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Talking Tech: Smile for the Camera! (Dec. 2015)

Events provide a great source of photos and videos, and the tools listed below can used to increase attendee engagement and significantly broaden the social footprint of your next meeting.

Mobile Social Channels Using Photos/Videos
Savvy users of Twitter know that a tweet with an image is nearly twice as likely to be retweeted. Similar statistics apply to other social channels. As the saying goes, a picture or video can be worth a thousand words. Consequently, a variety of emerging social apps using photos, videos and video streaming are working their way into meetings and events, including the following:

Instagram has doubled in use in the past three years, now boasting over 300 million users. As this social channel is inherently mobile, it is a natural to use on-site at events. Twitter walls commonly include Instagram feeds as well as Twitter images.

Snapchat has built a brand out of disappearing photos and videos (4 billion daily video views alone). It now offers “Live Stories,” a curated stream of user-submitted Snaps and videos from various locations and events. Users who have their location services on at the same event location will be given the option to contribute Snaps to the Live Story. The end result is a story told from a community perspective with lots of different points of view. The feature doesn’t identify who created which snaps, only showing that they were all captured at the same event. 

Photo Booths
Tradeshow/event photo booths are great for increasing attendee engagement, for capturing contact information and to broaden the impact of social media for events. They commonly post images (including the event hashtag) to Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook. ChirpE, as an example, posts to Facebook and Twitter.

Videos are also seeing increasing usage at meetings. Facebook introduced auto-playing video in December 2013 and saw its number of video posts jump 75 percent the next year. This ubiquitous and highly mobile channel is a natural for use at events.

The Vine app allow users to post six-second videos and then share them to Twitter, which is also seeing use at meetings.

Video Streaming
Streaming video apps, allowing real-time video postings, are coming to events. Meerkat made its debut at the annual technology/music SXSW conference (known for significant debuts such as Twitter). Periscope, purchased by Twitter, provides similar services and will likely prevail due to a better interface and its support from Twitter. With 10 million people registered (in just four months), watching more than 40 years of video each day, Periscope will be a force to be reckoned with for events. One caution: Meeting planners should prepare for even greater Wi-Fi and cellular bandwidth usage as well as increasing copyright challenges. 

As photos and video continue their rapid ascent in social media, and the fact that events provide a great source for them, it’s only natural that this technology will become ubiquitous in the meetings realm.

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About the author
Corbin Ball | Speaker and Consultant

Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP, is a speaker and independent third-party consultant focusing on meetings technology. With more than 20 years of experience running international citywide technology meetings, he now helps clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve productivity.