Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Engage 365 Post on Event ROI

3 Strategies to Measure Social Media ROI for your Event

ROI = Return On Investment

ROI is a financial term.  You can count page clicks until the cows come home but it might never mean that your time and investment have provided financial “return on investment”.  What are three ways to measure financial impact?  How do we turn front-end investment into long-term profit?
Link to article on Engage 365 
Thank you Jenise Fryatt for inviting me to write for Engage 365.

I would love to hear your comments, additions or issues with ROI.  Feel free to start a conversation on Engage365 or leave a comment here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Importance of Purpose

The video below is an amazing presentation by Dan Pink and RSA Animate.  Dan's point is that by giving people autonomy, freedom to master skills and freedom to pursue an organizations purpose you will get much better results than by offering large financial awards for success.

What does this mean for Community Engagement incentives?  How should we be motivating people?

Interesting advice based on study from Dan Pink is "Pay people enough to take the issue of money off the table. Pay people enough so that they aren't thinking about money, they are thinking about the work."
Watch the RSA Animate Video to See
This Drawn Along with the Speech

Dan Pink says people work better when given "Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose".  He makes the point that people want to do a good job so if you get out of their way, they more often than not, will!  He makes the point that people seek to learn new skills.  As a boss you want your employees to be more skillful.  So, let people build new skills.  Finally as Gordon Gekko says "Greed is good" but Dan says when greed is not attached to the company's purpose "Bad things happen".

I took from this that PURPOSE and CULTURE are king.  Create a culture that is focused around purpose and people will keep the agenda moving forward.

Purpose needs to drive financial decisions.  Too often I have seen companies waste time and kill culture by not wanting to "lose" money on an investment.  Sometime the investment is dead software that they don't want to scrap because "We have too much invested already".  Other times it is employees asking to go to a conference to learn and connect with people and it is seen as a vacation or waste to supervisors or a burden on their time because they will need to find coverage.

Too often I have seen companies "save" money with decisions that didn't make sense to the supposed purpose of the company.  More with less is the concept many people are faced with each day.  But, when did this become the purpose of a company?  If the purpose of a company is great customer service and results oriented problem solving is an automated call center the right solution?  Just sayin!

What is your purpose and what is your primary driver?  Do they match?

Looking forward to your responses.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Event Camp East Coast (#ECEC10) Blog Post List and Resources (Updated 01/02/11)

Event Camp East Coast 2010 is really getting started on the virtual campaign now. Bloggers, journalists, commentators will all weigh in to help on-site attendees and virtually interested Event Professionals (#eventprofs) to enjoy, understand and refresh on all the great ideas shared and learned from Event Camp! 

For your referencing pleasure here is a list. As I find more articles I will update this post so please check back!


2. Event Camp East Coast Home Page (Stay tuned for updates here from the #ECEC10 Team of @ASegar, @TraciBrowne and @Eventsforgood) by Adrian Segar, Traci Browne and Lindsey Rosenthal as well as guest bloggers

3. #ECEC10 What the Hashtag Page (Cool to find archive of tweets, top tweeters and other engagement statistics) by http://wthashtag.com

Interesting Statistics you will find on the #ECEC10 What the Hashtag Page are:
#ECEC10 Twitter Statistics for the last 7 days (Nov 10-Nov 16):

                1,108 tweets
                119 contributors
                158.3 tweets per day
                54.1% come from "The Top 10"
                34.5% are retweets
                78.8% are mentions
                41.6% have multiple hashtags

4. 33+ Event Camp East Coast Attendees to Follow - Twitter list by Jay S Daughtry M.Ed. (@ChatterBachs)

5. The LETTER that sparked the onsite #EVENTPROFS conversation from the community founder Lara McCulloch-Carter

20. A Call To The #Eventprofs Community | by Adrian Segar, Traci Browne and Lindsey Rosenthal (@asegar, @traciBrowne, @eventsforgood)

I am quite sure there will be much more to come!!!  Check back often and please subscribe to my blog.

Please comment on what kind of blog posts that you would like to see about Event Camp East Coast 2010.

Thank you!  

Saturday, November 13, 2010

LEAST Positive and MOST Positive of #EventCamp East Coast (#ecec10)

The PEOPLE have been fantastic, amazing and incredibly intelligent. Examples in the "Most Positive" below. We at #ECEC10 designed our conference yesterday and today. We have had one excellent session after excellent session. I have been extremely satisfied with learning sessions that were not set and designed before the conference. There were no pre-arranged speakers and that has been great! I have heard from attendees that I want to work with instead of talking heads that aren't relevant to me. An event that is focused around attendee feedback is a better event.

 Least Positive: The somewhat sadly populated conversation on Twitter. I like hearing from attendees on Twitter. But it has been difficult to tweet because of the incredible interactivity and engagement. It remains to be seen and I am sure folks will talk about the needed/not-needed "confidentiality" aspect of UNCONFERENCE at #eventcamp. This will be a major learning point without regard to the final group verdict. Negativity is contagious so please talk more about all of the successes than our failures.

 Most Positive: The PEOPLE have been fantastic, amazing and incredibly intelligent. Examples of intelligent people that have stood out to me: Lindsey Rosenthal (@eventsforgood) [great heart and passion], Adrian Segar (@asegar) [amazing event model], Sarah Weiss (@SAWeiss) [non-profit wisdom], Manpreet Wadan (@manpreetwadan) [Virtual World advocate that is passionate about attendee experience], Samuel Smith (@SamuelJSmith) [event planner that really uses technology], Eric Lukazewski (@ericlukazewski) [event design knowledge leader and social media expert], Debra Roth (@PinkDeb) [amazing marketing and design professional who is a pleasure to be around], Kiki L'Italien (@Kikilitalien) [An amazing personality and energy in every room she is in!], Howard Givner (@hgivner) [a business owner who shares successful strategies really well], Jenise Fryatt (@jenisefryatt) [an amazing event and social media professional]. I can go on but I feel like this is too many words. I will share more on Twitter.

 I have learned an incredible amount, in a short amount of time, about events, business, networking, event design and technology.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Harry Potter And The Transfixed Cameron

Have you been hooked by Harry Potter?  Has J.K. Rowling with what seems like simple story telling reeled you into the world she has created where half giants, Centaurs, wizards and witches all freely exist?  I did not think it would happen to me.  After all, while I enjoyed usually the first go around with the Potter movies they were nothing to write home about.  You know.  Nothing I would pay Hedwig to carry a note off to one of my besties.

I was recently at a meeting of MPI and we were talking about Orlando, FL and the Harry Potter Theme park and eventually those books.  I said “they just don’t draw me in, I don’t see what the fascination is”.  My niece had the first book in the series and she happens to be a little young for it so hasn’t been enthralled yet.  I was reading the first couple pages and then I read a couple more.  Even though I had seen the movie I somehow was sucked in to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  And as you can tell I was eating my words as I fell down the rabbit’s hole!

I finished it in a couple days by downloading it on my Android phone and before you can say Professor Quirell I had downloaded Chamber of Secrets and was off to the races. 
So as this is a blog about education, social media and business I want to relate what I have learned so far from the Harry Potter books.

1. Create enjoyable mystery.

Many business models use this and you can too.  Do not over describe your product but describe it just enough that people are intrigued to know more.  Apple’s iPhone and Toyota’s Hybrid Prius are two good examples of mysteries that suck people in.  When conducting an educational meeting use the tool of mystery to keep people engaged.  When your mind is searching for an answer you will listen.  Ask questions and engage your audience!

2. Create characters.

From Mr. Dursley to Ron Weasley and from Professor Snape to Headmaster Dumbledore characters are what drive your interest.  They are what make you feel comfortable rooting for or against.  In your meeting create characters.  Be the woman in red.  Be the Social Media Geek.  Be a character and let people love or hate you.  It is better than not being interesting and not being noticed at all.  (There are some exceptions for example don’t be the person who doesn’t use deodorant)

3. Evil changes form all the time

I have also just finished “Dale Carnegies’ “How to Win Friends and Influence People” so a little of that amazing book has seeped in to this third lesson.  In our every day interactions evil can be coming at us from every direction.  We must seek the best in all people and that starts with who we look at in the mirror every morning.  If we conquer the negativity in ourselves (fear, jealousy, anger, etc.) it will be easier to see past it in other people.   If we remain alert to evil’s possible various forms within us we will surely be better prepared to see evil and put a sword through its jugular like Harry and the Basilisk.

Happy Reading!

Monday, July 26, 2010

MPI World Education Congress 2010 Opening Session

Emmanuel Gobillot was excellent in the Sunday, July 25 opening session of MPI's WEC 2010.  He came on after a resounding message about making a difference.  His message was clear.  Do not waste your time.  Your time on this Earth is limited.  What you do in this moment affects the next and what you don't do may affect you even more.

"Build the emotion that people don't forget." "Have I made them feel stronger and more capable?" Mr. Gobillot was speaking to the meetings community.  Meeting planners, suppliers and folks like myself.  I am engaged in the non-profit sector and I took these words to heart.  I am setting out the 2010-2011 school year and strategizing how to move 200+ students closer to a compelling education and successful futures.

"People are afraid to help or enjoy seeing others fail"... Emmanuel is right!  I see this in teachers and administrators.  I see it in support staff.  I saw it in my corporate positions. And unfortunately I see it in my students as well.  How can they not learn this when the culture is all around them.

My challenge is to get students not afraid to help each other.  For students to speak out without fear confident that they are helping and not hindering, confident that watching others succeed is the best thing for everyone!  It is not an easy task but Gobillot layed out a nice little blueprint:

Effective Actions = Conversations + Shared History

I have seen this work time and time again and it was great to see someone lay it out this way.  When people unite around common relatable themes that is when you see cohesion and effectiveness across the board, 100%, all the time!

Find the uniting themes.  Create shared moments of learning.  Engage your audience and make them feel stronger and more capable.  By doing that you "Build the emotion that people don't forget."

Congratulations to MPI for delivering a great opening session!  You can see it hear http://ow.ly/2gEC7

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Social Media and You!

Do you need to always be connected? Can you run a social media campaign or create a strategy that doesn't involve around the clock surveillance and response?

I have been on a hiatus from social media for roughly four weeks.  It started when I went to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico to finalize my wife's visa and bring her  and my children back to the US after a full year and two months of forced separation thanks to the US government.  Yes, I am a truly happy father and husband again!  Having my kids to play with and my wonderful wife to once again be the "boss", it was very easy to not focus on social media as much as I have been over the last year.
While I have kept up with social media requests and comments the situation has reminded me of what I always tell people.  You do not need to be connected at the hip to social media and you do not need a 24/7 operation in order to be effective.  Was I receiving the same amount of hits to my website? Was I receiving less mentions and hits on links?  Absolutely, just like anything else in life the more you put in the more you will get out. But, the more important piece to the puzzle is that nothing crumbled.  My twitter accounts kept building followers.  People clicked on my links less often, but they continued to click. People asked questions and I answered on my own time.  Requests kept coming in for me to speak and engage on social media.

Your strategy has to built in a cost effective reality. You can't be a blitz machine all the time and in the real world of social media the people who are machine like are thought of as machines and spam-bots.  I presented to some MPI WestField Chapter members on Thursday, April 8 and I learned from them as we conversed about how to manage personal brands and how to network using social media. "Choice" was a major part of our conversation although we didn't discuss "choice" directly. People make a choice about the time commitment they want to make and people choose where they want to spend their time. My advice is that you spend a little time researching your choices so that you make the most effective "choice" that you can.

Research sounds like common sense to most people but I believe some people and probably a lot of people mistake the first word they hear or the "I just learned about this from a commercial" moment as research.  You must talk to folks who have used the tools and had success as well as failure.  You know from your own life, in those areas where you have tried, failed and then tried again that you are smarter and wiser for it and can offer some terrific advice to the next person coming along. So before you dive into social media and swing for the fences do a little research on how to perfect your stance and what the best tools are in the game.  I am here to help!

email me at CameronToth@me.com or message me on Twitter.

Happy communicating!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Reunited on US Soil, My Family is Back!

Hello All,

My wife's Visa was approved on March 11 and we were soon back in New York after that.  I can not express in words how happy and relieved I am to have my wife and kids back under our roof here in the states.

My daughter turns four in August and my son turns 2 in May.  I am looking forward to celebrating both of these upcoming birthdays in style at our beautiful Valhalla, NY home.  I am looking forward to all the good times and family celebrations.  Most of all I am enjoying and looking forward to waking up to beautiful kids and lovely wife right next to me for the far foreseeable future.
Alexandria, Teresa and Leo on the US side of the border.

Happy 2010 everyone!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

A CAMERON LIST: Super Songs for Sunday

A few songs that get me in the mood to work and enjoy life:

"Under the Bridge" by Red Hot Chili Peppers  (http://ow.ly/1ffXE)
"Outstanding" by The Gap Band (http://ow.ly/1ffYK)

"Sumthin'Sumthin'" by Maxwell (http://ow.ly/1fg2m)
"No Te Veo" by Casa De Leones (http://ow.ly/1fggc)
"Smooth" by Rob Thomas and Santana (http://ow.ly/1fgji)
"You Gonna Make Me Love Someone Else" by The Jones Girls (http://ow.ly/1fgqo)

All these songs have a different feel and a little bit of a different mood.  All are "Outstanding"! 

Saturday, March 06, 2010

“What Event Camp 2010 Can Teach Conferences”

Event Camp 2010 was an #eventprofs community generated conference that took place at the Roger Smith Hotel in NYC on February 6, 2010.
Empower your community to create events and content. One of the greatest lessons from Event Camp was how much the attendees knew. Select great moderators and presenters who can funnel the content and keep a crowd on topic but don’t keep your most valuable resources (your attendees) tied down. Everyone learns more when they... (continued on Liz King's Blog)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Top Five Ways To Engage Using Social Media

Top Five Ways To Engage Using Social Media
By: @CameronToth
Engagement Strategy #1 ~~> Find your relevant audience.
Finding your niche will allow you to distribute information to the right people at the right time. Gossip magazines made a killing when they discovered giving their magazine to beauty parlors really got the word out and drove their subscription sales. How will you target your key groups to drive sales?
Search the following for your communities:
§ Facebook Groups and Fan Pages
§ Twitter Hash Tags
§ LinkedIn Groups
§ Niche Social Networking Sites (i.e. Orkut.com for connecting with folks in Brazil or Sermo.com to connect with MDs)
Engagement Strategy #2 ~~> Get involved in an online community!
After you find your niche community get involved. If there is a chat for your community on Twitter volunteer to moderate the chat. If a chat does not exist work with other like minded professionals in your niche to create one. Creating a community or more community around your niche area will allow you to network the natural way. People will give you trust as you earn it and the relationships you create will be stronger than Facebook friend counts and Twitter followers.
Check out the following online communities for ideas and inspiration:
· #Eventprofs on Twitter
· http://ow.ly/17Kdf <~~ This is a spreadsheet of Twitter chats that was put together by Robert Swanwick (@Spkrinteractive)
· Join or create groups on LinkedIn and Facebook and take the lead on an event or topic of discussion. Answer questions and post useful resources for the group to read or use.
Engagement Strategy # 3 ~~>Take the discussion off line.
Getting to know knew people on any social network is the point. But, online relationships or limited. At some point you will need to break the barrier of electronic protection. It starts by sharing an email address to get feedback or provide feedback. The next step is a phone call if not a face to face meeting. The power of social networks is that a community will form around you if you are active. The stronger this community is the easier it is for people to place trust in your name which happens to be your brand. As people become comfortable with your brand they won’t mind demonstrating the product. (That was more of a reference to trying on a shoe than anything else that might of popped into your mind!)
· After conversing with someone on a given topic or collaborating with someone in a social community area ask (in a non-creepy way) to extend the conversation to a phone call or email.
· Create opportunities to meet new people. This especially works well if you travel or are checking out a new part of town. Ask your community who knows the area best. As you meet one community member and hopefully make a good impression other introductions and meetings will follow.
· Create interesting business opportunities that draw people to your cause, events, store, city, etc.
Engagement Strategy # 4 ~~> Broadcast your successes and your failures.
One of the best ways to engage with a community and draw more people into a community is to talk about the ways that it is working. Ironically people care as much if not more about the failures as well. The proof is in the pudding when someone writes a depressed comment on Facebook and a hundred people respond to offer reassurances and to find out more about the problem. Don’t over do it but let the community enjoy the shared successes and help to build lessons from failures.
· Drop the names of the community members that you have met. This strengthens circle of a community and allows trust to build within a group. People like to deal with people and you become more human as you are proven to interact with them.
· Are you having a great day fishing? Just landed a million dollar account? Just had an incredible date with your wife? Don’t brag but is okay to let people know that something great is happening. By sharing the particulars of your fishing trip you will inadvertently connect with folks who have an interest in that hobby.
· Are you dealing with an incredible failure? Even a small nuisance of a problem can be shared and who knows someone just might have a solution for you. I have put out a call to my communities several times and have usually been surprised and the compassionate and knowledgeable responses.
Engagement Strategy # 5 ~~> Know your goals and track your ROI or ROR
ROI = Return on Investment
ROR = Return on Relationship(s) ~~> for more on ROR check out this article http://ow.ly/17Ky2
This really should be strategy # 1 but it is the best so I have saved it for last! Before you start a battle you must understand the goal. As commander of your social media engagement strategy you must decide what your objective is and how you will measure your successes. Without doing this you will waste a lot of time surfing the web looking for a purpose when really you should have started with the purpose from the outset.
· Decide whether you are going to measure followers, site hits/clicks, impressions, blog follows, sales, contacts, leads, positive mentions, etc.
· Draft a timeline for achieving small easily attainable successes to build your campaign in a manageable way.
· Design appraisal deadlines in your timeline to make sure you are measuring the right metrics for your campaign and your objectives.
· Involve professionals and or experienced folks who can give you tips and suggestions to make measuring and evaluating easier. No person is an island and help is always a great thing to have. Part of building a successful community is having a support network at your beckon call. Always remember that it should always be a two way road and by always giving more than you get you will always have more than enough!