Just back from an awesome DSA BeConnected conference. It was fun, and met some fantastic friends, new and old. Not sure if it was work, or just a vacation for workaholics …
Of course, I loved the focus on our world: marketing, social media and salesforce development and technology. This was the most social-enabled DSA meeting I’ve seen and by all accounts was a success.
Which got me thinking … what are some of the changes we can look forward to in events, and how can you embrace them for your direct selling company? Here are a few tools to be aware of:
- People tracking and social sharing. A swipe of an RFID wristband and you are checked-in on Facebook and Twitter to a workshop or keynote — no smartphone needed. RFID chips are already being used to track attendees at events and auto-share and post their activities. This strategy could be used to set up a photo-sharing station for attendees to automatically post pics of themselves, say, with a company founder or leaders. All of this could extend the event experience to attendees’ social networks — greatly increasing visibility for the event and for your company. (Anything that reduces the amount of time it takes to update at events gets a thumbs-up from me!)
- Event mobile apps become standard. Direct sellers will have more ways to go mobile and extend their convention programs to those on the go. Though text campaigns have been used to deliver event updates or promote special events, event managers will start embracing more robust event mobile apps. Mobile apps in place of programs are environmentally friendly and can create a better attendee experience. Real-time conference information, enhanced on-site networking, surveys and polling, and better measurement mean more engagement and excitement.
- Your events LIVE, online. I believe live streaming will become more and more prevalent in our industry. Some people just can’t get to or afford to attend a convention, while many modern networkers conduct their business completely online and are beginning to demand live streams. In our industry, this is a perfect example of the tension between the “belly-to-belly” mantra and our new technology-laden environment. My advice? Inevitable tools like streaming should be evaluated and considered in our business, most of all customized to achieve our goals of recruitment, retention and culture/community building.
- Causes are front and center. At the DSA event, a breakfast segment was dedicated to the DSEF’s support of the local Girls & Boys Clubs, complete with a Christmas toy drive. I like that the support was of a local organization where the event was taking place, a very real experience because we got to meet the kids we were helping. Cause-related initiatives at your convention allow attendees to feel part of something meaningful. Many, many direct sellers are highlighting causes in their opportunities and events as a part of their everyday communication strategy.
Events will always be a primary driver for momentum in our industry. The more engaging and technologically enhanced the better for promotion and sharing the excitement with those who can’t be there.
What do you think about technology and conventions? Does it erode our belly-to-belly philosophy?