Thursday, January 13, 2011

Social's Standing on the Show Floor

From everything I have heard and read the world of social was spinning fast this week in Las Vegas and New York City.

Vegas hosts the wildly popular International CES which serves as the annual showcase for new consumer electronics products and technologies.  In an interview with Media Bistro, Laurie Ann Phillips, senior director of communications at the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) (producers of the show), touted the vast and eclectic array of new offerings which made their debut at this year's event.

Equally impressive is how the CEA has baked social media into the show experience to enhance participation, collaboration and community among exhibitors and attendees.  Their Social Circle site is an example of conference-sponsored social media done well.

Nearly 2,300 miles across the country in New York City, the National Retail Federation (NRF) played host to their 100th annual conference simply referred to as "Retail's Big Show."  Although NRF's use of social media did not rise to CEA's high bar, they encouraged exhibitors and sponsors to use social as a channel to connect and share with attendees.

Strategic Communications Group (Strategic) worked with client Merchant Link to build a socially-enabled micro-site to publish and promote content specifically for prospects, partners, analysts and journalists attending the conference. 

This approach to social media allowed Merchant Link's sales team to engage these audiences with a highly targeted thought leadership vehicle, while building further interest in the company and its announcements at the event. 

I typically advise clients to refrain from viewing social media as effective only when implemented enterprise-wide.  Social can have impact when it's tactical....even on a show-by-show basis.

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