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Posts Tagged ‘event planning’

When Should An Event Get/Announce Its Hashtag?

March 6, 2012 3 comments

hashtag cartoon via microsoft office



As someone who has been to a number of events (as I’ve oft chronicled here with my “Event” tag) especially ones that are promoted on, geared towards, and inclusive of Social Media and the people on Social Media sites – specifically Twitter – I have noticed that leading up to or even at many events no one seems to know what the hashtag for the event is!

My thoughts about this really coalesced  into me writing what you’re reading now when I read this blog post by my friends over at Notable.ca: called Tweeting Your Way Through Events. Notable.ca and the article is targeted towards Young Professionals but, in my opinion, what’s mentioned in the article holds true for almost any demographic. They say that we find Twitter so useful because although “we make our own notes as writers at events and leave armed with media kits…being able to go back and have a digital diary of things we may have missed – plus the access to comments of others at the event – is always appreciated.

NOTE: This post assumes you know what a “hashtag” on Twitter is and their purpose. If you don’t know, I suggest reading this article in the Twitter Help Center: “What Are Hashtags (“#” Symbols)?” before continuing.

hashtag via microsoft office clipart

I couldn’t agree more with the above assertion, it is EXTREMELY useful to be able to look up the hashtag before, during, and after an event to see what the buzz is about it, what’s going on at the event (if it’s big enough of an event there’s no way to be everywhere at once), and what happened at the event after the fact. The article goes on to say:

In this day and age, most organizers will create a designated Twitter hashtag and announce the hashtag ample times to promote the event and connect with their key audiences. It is important to let people know well in advance so they can follow along if they’re interested and engage using the same hashtag.

Unfortunately, in the article the Notable team never makes mention of what they define the terms “ample time” and “well in advance” to be in this situation so I thought I would offer my take on it. Read more…

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Invitation Awesomeness

November 12, 2011 2 comments

My friends Brad & Alex are getting married in a bunch of months and recently I received an invitation to their ‘official’ engagement party. With this engagement party invite came one of the coolest ideas I have ever seen used within an invitation – a scratch away date for when the actual wedding is going to be! Talk about 21st Century technology being awesome! (OK, fine, this technology was around since at least the 1960’s but whatever.) This is a brilliant and fun idea which, as I mentioned, I have never seen on an invitation before.

As you can see – even once it is scratched the invitation doesn’t say much beyond a date for when the wedding will be but it is a real attention grabber and great way to plan ahead and make sure your wedding guests know when the wedding will be months in advance so they can prepare themselves for the day – by planning to take a vacation day the next day and notifying their bosses far in advance! 😉 I kid, I kid.

Also, in writing this post I got to wondering what the heck those scratchcards use as the scratchable shiny silver stuff. According to Wikipedia article “Scratchcard” the opaque substance is usually latex. This is also one of those bits of info that is actually sourced to a seemingly reliable source – a press release by the California State Lottery.

Have you ever seen an invitation which was done like this? Any other really fun or interesting or out of the ordinary ways you’ve seen invitations done? I’d love to hear about them and/or see pictures.

Marketing Competing Products In An Event’s Swag Bag? OK Or Not?

October 27, 2011 1 comment

Yesterday and last night I was at AndroidTO 2011 thanks to my buddy Justin Baisden (@The_JMoney on the Twitters) and I had a fantastically amazing time – and learning experience – all day during #AndroidTO itself and the #Harthfest after-party afterward. Ok, you got me, there wasn’t any learning going on during Hartfest. Come to think of it, Harthfest was more about killing brain cells with alcohol, but I digress.

While I can write a lot about many different subjects from AndroidTO – which was an extremely well put together production by the organizers and volunteers – what really struck me yesterday is the way one of the event sponsors chose to use the AndroidTO vehicle to market themselves and their products.

I am somewhat uncertain about the etiquette of even writing this and naming names so if you think I should take down the specific references, let me know.

Above you can see the picture of two of the items from the AndroidTO event swag bag – one very appropriately themed awesome t-shirt…but what is up with that red card? Is it for Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango? It is? What the…?

For those of you who don’t know, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform IS NOT a version of Android. I get it that the vast majority of people who attended AndroidTO were in some way or another involved in making a multitude of apps on a multitude of platforms a reality. I understand that Microsoft is trying to push for people to develop for their mobile platform. I am well aware that a lot of app developers/development companies don’t just do one platform but do apps on many different platforms but was the AndroidTO swag bag the place to push a different mobile platform? To me it seems like it really isn’t the place.

Some who were there yesterday may argue that the panels and speakers yesterday didn’t only discuss the apps they had and development experiences they had with the Android platform but talked about a myriad of other platforms as well. While this is true, it doesn’t change the fact that the panel members discussing different mobile platforms in terms of their centralized app downloading spots or marketing the app on the internet or through traditional media or beta testing an app holds true pretty much across mobile platforms and is, therefore and in my mind, completely valid to bring up. But out and out advertising a contest for developers to develop for a different platform through the swag bag of an event targeting and geared towards another platform just seems crass to me.

What say all y’all? Let me know in the comments!

The Difference Between Constructive Criticism & Being An “Armchair Quarterback”

July 4, 2011 3 comments


I just read a ‘recap’ of Social Media Day Toronto 2011 on another blog. The blog where it was written is somewhat of a major Canadian tech blog which is part of why I found the way it was written so disappointing.

This is why: the person who wrote the post made ZERO attempt to actually let me know their thoughts before, during, or after the event. They didn’t even have the decency to link me their thoughts as posted on the blog. I just happened to come across it myself. I think that speaks to a serious lack of class. As you can see in the screenshot below, there are two ways to contact the listed Meetup Planner (me) – via Facebook and Twitter. All you have to do is click the link(s).

Social Media Day Toronto Meetup.com Page with my name as organizer and links to my Facebook & Twitter

In fact, that is exactly how I got involved in Foursquare Day Toronto 2011. I reached out to the organizers and gave them some advice based on my own experiences dealing with the City of Toronto and in the end they asked me to join their team of planners.

With every event I have organized and gone to I have learned more and more about event planning and organizing. One thing that I, as an event organizer have always welcomed, desired, & encouraged is constructive criticism. I love to hear this constructive criticism before, during, and after an event. But, in my humble opinion, it ceases to be constructive criticism when you just write a scathing ‘recap’ online and made no attempt at any point to make your voice/opinions heard by the organizers of the actual event. You become just an armchair quarterback who just finds fault with everything everyone else does while you sit around and do nothing. You are just being negative and aren’t helping us as a community build anything and that just stinks.

In terms of Social Media Day Toronto 2011, I think it is pretty clear it was a community run event put together by volunteers and anyone who had a suggestion for the planners or a problem with the planning they were more than welcome to say something. It was a free event, you got the chance to meet and hear some great speakers and connect with some of your peers who you are mostly confined to talking to online only. We had a cool giveaway from one of our generous sponsors and swag galore from other sponsors and this was all completely free. All we asked for was your time. If you want to give your input, that’s great and we would appreciate it. But do it so it actually helps us! Let us know your thoughts openly so we don’t have to randomly stumble across it by ourselves. I am also left to wonder if the editor of that blog actually reads the things written on it.

And yes, I will be linking this blog post to the gentleman who wrote the ‘recap’ on Social Media Day Toronto 2011.

/rant.

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