Following on from my previous post about “Tweet-Ups, Meet-ups, Barcamps, YamJams, Clubs and Cafes“. Myself and Martin Howitt have thought about why some of the conflict or miscommunications might be occurring around events etc.
Our thinking is that what we need to realise is that as organisations and as people we are all at different stages, quite an obvious view to take but one which is not often presented up front and in your face when it comes to events.
In my view most events seem to pitch at “anyone interested in topic a” instead of saying. If you are interested in topic A and have this level of awareness and understanding and need this kind of knowledge to help you progress then this is your event”. Now i’m not an event organiser but i suspect this might be a costly approach as it will not bring in the large numbers to make the bottom line look sexy.
Lets think about what these levels might be – These are adapted and based on the Kolb Learning Cycle
Level 1 – Eye opener – This is the first step on the “i want to find out more” and “what have people done so i can show others” – This is the level that requires people to share their experiences of how using twitter has improved relationships or how Facebook has connected them to new networks etc. Anything more than this at this stage would essentially be too much and will start to disengage as it will be a step too far.
Level 2 – Baby Steps – This level will cover people who are actually using social media for business purposes, and would start the raise the “why is this important and how does this fit into the wider context of strategy in my organisation”. The event offering here would essentially be providing you with context, strategic alignment, business benefits and most importantly time to think and reflect on where this fits in your organisation.
Level 3 – Preparation – This level is about focusing on how you will plan the implementation of social media in your organisation, you KNOW how it fits and are simply interested in making it happen and want to explore different frameworks, patterns and the sort of issues (cultural, technical and organisational) that you might come across. – The event offering would be a practical small-scale facilitated workshop which gave you the plan to take home. This would include peer review from other participants and support and guidance from experts in the field.
Level 4 – JFDI – This level is essentially about you doing it and you are sharing your learning real-time via a community of practice and feeding back into the previous levels – People here may well be considered the experts in the previous level. There is no real event offering at this level because Social Media can not be simulated, however you can offer a a space for practitioners to share experience and resources.
The key aspect is that learning is a continuous process….