This afternoon I attended the PYM (Plan Your Meetings) Live 2009 event at The Atlanta Event Center at Opera. The topic was Social Networking Strategies. Although this was my first PYM event, they have a reputation for facilitating events with great speakers and about 80 planners were in attendance. Prior to the keynote luncheon I spoke with several people who were hungry for knowledge on how they can apply social media strategy to their organizations. It’s interesting how our industry is still very much in the educational phase of social media. No one knows quite how to implement it for several reasons:
1. It transcends departments and no one knows who should take ownership: meeting planners, the IT department, marketing, corporate communications, or sales?
2. Setting up a social media site is easy; maintaining it purposefully on a consistent basis and using it to achieve marketing objectives is another thing.
3. ROI – marketing departments and planners are all under pressure to demonstrate returns and social media is very difficult to gauge short-term.
4. There is still skepticism and pushback from conservative (older) colleagues, internal clients, association members, direct reports and stakeholders who think social media has nothing to do with them.
Although I’m sure many planners are interested in general social media, I specifically have been educating myself on applying social media to our clients’ conferences and events. It’s a very exciting niche.
So David Nour of Relationship Economics was the keynote speaker. I have seen him speak several times and as always he engaged the crowd and essentially “dumbed it down” for people. What I appreciate is that he shows concrete examples, leaves great takeaways, and his content is relevant for both beginners and more advanced social media learners such as myself. More to come in the next post about a synopsis and review of his presentation.