Thanks to social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, you can (cliché alert!) extend the conversation around an event, both online and off, from January through December.
Take a look at the Twitter hashtag chatter for SOBCon or TBEX or all of the 140 Characters Conferences – and many of the SoMeT attendees met each other first through #tourismchat.
These are no longer just your standard panels/keynotes/rubber chicken lunch/trade show blah-blah-blah where “the really good stuff happens in the convention center hallways.”
These are vibrant, helpful, year-round communities in which the online interaction solidifies and grows the offline, and vice versa. This level of enthusiasm translates into more interest in the event; in the case of SOBCon, they were already registering for the 2011 version the minute the 2010 one finished, and now there’s a #SOBCon chat (you don’t have to have attended to conference to hang out there, either.)
The bar for meetings is raised. People don’t want a good thing to end, and it doesn’t have to, when you use social networking tools to sustain and grow the connections.
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