The Wall Street Journal just published an article highlighting the power of conferences and social media. It’s a great read for anyone who attends, plans or is responsible for a conference.
A conference is designed for people to confer, consult and discuss matters of common interest. Let’s build that out a bit by starting with a notion that live media (a conference, meeting, festival, trade show, etc.) is the original social media. Remember that media is a medium of conveyance—a forum for communication. A collection of mediums that we call media.
The WSJ is a branded medium within the print media space. SXSW is a collection of mediums that produces a live media platform. Facebook is a medium that is part of social media.
Social media’s power is in its ability to be a shared media—interactive, dynamic, live and real-time. It’s a narrow media pipe through which discussion, photos, debate and conversation occur.
It sounds a lot like a conference, doesn’t it? But there are three big differences between social and live media:
Social media is virtual; live media is physical.
Social media is low-cost; live media is expensive.
Social media is shallow; live media is deep.
So what if you integrated the two mediums, as WSJ suggests? What if you thought differently about how you attend or plan a conference?
What if you thought of every member of the audience as their own branded medium—the DonNeal.com media brand, for example.
If you were your own medium inside the larger conference media environment, what would you do differently? What photos would you post, what people would you seek out, what debate would you join, and what advice would you seek from real, live human beings?
Making yourself an active part of a live media conference and using social media as described in this WSJ article is the best of both worlds. You are a living, social animal; you are a medium filled with expertise, experience, ideas, questions, answers and emotion. Use your next conference as a live, branded media experience that turns every member of your audience into their own social media channel.