Social Media: A Source of Inspiration at the Click of a Button
The following is a guest blog article by Sanne Jolles. If you are interested in guest blogging for Sound n' Sight, please read my guest blogging guidelines . And if you have any thoughts, please comment below. Sanne and I both would love to hear what you have to say!
Has social media changed my work – really? Really!
To be honest, on the surface it did not.
I loved working at the computer before social media; there is always something to look up on the internet or in my mailboxes or in any database that I happen to be working with.
I am a full time researcher (neatly called business intelligence) and do research on all kinds of topics related to the events industry: new conferences and trade fairs, new ideas from organizers and exhibitors, new demands by visitors and other stakeholders. I look at trends, needs, wishes and results, and try to find out how my company (a venue & organizer) can help clients realize the best possible event in Amsterdam. In short, I have a great job in a great city.
My work, however, keeps me stuck behind my desk. I have a small national group of colleagues and industry people that I meet with occasionally, but most of the time I share all insights with my outbound colleagues. They are the ones who have the networks, meet with clients and colleagues at international industry events, go to trade shows and get to know all these brilliant scientists, innovators, #eventprofs and business people. I have no network.
That is: until I added social media to my daily routine. I started with a Twitter account just to learn what the buzz was all about, hands-on learning, so to speak. Following industry organizations like MPI and ICCA, searching hashtags and company names to find out what was out there.
I snowballed into new sites, blogs, opinions and recommendations, and found out that there was a wealth of people using social media to inform, share, discuss and learn about the events industry. A source of inspiration that I never imagined. And a source I could interact with simply by clicking on the reply button…
That was such an eye opener. Social media brought me an international network of some great industry peers (especially in the USA) that I would otherwise never have met, and conversations with people all over the world that may not share my point of view, but share my passion for the business that we are in.
I have been virtually “on the road” ever since. Participating in online and hybrid gatherings (EventCamp 2010 being one of the highlights), chatting about event-related topics, sharing research and insights, asking and learning. And giving back. To the communities that I am part of in various social media environments, and naturally also to my company. Now I do have a network.
Social media enriched my work dramatically; it gave stats and facts a face and voice. And that made my own voice as a researcher just a little bit louder.
(Photo by orangeacid)
Sanne Jolles lives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands with son David and husband Daniel. She was officially trained as an art historian (and enjoys collecting prints), but now finds art in well designed events and good research. She works at Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre, one of the leading European venues for trade fairs, conferences and business events. www.rai.nl
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