Steve, welcome and tell us a bit about your role and when IMPACT 2010 is! Currently my role is Lead Strategist, Social Media & Interactive for SOA, BPM, Smart Work and WebSphere Software for IBM. Social media is a very important part of our success and adds tremendous value to our events. By building out and engaging with our communities around these topic areas, we are able to help connect Business Partners, Customers and IBMers and enable allow them to participate and share information through various communities.
This year IBM Impact is May 2-7, 2010 at the Venetian in Las Vegas, NV.
Steve, as you know, I love the IMPACT conference — partially due to the power of Social Media used there! Can you provide us some factoids from last year? I know you guys really blew it away!
Initially, IBM’s Impact 2009 faced multiple challenges: 1) the global recession discouraged many clients from attending events; 2) swine flu hit the wire the week prior to the event, making the U.S. potentially a dangerous destination. Even against those odds we had:
Over 5,000 attendees from 50 countries registered thru Impact site Bloggers community efforts catapulted the buzz w/@SmartSOA followers increasing 2.5X. A 72-hr Twitter & Linked in promo secured additional registrants.
Attendees energized the event thru 700+ tweets over 4 days. Client speakers enjoyed instant feedback on their presentations from Twitter, & its ability to interact w/audience in real time. One on-site brief alone generated 10 unique blog post & 130 tweets (90% positive).
Social Networking sessions at Impact ranked among the best attended. 150 participants competed in the Social Media game. Clients, analysts & press networked at 3 Tweet Ups. Blogference produced 3+ favorable articles on event’s social media usage. And a client’s visit to the Social Media ped helped seal a $100K deal.
1,200+ views of our Smart Work client & partner videos, energizing regional lead generating events. Major insurance companies selected Innov8 to emulate Farmers’ success announced at Impact & promoted via social media.
Can you tell me about the top 3 new social media areas you guys are driving for 2010?
The first is our newly launched social media aggregator ‘Social at Impact 2010’ (www.ibm.com/social/impact). If you want to know what people are saying about IBM Impact 2010 when they’re saying it, there’s an easy way to find out. In one easy-to-navigate site, users can find anything and everything attendees are blogging, tweeting and posting about IBM Impact 2010. And because the site filters out the noise of unrelated posts, users will find just what they need without the distractions. Some of the features include: all tweets using our event hashtag #ibmimpact, blog posts, pictures and videos from the event, and trending topics. This tool also helps facilitates networking by allowing users to register their social profiles and blog feeds, allowing users to connect with them through Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and more through this tool. (More features like reply, retweet and share will be live 4/30)
We also just launched our new Impact event blog (www.ibm.com/impact/blog) where we will be blogging and posting information before, during and after the event. We have interviews with Business Partners and Customers, official news and announcements from Impact and will also have guests live-blogging from Impact.
And the third major initiative is our communities. We have now launched both internal and external bloggers communities where we identify and invite bloggers to quarterly ‘invite-only’ calls with our IBM execs to talk about news and announcements, upcoming products, and other happenings in the social media space. (If you are an IBMer or external blogger, please contact email@example.com or @slazarus for more information on how you can be involved)
What’s your favorite social media highlight from your work?
It is hard to pick just one, so I will settle on two, one from Impact and one more recent. The first is the launch of our new event aggregator, Social at Impact 2010 (www.ibm.com/social/impact). This is a great way for us to showcase all of the great voices of IBMers and bloggers around the event. We talk about networking at events and now with social media, this tool allows us to help facilitate those relationships and help showcase all of the great conversations around these topics. It is not just about blogging and tweeting, but having insightful conversations around important topics, which in the end allows individuals to make better business decisions.
The second was from Impact last year. It was such a great experience to speak with all of the Business Partners and customers and hear how they are using social media today and how they can be better connected with customers and IBMers. We were also sharing with them all of the ways they could engage with us through various social communities, i.e. Twitter, DeveloperWorks, etc. After the event had ended, one of our sales reps reached out to me and told me that because of those conversations, they had closed a new deal and the number 1 reason for that deal was because of those conversations we had. It feels great to tell your customers that you are listening to them and them show them. That customer is now a follower of mine.
How can people be engaged at Impact?
The best way to stay informed is to visit the event aggregator, event blog or www.ibm.com/impact. Whether people are attending the event in person or virtually, they can follow the official ID on twitter @ibmimpact (www.twitter.com/ibmimpact) or follow those conversations using the tag #ibmimpact.
Use the Hashtag: #ibmimpact
Event Blog: http://www.ibm.com/impact/blog
Event Aggregator: http://www.ibm.com/social/impact
Linkedin Group: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=2681786&trk=anet_ug_hm