now finding op- portunities to use previously out of budget technology with a much more palatable price tag. 

 

Retreats and off-site meetings present wonderful opportunities for groups to collaborate, strategize and build relationships away from their normal office environments. With proper planning, these sessions can be highly effective and even pivotal in setting a new direction. However, off-sites may present some unforeseen challenges that can quickly deflate the energy in the room if not anticipated and addressed in advance.

 

Landing a big-name keynote speaker can be a significant part of your conference budget. That person should add credibility to the event and hopefully boost attendance. But if your speakers just deliver canned presentations before making a quick exit for the airport, you and your attendees are missing the full value they can bring to an event. With some extra planning, you can help set up the speaker and your event for success.