In May 2012 Gerrit Heijkoop visited IMEX Frankfurt as part of the IMEX Social Team. In this conversation with Ruud Janssen he explains how Social Media are becoming an integral part of events and conferences and why you should start on Twitter now.
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Watch full length video at: http://vimeo.com/42823708
Ruud Janssen: What level of patience do meeting and event organizers need to have when they strategize that this is an important component of their communication? How much time should they give it in the user adoption of their group, for it to actually come to a purposeful business investment, backslash that the community starts getting built? How much time does that take, do you think?
Gerrit Heijkoop: I would say as a rule of thumb at least three rounds of your event or cycle. If you have an annual event, that’s three years. If you have a biannual, that’s six years, but you could do little stuff in between to improve that. If you have a monthly event it could be three months. It starts with what I call top management commitment, so as an organizer and as the executive level of an organizing committee or association, really standing behind this and adapting this and saying we are going to do this, we believe in this and we’ll lead the way.
Even while it’s only 5, or 10, or 15% of our audience participating. That could be like 10 tweets. You feel like, “Oh my God, is this paying off ever?” Now if you come to the second cycle, you obviously have the first 10 or 15 people who did it last time, and you have built up some evidence.
You have hopefully collected some cases, some nice stories about what happened last time. For example, for me personally, I was traveling here by train, I was tweeting in the train, obviously, to Roel Frissen, who was going by plane. We had a thing like, “Let’s race, who’s here earlier? Plane or train?”
Janssen: It’s like a Top Gear show or something, right?
Heijkoop: Exactly. It was like that. Then, two ladies who were in the train as well picked up, because they were both following us. We were like, “Oh you’re in the train as well. Let’s do a tweetup.” So we had this spontaneous tweet up in the train, in the bistro, I had a nice cup of coffee, and that worked out really well. I can’t tell you the end of the story yet, and I can’t tell you, well, I made so much business out of that, but these are the little seeds that make it grow. To go back to the cycle for the event organizer, so next event, you start celebrating the stuff that happened at the first event and that will make more people will catch on.
You need to grow that critical mass, and let’s be honest at this time the social media add ups are still a minority. It’s anywhere between 10 and 40% of your audience. That’s a minority
Janssen: But is the minority the movers and shakers, and those that are the innovators? Or is it the minority that’s just addicted to gadgets, technology and trying anything that’s new?
Heijkoop: Well, if you look at that curve, and obviously we all know the adoption curve is an S curve. Let’s say it took about five years to get to this either 10 or 30%. It’s not going to take another five years to gain the next 30. We all feel it.
Janssen: So now is the time.
Heijkoop: Now is the time to jump in.
Janssen: It’s not too late?
Heijkoop: It’s not too late at all, but within one or two years you will be at 60%. Then all of a sudden, if you’re not joining the conversation online, you are becoming the minority. You are missing out on stuff.
Janssen: You will be overwhelmed potentially,
END OF TRANSSCRIPT
http://twitter.com/HCIBS – How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)
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