The Vocus Virtual Conference
I think that the Vocus Virtual Conference is an example of social media learning at its best. The conference was about leveraging social media, it was promoted through social media and the attendees were provided with an interactive environment where they could network and collaborate together around a number of interesting topics.
Brian Solis and I discussed our book, Putting the Public Back in Public Relations. We also participated in a chat session on how social media builds brand champions (both internally within your organization and externally in social networks). Other sessions were how to build a Social Media Release, an integrated approach to emerging media and maximizing the value of your news from Twitter to Google. The conference emphasized conversations and made its way to Twitter, via the #vocus hashtag. Among the hundreds of entries from the #vocus hashtag, these are just a few:
Vocus had a strong social media program in place and its outreach pre-conference included promotions with links to discounts for speakers to share in their networks. Vocus sent out a news release through PRWeb and also developed a Social Media Release (SMR) with my agency, PFS Marketwyse. We’re currently reviewing the results of the SMR, and will be reporting on the analytics soon.
The virtual event had one of the most impressive platforms that I’ve ever seen. Created by On24, the virtual conference had the participants enter into the Plaza where a video automatically played, with the Vocus CMO, Bill Wagner, giving a welcome message. Attendees could then enter into a Networking Café, a Resource Center to access documents/presentations or an Auditorium. My favorite area and probably one of the most popular was the Networking Café. In this area, attendees interacted in Group Chats and also Scheduled Chats. My Scheduled Chat with Brian was very fast paced and we fielded a tremendous number of questions from interested participants. There were definitely more questions than we had time to answer in our half hour chat session.
I guess if you’re going to have a social media conference, then you have to do it the right way. Everything should be about social media, from the topics and promotion to the interactive environment and the ways people participate. Vocus was very happy with its virtual event. As a presenter, I’m still discussing conference topics and answering questions. Now, that’s the true value of social media. The conversations are only the beginning. Relationships are formed, and moving forward there’s plenty of opportunity as a result.
July 28, 2009 @ 6:04 pm
This was a fascinating conference on two levels. The concepts discussed were exactly what I needed to hear, and being able to see social networking in action as I twittered my little heart out added a whole new dimension to the event.
Plus, I was greatly impressed to see that the conference wasn’t one big fat sales pitch for VOCUS. If anything, I am more interested in VOCUS because they avoided the hard sell.
July 28, 2009 @ 6:41 pm
Hi Laurin, I couldn’t agree with you more. I thought the topics at the Virtual Event were relevant for today’s PR professionals. In my experience with Vocus, they never take the hard sell. Like most, I’m turned off by the big sales pitch too. It was a great educational forum!
July 1, 2010 @ 6:48 pm
Dierdre: Good news — just learned that this year’s virtual conference will be free. More to follow!
July 1, 2010 @ 8:52 pm
Hi Frank! That is really good news. Thanks for sharing and keep me posted 🙂