Using Social Media to Extend and Enhance Offline Events and Experiences
Wow, that’s a mouthful. And that’s exactly what I’ll be discussing at the unGeeked Elite Retreat in Chicago on May 12 – 14, 2011.
How does Social Media extend offline experiences? Sure, you can get a long list of resources that will make your event what is called a ‘hybrid’ (a virtual and physical event), but how do you know which ones are the priority for you, and what is the strategy behind those tactics anyway?
In 2004 I was running a youth organisation that I started called Feedback. We’d already discovered that by putting bands in the show they’d bring their fans along, and that would increase our numbers, but it was when we latched onto MySpace that we discovered the ability to increase participation virtually, aside from the physical limitations of our monthly events. (You can see some old footage on our old MySpace profile still today!)
This really is the benefit of Social Media as an extension of an offline offering. An offline event or experience is typically a single point in space, time and matter, but through Social Media, it can be extended in all three of these areas.
We then need to know how to extend those three in a way that is meaningful and relevant to ‘the why‘ of the offline event in the first place. Perhaps the most helpful element in this is Joe Pine’s model on The Multiverse (For a fuller discussion of this, you read our discussion on ‘virtually present‘)
There are 8 possible configurations of merging time, space, matter with non-time, non-space, non-matter. Joe presents a video on it here, which I would recommend you watch should you have a spare 50 minutes to get acquainted with the future.
- Space: virtual / physical. This is the mix between being physically there, and being virtually there. Being virtually there means that you don’t have to be restricted by:
- Time: linear / non-linear. This means that I be at the event before the event, during the event, after the event. You get the idea. This also means that I lift the restriction of:
- Matter: real / bits. This is about what things are made from. You can be in the same physical space but then still still experience bits – digital data – with which you can then contact those who are virtually present.
It can get very complex, which is what my talk certainly won’t be. I’ll be keeping things simple by getting back to the three core Social strategies that we’ve talked about recently, namely Socialising Channels, Socialising Content, and Socialising Culture. (I think things are easier to remember in threes, don’t you?)
I don’t want to share much more, but there’s a good taster for you here, and I’ll be sharing more of the content over the months, as we’ve got quite a bit of time until May!
Your Leading Thoughts
- What’s the best example that you know of, of Social Media extending an event?
- What would be you dream usage of Social Media as an enhancing of an offline experience?