Hi everyone! How is your summer going? It’s been a whirlwind of events and fun experiences for me so far…and it’s only half-way through July! Today I thought it would be fun to talk about social media and networking events, like conferences and conventions, and how the two can go hand-in-hand for a more effective experience. On July 11th of this year I traveled out to The Woodlands, TX to attend the 85th National Sigma Kappa Convention. For those of you who don’t know me, I am an Alumnae of the Kappa Zeta chapter of Sigma Kappa at Elon University and am currently an Advisor for the ladies of the Phi chapter at University of Rhode Island.
I was offered the opportunity to attend the conference with the President of the collegiate Phi chapter along with one other advisor. Of all my years of involvement with Sigma Kappa, I had never attended a Convention before and was curious to see what exactly it was all about. Well, I had no idea what I was in for. From July 11-15 I was sucked into a world of 700 women, where I was attending Business Meetings, numerous educational workshops and presentations throughout the days, and enjoying fun theme events in the evenings. Check out some photos below from my experiences at Convention:
One of the things that I found to be very interesting, was Sigma Kappa’s encouragement for us to Tweet the hashtag of the event during all the days we were there (#SKTexas12). Not being very active on Twitter, I was curious to see exactly what people were talking about. I checked out the mobile Twitter app on my iPhone and discovered some of the following Tweets:
@MelSigKap: “@drlorihart i think the purple kool aid is coursing thru my veins! keeping the ball rolling with all the new ideas! #SKTexas12″
@Ann_OC: “Another of my favorite moments from #SKTexas12 was when @AndiSligh told us the Ultra-Violet event was ‘better than [she] was expecting.’”
@jrmrose: “Just read my notes from @tamason legacy session at #SKTexas12. So many good lessons there.”
@tristamac: “Drinking my third cup of coffee. I need a vacation to recover from #SKTexas12″
As you can see from the above Tweets, everyone had something to say about their experience about convention. From corresponding with a keynote speaker, Dr. Lori Hart, or an educational workshop speaker, Tisa Mason, to discussing the comments of a National Council member on one of the theme events – Sigma Kappas were talking about Convention. From my experience with attending an event like this and becoming more involved in the social media aspect, it truly enhanced the experience of attending the week-long event because I was able to see what everyone else was up to, or their opinions on the presentations, or jokes or comments about any other goings-on at Convention. Not to mention the excited reunions that occurred; I was reunited with one woman from my New Member Class at Elon as well as a childhood friend who is now a Sigma Kappa and very involved in volunteering with the organization on a national level.
On another note, this is just proof that combining social media with events based around networking and meeting people can be very useful. In a recent article on http://www.blog.meetingsnet.com, reporter Sue Pelletier discusses How Social Media Can Help Improve Networking At Conferences. Some of the tips and practices that she suggests include:
- Update your conference’s Facebook page with information and RSVP capabilities
- Track conference activities via Twitter with hashtags
- Post pre-conference tips: links to LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter pages, facilitate conversations between new and seasoned attendees, make plans to meet up with other attendees
- Check-In at the conference on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or FourSquare
- Get in touch with attendees post-conference
- Send and receive referrals from new network members
Have any of you ever attended a Sorority National Convention or any other type of networking conference? Did they utilize Social Media and how did you get involved? Share with us in our comments section!