Procter & Gamble's brandSavers business segment celebrated their 5th anniversary with an outdoor luncheon event for 2,000 employees, entertainment and of course a giant cake cutting.
So we’re around the water cooler recently discussing, for the umpteenth time, the merits of social media as it relates to our business. We’ve had this ongoing discussion for……, let’s just say a long time. We all have differing views on the subject. Those opinions have been shaped by our ages, personalities, education and life and work experiences (which in some cases have extended over decades).
There are team members that have grown up in an era where the computing power they carry over their shoulder or in your pocket was witnessed by other team members years ago being housed in secured, temperature controlled rooms the size of homes. We have members that seem to have such a huge laundry list of concerns about anything new that by the time all their concerns are addressed and analysis completed, we will still be standing at the starting gate while the leader has the finish line in site. And of course we have those members that believe any analytical study is a waste and we need to jump in and do it and we will figure it out as we go.
When it comes to discussing the subject of social media and networking it seems everyone on our team has a strong opinion. We all recognize however, that the world we live in has placed much emphasis on social media so we all try to approach the subject with an open mind. Along with our continuing discussions we read articles and listen to videos regarding the business benefits of social media however often time it creates further confusion and an overwhelmed feeling. The thought of using social media in our business can be a daunting one. There just is not enough time or money available to identify the objectives, develop a plan, determine how to measure performance and manage the program. It requires a significant commitment. I guess that is why many small businesses have not welcomed social media with open arms.
In our most recent water cooler discussion however, I believe we made significant progress in coming to terms with the role social media can play in managing our business. We acknowledge the benefits that are endlessly repeated in every article you read and every social media video you watch; promote your brand, create sales leads, etc. In our minds however, we have concluded there is something much more important in participating in social networking then developing new relationships (not that we do look forward to working with new clients). We believe the primary purpose of social media in our business is to further develop the relationships we already have. Social networking facilitates relationship building by allowing our clients access to information about our company, the industry we work in, and all of us individually. As a service business we are individually and collectively our company’s brand and in that sense social media does allow for brand building through individual participation. We all know successful service delivery is dependent upon all parties having realistic expectations. A clear understanding of the anticipated service is enhanced when communication is open and the service providers are accessible. While open communication is a necessity during the service delivery period, participation in social networking allows communication with clients to flow freely throughout the year.
So here we go! With a clear purpose in mind we have begun to develop our social media plan. We will keep you posted on how the process progresses and share our experiences along the way. We have already taken the first step by clarifying who EDI is with the redesign of our web site, www.edievents.com.
How is social media working for you? Give us your opinion.
Diana, our CEO, renewed her commitment to the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) the other day which prompted some thought and discussion about whether we (EDI) are doing enough to support sustainability in the event industry. The answer was NO! So we had a green meeting brainstorming session and wow! We actually discussed a lot of great ideas. Most of the ideas are recycled (no pun intended), meaning we have observed, read or heard about these tips from other meeting professionals, but they were new ideas for many of us. Some of the tips we have heard before, such as offering pitchers of water instead of bottled water. While these tips have been around for a while, they are still effective in reducing the negative environmental impact, and believe it or not, they are still not being implemented at some conferences and meetings. So we thought we would share all of our green meeting tips we discussed with you. You can become more greener with us, not only from a sustainability standpoint but from the conference dollars you will save from adopting these tips. The is one problem; we can not do it in one blog posting. We could, but that would be breaking a bunch of blogging rules and heaven only knows we have broken plenty already! So we decided to cover one or two tips each week in a new blog called “Being Meeting Green”, hopefully it will be sustaining! LOL!
Being Meeting Green Tip #1 – QR Codes
The meeting industry has made great strides over the past few years in reducing the amount of paperused at conferences, meetings and events. By utilizing online conference registration thousands of dollars of cost savings in paper, printing,mailings and postage have been realized. Another electronic solution for eliminating other printed materials such as on-site handouts is QR codes.
If you are not familiar with QR Codes, they are similar to bar codes, which are used to track inventory and capture pricing information at the point of sale. You scan a QR code with the camera in your Smartphone. You can link to digital content on the web, activate a number of phone functions including email, IM and SMS, and/or connect to a web browser. There’s really no limit to how, or even how much, you can share with QR codes. For those attendees that do not have a smart phone, utilization of text codes that can be punched into your mobile phone will also facilitate the availability of information for attendee review.
The QR codes are displayed in highly visible areas like convention hall entrances, information counters and on vendor booths in exhibition halls. There is no cost to create the QR codes, which can created by a third party online vendor. Of course the digital content that the QR code links to has to be created, no different than the effort required for printed content. However, with digital content you have more flexibility in the content you present. Your digital content may be a landing page, video and even an entire eBook.
The benefits of using QR codes to disseminate information are significant to minimizing the environmental impact of conferences, meetings and events and can represent a significant cost savings in paper and printing.
This is our second posting in our series regarding green meeting tips. For many of us understanding the concept of carbon offsets seems to be a challenge. Essentially when we produce a meeting, conference or event the means used to transport the participants, (i.e. airplanes, cars and buses) emit carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.Read More
Welcome to our initial post to EDI’s blog, “Brand Builder”. We hope this page will stimulate thought and discussion regarding the building of your brand through inspiring meetings and events, (i.e. event marketing). According to “EventView 2008″, a survey of 1,000 senior marketing and sales executives from North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, Event Marketing provides the greatest return on investment among the various marketing elements (i.e. print advertising, broadcast advertising, sales promotions, public relations, web marketing, direct mail)Read More
One key element in planning green meetings is to minimize waste. Obviously the first way to attain this goal is to not create it in the first place. But no matter how careful the planning, inevitably there are leftovers. Instead of throwing catered food away, consider donating it to your local food bank.Read More
Unless you have been at some remote location the past two weeks, you probably have heard or read about Sen. John Kerry’s (D-MA) bill to prohibit all TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) recipients from holding any meetings and events. Sen. Kerry’s proposal reflects a sentiment in Washington, and for that matter much of the country, that business meetings and events are nothing more than frivolous corporate junkets where behavior and expense know no bounds. While there are plenty of examples of excess, you and I know from personal experience that the vast majority of the business meetings and events do have business purpose and provide a real return on the Company’s investment (ROI).Read More