Social media is meant to connect people with the specific intent of spreading information among a web of interconnected individuals. One could very reasonably argue that the same applies to professional conferences, especially within the mortgage industry. With thousands of pages of new mortgage rules issued in the last week alone, mortgage professionals will be turning to almost any source they can to absorb a more filtered and poignant source of explanation for the seemingly constant and frequently complicated evolution of the mortgage industry.
Why then are two things serving the same purpose so woefully separate? Over the last year or so, we’ve noticed quite a lack of both the promotion and utilization of social media at mortgage industry conferences. Not only are both things aimed at spreading information about broader industries, but social media can also enhance information about the actual conferences and make sharing, forming new contacts and advancing a conference-goer’s experience much, much better.
If the organizers of the many mortgage conferences would pay attention to a few specific things, everyone’s experience would be streamlined and enhanced. So in no particular order, here are just a few things that we humble and internet-loving Landmark Network, Inc. professionals would love to see at future events:
- More Twitter! (any Twitter?): Conference and individual event/meeting-specific hashtags can encourage conversations about relevant topics between equally interested strangers, facilitating a more cohesive network of professionals and information. Presenters can also field questions from attendees, allowing for more ease with Q&A and even granting anonymity to those who still hold on to such things in public.
- Blogs like Tumblr can collect notable quotes from speakers and panels, archiving useful insights for posterity and providing future mico-blogging (more Twitter!) content for hosting organizations.
- Business cards get lost, but QR codes are forever (until you lose your phone).
- Foursquare: Not everyone needs to be mayor of everything, we know. Foursquare serves a greater purpose than just alerting everyone that you’re attending a panel discussion or that you’re at a specific conference. The check-ins that happen outside of the conference allow professionals to connect with other event-goers outside of official events. Local concerts? Great dining? All of these personal aspects which find their way into social media create a greater familiarity among professionals and weave that social web even tighter.
The list goes on and on in an endlessly engaging rabbit hole of social contacts. You never know who you’ll meet at an industry event or what potential these contacts have, but when it comes right down to it, don’t we all want a potential client connection to finally legitimize our Words With Friends addiction? We know we do.