Curating conference content to promote member engagement

On Thursday, July 26, at 2 p.m. ET, it will be my pleasure to present a webinar of the same name for Higher Logic. You may know that Higher Logic is the leader in social media and collaboration solutions for associations, not-for-profits and member-based organizations worldwide – and, of course, Lauren Wolfe and I go way back as long-time members of ASAE’s Young Association Executive Committee.

Let me set the scene: Your toes are numb from standing for 72 straight hours. You’ve not slept in days. The most food you’ve eaten is a carrot stick from last night’s cocktail hour and half an egg roll. The annual conference finally draws to a close and the last thing on your mind is the resource and content treasures unearthed throughout the event.

Nevertheless, these are the tangible deliverables that can and should be used to optimize existing engagement activities. In addition to driving the development of timely follow-on educational programs, and aiding learners in linking theory (presented at the conference) with practice (challenges encountered on the job), curated content can also support organizational recruitment and retention efforts (by delivering quality products and services that members value).

Undoubtedly, there is a benefit to enriching the onsite conference experience with the addition of exclusive interviews, video, photos, news about the speakers, vendors and entertainment, and live Twitter feeds and Facebook posts. However, what I’m specifically talking about here is curating conference content that already exists.

Whether during breakout sessions, informal hallway conversations, networking breaks, meals, receptions, keynote presentations, special events or on The Back of the Napkin (à la Dan Roam), we can all agree that learning takes place both inside and outside of the traditional classroom. The trick is to capture those nuggets of wisdom, then curate, repackage, repurpose and leverage them.

Following is a high-level overview of the five simple, but effective strategies for curating conference content I’ll share during my July 26 webinar. Examples and case studies presented during this program will help illuminate real life examples that can be immediately implemented within your own organization.

  1. Schedule follow-on education. Popular education sessions could be repeated in person or online, or content previously presented in a breakout session could be teased out into a half-day or full-day program.
  2. Link theory with practice. A curriculum eliciting a call to action requires appropriate follow through and support. Association resources should be deployed to ensure all barriers to implementation are removed and successes celebrated.
  3. Keep the conversation flowing. Online communities could be formed and moderated to continue conference discussions long after the closing keynote session has ended, encouraging opportunities for further engagement and collaboration.
  4. Develop a library of resources. Speakers, vendors, attendees and staff could be invited to transform important topics presented at the conference into valuable resources such as blog posts, newsletter articles, white papers or videos.
  5. Aggregate social media content. Pictures from the event, as well as Facebook updates and Twitter posts from both the official conference feeds and the attendees at-large could be compiled into a meaningful story and shared.

Wow! Even I’m impressed. So, mark your calendar for July 26, 2-3 p.m. ET, and don’t forget to register (at no cost) by clicking here. By the way, if you’re still not convinced this will be worth your time, you may be interested to know that those attending live will be entered for a chance to win a complimentary 30-minute consultation with Event Garde LLC. Additionally, all participants will receive one CAE credit hour for their full participation in this live webinar.

In the meantime, my question to you is this: What would you add to my list of top five strategies for effectively curating conference content? What have you found to be most useful/beneficial in your own organization? As members of other industry organizations, what have you seen or experienced that’s uniquely piqued your interest?

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meet aaron

Association learning strategist & meetings coach. Founder & president of Event Garde. Passionate about cooking, running, blogging, old homes, unclehood & pet parenting (thanks to Lillie the pup).

meet kristen

Writer, editor, public relations professional. Digital content manager. Proud mom of three. Total word geek. Spartan for life.

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