This is a blog post I wrote for the Hub LA blog (http://thehubla.com), regarding Social Media Week Los Angeles 2011, where I had the opportunity to speak during the workshop, “Solving Problems Using Social Media [Social Good Day].”
I was working independently as a social media consultant for bars and events throughout Los Angeles during Social Media Week last year, but my participation in this event was limited to online. This year, I had the opportunity to not only help coordinate a workshop, but also the opportunity to share my expertise.
My involvement started when the Hub LA team started contemplating hosting an event on our own for Social Media Week Los Angeles, and reached out to a few of our contacts involved in the event. We were soon connected to Heather Mason, President of Caspian Productions, an events company that produces major conferences, including ones you may have heard of, like the annual Skoll World Forum in the UK. Caspian was responsible for coordinating the Social Good Day at Bergamot Station, with four different and interesting events around Social Media and Social Good – one of which was our workshop.
I had a chance to work closely with Brady Hahn, President of the Nonprofit Effect, to put together our workshop, including Dylan Conroy along the way, Head of West Coast Sales at Keith Ferrazzi’s Relationship Masters Academy. Maybe because we were the only workshop during the Social Media Week Los Angeles, our event filled up very fast; which was exciting to say the least.
It was great that we decided to do a workshop, because as we had planned, people had the opportunity to receive direct and actionable advice, something often missing from panels and speaker events.
During the first thirty to forty minutes of our workshop, Brady, Dylan, and I had the opportunity to each speak on our topics: Brady discussed the importance of clearly communicating your business and needs, I talked about leveraging various social media tools to do research, and Dylan spoke of leveraging LinkedIn to identify and reach out to important connections.
It was the next hour of the workshop, however, that I thought was most beneficial to the audience. We provided the opportunity for about six to seven audience members to get workshopped: each stood up, explained their business within 45 seconds, described a specific problem they were facing, had a few questions asked by the group, and finally received specific advice from each of the speakers and many participatory audience members. What was most exciting was when we would see two audience members start enthusiastically chatting; we’d have to cut them off and tell them to trade information after the event.
I’ve confirmed that I enjoy workshops, where people have the opportunity to not only receive general tips but also specific actionable advice, where audience members can participate in sharing their knowledge and insight, and where people naturally connect afterwards – hopefully to start working together.