Technology

Association Uses Facebook Live to Expand Education

By / Apr 17, 2017 (g-stockstudio/iStock)

Using Facebook’s live-streaming capabilities, the Association For Creative Industries has taken a meeting-based education session and made it accessible year-round.

On the tradeshow floor at its most recent annual meeting, Creativation 2017, the Association For Creative Industries launched its iDiscover Chats, 15-minute informative presentations and discussions led by business experts. While those sessions were videotaped and posted online, AFCI has now began a new iDiscover Chats series broadcasted via Facebook Live.

“The best education we can provide to our manufacturers, retailers, and creative professionals is education that is useful, exciting, interactive, and convenient,” Director of Education Nidia Negron said in a press release. “We designed our iDiscover Chats as livestreams so a busy entrepreneur can realistically tune-in, ask questions, and learn something new through social media without sacrificing their most important resource—time.”

Because Negron knew social media, namely Facebook, was a preferred communication channel for many AFCI members, she decided to air the sessions via its livestream platform. And using a closed Facebook group for members—which include businesses and professionals working in creative industries like home décor, painting, and DIY—allowed her to make the chats member-only. The first session, “To Invent of Not to Invent: When to Listen to the Voice in Your Head,” covered ways to turn an idea into a feasible business or product.

Unlike email, Facebook Live humanizes our brand.

“We found that it’s a happy medium of making our education available 24/7 and keeping it exclusive to our members, and I think that’s something that they appreciate,” she told Associations Now. She explained the chats have also helped boost participation in that closed group.

But this wasn’t the first time AFCI used Facebook Live, which launched in April 2016. “Unlike email, Facebook Live humanizes our brand,” Negron said. “It’s a tool we used over the past year to introduce our staff and what we do, as well as discuss commonly asked questions we receive from members about their benefits.”

Specifically, staff used it to introduce Phoenix as the new location of its annual meeting, discuss member benefits, and highlight new education offerings. Benefits of the platform and group include a place to share the schedule and speakers, automatic notifications of event changes and updates, and the ability to save the video for people to view later. But getting members engaged started with creating a closed group, inviting them to join it, and clearly explaining the group’s purpose.

Looking ahead, Negron plans to ensure speakers are fully versed in Facebook Live and engage more members by sending event reminders, posting about the session on AFCI’s general Facebook page, and listing the sessions in its education newsletter. For now, the sessions will stay on Facebook, though she hopes to expand into Instagram and other social media livestream platforms in the future.

“It is always our goal every year to just think of what can we do better for our membership, where can we grow, what can we expand,” she said. “So education is always on the forefront.”

Alex Beall

Alex Beall is an associate editor for Associations Now with a masters in journalism and a penchant for Instagram. More »

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