Monday, August 17, 2009

ASAE Reflections — “Most Valuable Tweets 140 Characters at a Time”

Day Two (Monday) of ASAE ’09 was action packed beginning with Charlene Li’s presentation in the morning and continuing with Learning Labs and Thought Leader Sessions throughout the remainder of the day.  As I mentioned in Sunday’s blog post, I am not physically attending ASAE, but am participating as a virtual attendee.  My channel for connection with this conference has been through the Twitter Stream using Hashtag #ASAE09.Toronto

No doubt ASAE attendees have embraced the use of Twitter as a platform for networking with live and virtual attendees alike.  To put the tweet activity into perspective here are some statistics for the usage of the hashtag #ASAE09 (thru yesterday):

  • In the past 7 days 4,056 Tweets have been posted
  • On Sunday and Monday 3,033 total tweets were posted – so roughly 75% of total tweets
  • There have been 492 unique contributors to the Twitter Stream
  • 23.4% of the tweets have come from the “Top Ten Tweeters”

The experience has been nothing short of amazing as ASAE has done a really good job of creating connectivity with this conference.  Last Friday I published a blog post discussing some of the innovations ASAE has rolled out for this conference.  You can view that article by clicking here.

In honor of those participating in the live Twitter stream I am recapping (from my perspective) Monday’s “most valuable tweets.”  Please note my comments follow each tweet in blue font.  So, without further adieu, here we go:

@pinnovation: control is overrated…expensive. being adaptable means control is less important. adaptation cr8s freedom/resources 2 innovate.

Jeff De Cagna (@pinnovation) led a session inspired by his upcoming book called “Principled Innovation.”  In his session which I attended via webcast he raises six questions.  This tweet, which references question #5 asserts that control is no longer valid… that instead a strategy of “adaptability” leads to innovation.

@chicagogirl27: Reassess your competition. Don’t assume it is always who it has been in the past

I’m not sure what prompted Sheri Jacobs (@chiagogirl27) to post this tweet but it hit home with me.  Sheri actually has posted many high quality tweets during ASAE and this is just one of them… it speaks for itself.

@DesigningEvents: 40 Tips Session – Set aside some of your budget for an “Experimentation Fund” – not time to put ingenuity on the back burner

The premise here is allocate a portion of your budget to roll out new ideas.  Since the funds have been committed if they fail no harm, no foul….. Great idea!

@cardcat: Li – we tend to overvalue things we can measure, and undervalue things we can’t.

Matt Baehr (@cardcat), a Gen Xer, is quoting Charlene Li who called out our society’s obsession with ROI.  To be valuable things don’t have to be quantifiable!

@mickierops: How do others feel the session-specific hashtags are working? I wish they were listed in the program book! Maybe next year?

Great suggestion by Mickie Rops (@mickierops) and one I thought of myself as well.  The “session specific” hashtags are wonderful (Kudos to ASAE) but having a “hashtag directory” would be very helpful to attendees.

@scottsherrin: How can we cut professional development for staff but still push and promote importance to our members? We need to model what we say!

Great insight Scott (@scottsherrin) everyone needs education to grow and prosper.  If we are encouraging our members/customers to invest in their professional development we should walk the talk as well!

@RoyalYorkHotel: @stephaniepappas we have called your room. Let us know how we can help to make your stay better.

This tweet embodies the spirit and thrust of this conference.  Ask the customer what they want, and innovate.  Royal York, well done!

@kfoldvik: Housekeeper left me a nice note thanking me for tip! How unusual!

Kristen (@kfoldvik) do you think this hotel employee enjoys their job?  Happy Employees = Great Customer Service!

@SFCMO: AmberMac: offer a discounted price to people who blog or post about your product or service

Matt Stiker (@SFCMO) posted this tweet as an idea that came out of AmberMac’s session which I understand was terrific.  What better way to create an inexpensive marketing channel for your services, products and events, than to engage bloggers!

@maggielmcg: Virtual attendees at #asae09 are proof of what @pinnovation is saying…how many of us are “live-tweeting” from event we’re not at?

I agree with you wholeheartedly Maggie McGary (@maggielmcg) the connection is real, even though I am not there at the event.  The dialogue has been terrific and I have met some quality people, and learned new things… all from my desktop!

Hope you find some value in these tweets!  If you are not yet using Twitter get out there and give it a test drive… nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I can’t wait to see what awesome insights I can gain today at ASAE Day Three!

Follow Michael McCurry on Twitter

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne Ornelas de Lemos August 18, 2009 at 12:47 pm

I found these same tweets to be very insightful and also showing how well folks can summarize points in only 140 characters. It’s actually an amazing way to capture ideas, thoughts and begin asking questions based on what people are hearing. However, one thing to be wary of is how the messages might be coming through to virtual attendees, e.g., control being overrated…if one didn’t participate in live audio, then tweets may be misleading. Minor, but important.


Michael M McCurry CMP August 18, 2009 at 4:32 pm

@Anne Ornelas de Lemos,

Thanks so much for your comments.

You are so right about how messaging can get skewed in a virtual environment. We all need to be careful about making sure we are as factual as possible in passing on information.

Hope your travels are safe back home and hope we meet sometime!



Maggie McGary August 18, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Thanks for including my tweet!

One thing that is really striking me about this meeting is how Twitter really enhances engagement at a f2f meeting. Like Jeff De Cagna said in his session yesterday, people criticize Twitter and social media in general as being anti-social and all about being stuck online–I think the past 4 days are great proof that it’s just not true. Just look at what using Twitter brought to the meetings: a way for virtual attendees to connect not only to one another but to attendees at the event; a customer service mechanism not only between ASAE and attendees/virtual attendees but hotel staff and guests; a way for both ASAE and attendees to publicize blog posts that furthered on-site learning…etc.

Also, ASAE will be able to debrief from this meeting with a bunch of well thought-out blog posts from attendees detailing ideas for future meetings, ways to engage virtual attendees, etc. No way could they capture the same info with an after-the-fact survey since most people will have already gotten sucked back into their jobs and everyday lives.

Nice to “meet” you–hope to meet you in person at a future ASAE event!


Michael M McCurry CMP August 18, 2009 at 4:36 pm

@Maggie McGary,

Your feedback is dead on right! I have been so impressed with the connectivity that has been created by the hashtag twitter stream at ASAE09. More importantly, it was not the technology it was the engagement of the attendees and their desire to help their virtual colleagues understand what was going on.

I absolutely love it …. and I am sure there will be lots of learning lessons for the ASAE team, in addition to the celebration points.

Safe travels back home and look forward to connecting face2face sometime!



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