The value of dedicated social networking for company events

Expert Opinion

Didier Moulin, event technology provider PowerVote MD on the value of dedicated social networking.

Social networking is increasingly prevalent in our daily lives. Spending ten or twenty minutes, sometimes more, on Facebook, Twitter, etc. has become the norm; and not just at home but increasingly at work.

Some companies try to fight this tendency by forbidding connections to social media at work. Others have understood the benefit they can get from social networking, especially during internal company events.
Any good event organiser should ask themselves: “What are the expectations of the participants in the event I’m organising”- because so much is at stake.
According to a recent survey*, managers are spending 16 years of their professional lives in meetings and seminars. Much of their time is wasted because the event is not well prepared. Moreover, people are often overwhelmed by the bigger egos present and their opinions are lost, especially in large meetings.
This amounts to a waste of opportunity and resources because internal event gatherings are the best way to create motivation and alignment behind company objectives.
This is where a dedicated social network can add real value – from the meeting preparation stage right through the running of the event and the interaction of the participants, to the debriefing at the end. Interaction can be stimulated ahead of the event by “teaser” questions or challenges.

The teaser also enables a better understanding of participants’ motivation and expectations and can lead to more productive engagement during the meeting rather than starting cold.
In large companies particularly, the more reserved participants are often submerged by their extrovert colleagues. Yet it’s important to ensure that everyone has a chance to express their opinions and share their ideas.Access to a dedicated social network allows shy people who don’t want to talk in front of everyone to share their ideas via the written network.
Finally, one of the criticisms of meetings and seminars is that lots of good ideas surface but then get lost. A dedicated network allows you to keep a record of all the exchanges that take place. Words fly away, writings remain!
Stimulating participants and listening to their opinions is both motivating for them and allows you to get the very best out of your event. Using a dedicated social network can therefore add real value to the bottom line.

Any comments? Email Zoe Vernor