Connecting Women in Technology #CWTNetworking

CWTConnecting Women in Technology (CWT) is a cross industry network, which includes Avaya, Cisco, Dell, Google, HP, IBM, Intel and Microsoft.

The network collaborates to encourage women to find role models and mentors, share best practice through networking, and provide a supportive environment to connect. CWT’s purpose is to send a strong message to the market that IT is an attractive place for women to work.

When I first jumped off the corporate train, I was surprised to notice the interest/curiosity that my gender could create in the start-up world. I’ve since come to realise that the interest/curiosity usually multiplies when it is revealed that my start-up is a tech one!

So, big thumbs up to CWT Smile 

CWT are hosting their 13th event: Professional Networking – Building Your Online Network and Managing Your Social Media Presence, this Wednesday, at Intel. I am delighted to feature as their keynote speaker, in a line-up that includes:

#joiningthedots – CWT Project Team members who tweet include Christine Claus, Catherine Campbell and Samantha Perry, who will be Master of Ceremonies on Wednesday.

For more on the event, see: Agenda

Male or female, working for a CWT company or not, you’re very welcome to join via the hashtag: #CWTNetworking (when you click this link, you’ll see the most recent tweets).

See you at Intel and/or at the virtual cocktail party via the hashtag soon!

Connected Business #ConnectedBiz

20140924 connectedbiz#ConnectedBiz is the Twitter hashtag for Enterprising Barnsley’s annual conference Connected Business – Making Online Work For Your Bottom Line. 

The event tomorrow will be Enterprising Barnsley’s third conference, and I’m delighted to be asked back after speaking at their first event in 2012.

Clockwise from top left in Enterprising Barnsley’s photo of the line-up:

  • Me and CubeSocial Smile – I’m going to be speaking about the evolution of LinkedIn, and questioning whether LinkedIn profiles are now a business basic or burden;
  • Adrian McEwen, MCQN – will talk about the rise of interconnected smart devices and how the ‘internet of things’ could impact business in the future;
  • Greg Williams, WIRED – hosting the conference; 
  • Simon Biltcliffe, Webmart – will share his experience of taking advantage of digital resources in order to grow his business; and
  • Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC Technology Correspondent – conference keynote.

For more on the conference, including how to register and details of Mark Asquith’s masterclass, see: Agenda 

If you didn’t make the kick-off event, here’s what I had to say on the power of social media for business: Video

And regardless of whether or not you can join in person, do join via the hashtag: #ConnectedBiz (when you click this link, you’ll see the most recent tweets).

Looking forward to being back in Barnsley and seeing you all soon!

Networking in the Digital Age #MFWsocial

20140910 MFWsocial#MFWsocial is the Twitter hashtag for Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) Women London’s event this Wednesday 10 September – Networking in the Digital Age: Social Media is just another way to talk.

I will be speaking alongside MoFo Women London’s chair, Sue McLean, on how to incorporate social media into business networking.

In keeping with the spirit of the event, Sue invited me to speak after seeing my recent interview by Lexis®Commercial about the use of social media by law firms on Twitter. How appropriate / What an handy example for the event!

Echoing Socially Aware’s announcement, if you:

  • don’t know your ‘like’ from your ‘hashtag’;
  • have a LinkedIn account but aren’t sure how to get the most out of it; or
  • use Twitter in your personal life, but struggle with how it works in a business context

… join us. It would be great to see you there Smile

For more details, including how to register, see: MoFoWomen

If you’re not based in London / can’t make 6pm in person, join via the hashtag: #MFWsocial (when you click this link, you’ll see the most recent tweets)

And if you’re curious to learn more about hashtags, take a peek at these blog posts:

Once you see how hashtags work, I hope to see you enjoying and benefiting from them!

#AMBAspring – How the conversation can continue after an event

AMBAspring

#AMBAspring was the Twitter hashtag for the Association of MBAs’ Spring Refresher at Kent Business School. I was one of four speakers – between us we were to “cover the core modules taught in today’s MBAs… innovation, entrepreneurship, marketing and finance”.

There was limited conversation on #AMBAspring before the event, so I arrived prepared for cynicism and heckling… let’s just say that there were a number of spirited exchanges!

But a shift was happening. And slowly but surely, the shift that was happening in the room could be seen online… new Twitter accounts were created, those who were already on Twitter welcomed the newbies and connected them with other attendees, reviews and reflections of the day were posted and shared… all via a hashtag that may have been considered to have already served its purpose.

And it didn’t stop there Smile

I was delighted to see the hashtag mentioned again a month after the event when I was tweeting from the #LeanInLondon launch:

image

Social media makes it easy to keep #joiningthedots – make sure to continue and grow the conversations (and networks) that are of interest to you!

10 Incredible Ways to Boost Your Conference ROI with Social Media

imageConferences and trade shows are a great way to get face time with potential clients, suppliers and partners. In the past these events were all about pressing palms and cramming as many meetings into the day as possible. Social media changes all that.

We’ve found that we can massively improve the ROI of events by integrating social media with our real world activities… in fact in some cases you don’t even need to be there in person!

Here are our top tips for using social media at conferences and shows.

Before the event

  1. Help the organizer promote the event
    Find the hashtag and official Twitter account for the event and use social media to let everyone know that you’re going. Retweet announcements from the official event account. Include a status update in your LinkedIn account, with a link to the official event details. Send @messages to your online contacts suggesting the conference might be a good place to catch-up face to face. Remember to include the hashtag in all your Tweets. This will get your face and company name recognized by the show organizers and demonstrate real value to them. Smart organizers will want to encourage this behaviour. As a result of our efforts we’ve been offered massive discounts on show pricing, free upgrades and the chance to speak at future events.
  2. Build relationships
    Look at the speaker and attendee list. Speakers will often have Twitter accounts listed. Make note of anyone you want to meet in person. If you use CubeSocial, create a contact card for each person and tag them appropriately. Tweet about the speakers you’re looking forward to hearing and the people you’re meeting up with. Make sure to use the speaker/attendee Twitter usernames so that conversation can grow. Cast yourself in the role of the jovial party host. Do not sell!
  3. Schedule meetings
    Those speakers you’ve just been chatting to… the online contacts you invited to the show… now’s the time to casually arrange a coffee at the event itself.
  4. Arrange a side event
    If you can’t afford the entrance fee, or the show organizers say you don’t match their criteria for entrance, arrange your own side event. Professional marketers call this ambush marketing, and we (initially unintentionally) pulled this off earlier this year when we were told we couldn’t attend a show. We arranged a Tweetup to coincide with the conference that grew to the point that the conference organizers asked us asked how they could get involved in our event!

During the event

  1. Live Tweet conference sessions
    If you are in a conference session, live Tweet it. There are always plenty of people who for whatever reason are unable to attend. Followers who are interested in the event will appreciate the real-time insights and may add to the conversation, widen your perspective of the event, and the reach of your tweets. Their retweets will provide an interesting insight into what resonates. Remember to always use the conference hashtag. Journalists often follow the hashtags during conferences on the lookout for interesting stories. In our case, our very first piece of media coverage came from a journalist quoting Tweets we had sent during a live Tweeting session.
  2. Make use of otherwise dead time
    During the show you’ll likely be busy with all the meetings you set up beforehand, but be sure to make use of otherwise dead time: The journey to and from the event and during breaks for example. Follow the conference hashtag to discover the important news and themes of the show, and contribute to the conversation.
  3. Tag team it
    Ask your colleagues back at the office to engage in conversation with you and selectively retweet your posts. Your goal should be to put yourself at the centre of online activity, expanding your influence and awareness of your brand.

After the event

  1. Follow up on the leads you missed
    Review the hashtag stream for the conference. Regular Twitter search just goes back a couple of days, so you’ll need to be quick. If you use CubeSocial you can set up a Social Search to record the entire stream for the duration of the show. You can then review the stream at your leisure and reach out to people who might be new contacts, leads or opportunities.
  2. Share photos
    It doesn’t matter whether it is on Twitter, Flickr or Facebook. Share your photos of the event, especially of people you met there. People love photos, especially if they give an insight into something they may have missed out on. Photos are some of the most frequently shared material on the web, and will help broaden the reach of your brand.
  3. Write a review of the event
    Use your blog to write a review of the event. Write about the interesting people you met there, including photos and links to websites and Twitter accounts of people you mention. When you’re done, tell everyone you’ve mentioned that they are featured in your blog. Your aim is to make it easy for people to join the dots, make new connections, find the interesting content and build on their experience. When we took part in Seedcamp earlier this year, our Seedcamp write-up proved so popular that the event organizers mistakenly thought we were spamming them. We had to react quickly on that one and explained that no, it was simply the community at large picking up on it and sharing it.

The best thing about all this is that in many cases you don’t even need to be there in person to benefit from the buzz a conference or show generates. If you find yourself in that situation, try curating the Twitter stream instead, as we did here for a recent event.

What techniques have you found successful for maximising the value of real-world events with social media?