Meetings

Lunchtime Links: Putting an End to Conference Cliques

By / Jul 25, 2013 (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

Conferences are all about networking and meeting new people. Learn how to help attendees branch out. Also: Inspire employees to write for your association’s blog with these tips.

Members can become attached during conferences. It’s human nature to circle around people you feel comfortable with, even during icebreakers and networking events. What’s the secret to making these groups more inclusive?

You must create an atmosphere that gives people permission to engage.

That, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Break the clique: If you walk around your conferences and all you see are cliques, or worse, lonely members, you have a problem. Networking is tough. Sometimes it’s easier to stick with people you know. Icebreakers, small-group breakout sessions, and exhibit-floor events are all good ways to encourage social behavior. But, as networking expert and speaker Thom Singer points out, that’s not enough. “You must create an atmosphere that gives people permission to engage,” Singer writes on his blog, Some Assembly Required. “They want to do it, but it does not happen organically.” How do you encourage networking among conference attendees?

Blogger recruitment: Running an association blog isn’t easy. Though your organization is brimming with thought leaders, finding willing voices with enough free time to write, on deadline, for your online presence is tougher than you might think. Looking to drum up contributors for your blog? Ryan Crowe of Stealth Creative offers some tips for motivating your employees. “Develop a business process that gives them something they can check their progress against,” writes Crowe for SocialFish. “Whatever your process is—it becomes a tangible ‘thing’ and it keeps the blogger accountable because they are answering to someone with their deliverables outlined.” Does your association have a blog? What do you do to encourage employee participation?

Are we live? If you’ve ever considered hosting a live stream for one of your association events, you’ve probably asked yourself more than a few of these questions: How much bandwidth do I need? Who will moderate the live chats? What features should I include in the stream? While these are all important questions, there’s another issue you should consider: copyright. In an interview for 10,000 Words, media and tech writer Karen Fratti discusses the issue of copyright with live stream expert Steve Durham. “You want to make sure there’s not a radio playing in the background somewhere,” Durham tells Fratti, “because you can be slapped with a lawsuit.” As if you didn’t have enough to think about already.

What are you reading today? Let us know in the comments.

Anita Ferrer

Anita Ferrer is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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