Posts Tagged ‘events’

PodCamp Boston 5 tomorrow!

September 24, 2010

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PodCamp Boston 5 starts tomorrow, and I’m excited to be going there with my sweetheart, Lesley Lambert. Both she and I will be facilitating sessions on Sunday. Lesley’s topic is Advanced Twitter, and I’ll be facilitating a discussion on Geolocation. I’ve facilitated sessions on Geolocation at RE BarCamp Orlando and RE BarCamp Rye, and my slidedeck for it has been viewed 1,178 times on Slideshare.net. I’ll be modifying the presentation for the PodCamp environment versus the real estate camp.

This will be my third PodCamp Boston, and lucky 13th camp of any variety.

I love the things that happen at camps, the people, the sessions, the networking, the brainstorming, the learning, the teaching, the sharing, the connections that people make. Being somewhat of a Camp veteran, I especially enjoy helping newcomers have a good experience as much as I enjoy reconnecting with old friends. I also love “seeing” the camp through others’ eyes, especially Camp virgins, but I love veteran’s thoughts, photos, videos, blogs, tweets, and whatever other media is produced.

Here are some links looking back at my previous Camp experiences, including PodCamp Boston 2, where I knew no one going into it, but made some great friends:

Looking forward to what this weekend brings at PodCamp Boston 5!

Social Media Marketing University

June 18, 2010

We here at EverythingCU.com have built up quite a library of recorded webinar workshops on social media. In fact, taken together, you could say we’ve created a Social Media University for credit unions.

Here are links to the full curriculum. Take them either individually, or as whole, for a thorough understanding of marketing your credit union via online community channels:

Spiderweb: This foundational 101 webinar covers creating your Facebook account, Facebook fanpage, setting up an event on Facebook as well as twitter basics. Also covered in this webinar is using both twitter and Facebook to drive traffic back to your credit union’s web site.

Twitter 101: This foundational 101 webinar covers setting up a twitter account the right way, things to keep in mind when choosing your twitter handle, how to find other twitterers within a specified radius of your branches, and how to drive traffic back to your credit union’s web site using Twitter.

Bring Your Binoculars: This advanced 301-level webinar assumes you have the knowledge covered in the previous two webinars, and shows you how to tie your social media efforts together for greater impact. You’ll learn about tools to monitor what’s being said about your credit union online, and how to promote your credit union event using a number of free online resources.

Look Who’s Talking: This 101-level webinar covers how to handle responding to negative comments made online about your CU, and is geared for both CUs already participating in the online conversation as well as those on the fence who are looking for reassurance that diving in will not bring the end of the world.

Click on any of the links or graphics above to order and instantly download these recorded webinars!

World 2.0 brings us to Pokagon

April 16, 2009

What is World 2.0? And why do I use this term to explain the new environment in which we live? The web, and in particular the new engagement known as social media, has fundamentally changed the way that we, as people and organizations, exist in the world. By connecting all of us together, we have a new layer of knowledge in addition to the physical world with which we are more familiar.

EverythingCU is going to hold unique event in Indiana on Friday, May 29. This event will be a success, and would not have been possible prior to World 2.0.

Personally, I have only been to Indiana a couple of times, and it was always either passing through on I-80/90, or visiting Indianapolis. I know very little about the rest of the state except that French Lick is where Larry Bird came from, and the Kiss Fan Club’s address was in Terre Haute.

Because the economy hit the skids recently, and our credit union clients were blind-sided, errrrrr assessed a heavy burden to their operating budgets in January, we decided to postpone our flagship event, the Triple-B, slated for Portsmouth NH, by one year, to October of 2010. In the meantime, I wanted to continue to bring great experiences and education to our colleagues, and knew this presented the opportunity to put into action an idea I’ve had for a while: hold smaller-scale events for our members in locations that are convenient to them.

EverythingCU’s COO, Matt Taggart, coined the term for this one-day event: Instead of the multi-day Triple-B, this one-day event is known as the Little-B.

Choosing the right location can be quite problematic for an online company with members throughout North America. My first order of business was to poll our members to find out where people are located who are interested in attending our event. I put the query out on EverythingCU. While we got responses from all parts of the US, there was a clear mandate coming from three states: Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Since these three states border each other, my next step was to take a look at Google Maps and see what lay at the intersection of them. I immediately zeroed in on a place called Pokagon State Park, in the northeast corner of Indiana. Further googling of this area showed me that there were a couple of hotels nearby, even if the nearest major city was a 45-minute drive away in Fort Wayne. Also, using Google Maps, I could tell that this location was within driving range for many people. It’s two to three hours away from several major and minor cities: Detroit, Columbus, Indianapolis, Chicago, Fort Wayne, Lansing, and slightly farther from Cleveland and Cincinnati. Other cities include: Dayton, Toledo, South Bend, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Gary, Saginaw, Battle Creek, and Essex, Ontario.

It’s not always easy to get a feel for a place simply by looking at a web site or three. So my next step was to get in touch with the people who live nearby, and I contacted a few EverythingCU site members in Fort Wayne. Not only did they confirm for me that was this indeed a great spot, but two told me that they have had great experiences at this park, and that the Potawatomi Inn in the park is a great hotel and conference space. Prior to speaking to our members, I had thought we’d have to hold the event at a hotel just outside the park, not realizing there was a great facility inside the park itself.

None of this would have been possible prior to World 2.0. There is no way that we could have had this direct contact with our membership to pull off an event in a place that we have never been to before. We have our agenda set, the invitations have been emailed and posted online, our members are signing up, and a great experience awaits us and our membership. A special thank you to Doug True, Chad Gramling and Nan Morrow who have spread the word to the Ignite Indiana group.

Now our challenge is to find another spot where this confluence of geography and member interest lies. I have several ideas and will be posting them inside the confines of EverythingCU.

Our agenda is set. We’ll be networking with each other (we’ll have many EverythingCU’ers who have never met each other in real life before), covering social media, sharpening our marketing skills with a presentation project, and sharing money-saving marketing techniques. If you are a credit union employee in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, or Ontario, I hope to see you at the 2009 Little-B Pokagon! If you have CU friends in the area, let them know!

Seven Thoughts from PodCamp

April 3, 2009

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Seven: Everyone has a story. Every camper brings their own story to the table, and experiences the camp in their own unique way, with their own perspectives, goals and ambitions.

Six: Enable others to connect with each other. It turns out that AuctionWally enjoys Voodoo Steve’s indie podcast. How cool is that? And many folks were not familiar with Amherst native John Robison before the camp. But everyone in his session came away with newfound knowledge and respect.

PodCamp WesternMassFive: Help others build their networks. It’s not about the size of your own network, it’s about how many connections you can make for others. That’s why I put the ‘Follow Me on Twitter” poster sheets up on the wall; to enable campers to continue the conversations.

PCWM_04RebelThinkingFour: The spirit of PodCamp can be found in the little things. One of my favorite photos is this one of laptop bags lined up against the wall.

Three: The spirit of PodCamp can be found in the spaces. Yes, the sessions are usually excellent. But I learned from BarCampBank SF how great it is to allow ample time between sessions and leave a huge long lunch break. This is what really allows campers to connect with each other, and many times it’s these break conversations where new things are shared and learned.

Podcamp Western Mass 2009Two: The buzz spread more AFTERwards. For an inaugural event word spreads more AFTER the event. WesternMass has never had any sort of ‘camp’ event before as far as I know. So even though many invites went out, many did not see the value in re-arranging their schedules in order to attend. But now that we have 14 GLOWING blog reviews of the camp, interest is piqued in a wider audience. So we’ll hold version two in about six months. If you are considering trying to get any type of new event off the ground, make sure it is WELL RECORDED online the first time out.

One: Seeing the camp through others’ eyes. This is actually one of my greatest joys of PodCamp. Being a ‘camp veteran, I take the open discussion and flexible format for granted. But since so many bloggers, photographers, and videographers attended, I get to experience the joy and wonderment of their first camp experience through their lens.

Podcamp Western Mass 2009

PodCamp WesternMass: A smashing success

April 3, 2009

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Last Saturday, March 28, 2009, we held the first PodCamp in Western Massachusetts. I wasn’t familiar with any “camp” event before Robbie Wright invited me to the first BarCampBank in North America, BarCampBank Seattle in the summer of 2007. I didn’t attend, but after reading the glowing, superlative-laden blog reviews of it, I wished I had rearranged my schedule after all. And thus began my quest of ‘camp‘ discovery. I subsequently attended FacebookCamp Toronto 2, shortly followed by PodCampBoston 2. Even before attending this event, I thought that we were getting to the point where we could hold a PodCamp in the western half of Massachusetts, and convened an exploratory planning meeting with co-conspirators, nationally recognized social media maven Tish Grier, and well-connected writer, reporter, and traveler Jaclyn Stevenson on October 16, 2007. Life, and other ‘camps intervened over the following months, and it wouldn’t be for another year that we held another organizational meeting for PodCamp WesternMass. Finally, we just had to pick a date and make it happen. And boy, did it happen.

PCWM_08MorrisTish and Jaclyn were in their element, getting the word about the camp out to everyone in their networks. A terrific surprise to me was that Jaclyn put the press release out on Pitch Engine, a fully web 2.0, social-media-compatible press release site, and this garnered attention from many in the region.

The day arrived, and it was all wonderful, start to finish. I facilitated getting the sessions onto the grid, and finding the right attendees to lead some of the sessions requested. We basically had two tracks going throughout the day, a beginner’s track for newbies, and a more advanced track for those already involved in social media.

PodCampI was gratified that several video bloggers recorded the day, including Voodoo Stevie who even live-streamed some of it. And many pictures were taken by me, Jaclyn, Shawn Toohey, and Stephen Sherlock. At last count, we have 13 blog entries, 6 pages of video, including two montages set to music, 140 photos, and too many tweets to count.

A huge congratulations to Tish Grier and Jaclyn Stevenson for a smashing PodCamp success! May there be many more!

Thank you, Doug True, Forum Solutions, and Trabian

October 7, 2008

Symposium 2008I had the privilege of speaking to credit union professionals last week at this year’s Partnership Symposium. This unique event was hosted by Forum Solutions and Trabian. I had heard last year’s event was quite the happening, via the CU blog/twittersphere, from such sources as Trabian’s Open Source CU. In fact, last year’s event was one of the first times I learned something valuable from someone (Brent) twittering at a conference (when Shari Storm was speaking) that I wasn’t attending in person.

My presentation was on strategies for successfully building community online. In the first part of my talk, I made the case for why online community building is a natural and important extension of a credit union’s offline community. I then presented seven strategies that I’ve found to work in creating EverythingCU.com’s online community of 6404 credit union professionals, and showed ways in which credit unions are applying those same strategies in their own online community building efforts.

I enjoyed immensely the Q&A portion of the event with moderator Ron Shevlin, and loved the questions that he asked me (as well as all of the other speakers). There is only one question that I would have answered differently had I anticipated it, and that is the question, “for which CUs is online community building NOT right for?” My off-the-cuff answer was that it’s not right for CUs who don’t care about community and run their shops just like a bank. But what I should have answered is that it all depends on their members and potential members, and what online communities currently exist for those people. If there already exists an online community for a CU’s core membership, then it makes no sense to re-invent the wheel. Instead, staff of the CU should join and participate in the existing community. But if there is currently no online community for the core membership, then there is a huge opportunity for the credit union to fill the void.

My only disappointment from the week is that the internet bandwidth was not sufficient during my presentation for it to be recorded. But I have posted the slides of it here. I am gratified that Andy LaFlamme of Maine State Credit Union live blogged my talk on the CU Loop.

StretchIt was an honor to be asked to present, and a joy to reconnect with so many CU colleagues, as well as meet so many participants in the CU blog/twittersphere in person for the first time. Extra special thanks to the gracious Forum Solutions team, including Doug, Jen, Leah, Kristi, Ashli, Cameron, and Andy for taking such good care of us during our stay, and making us all feel like rock stars. The stretch limo taking me and Tim McAlpine back to the airport was an extra nice touch. (I’m sure the limo was for keynoter Tim, and I just happened to be catching a ride at the same time.)
(Photo credit: Gene Blishen)

Upcoming conferences

March 11, 2008

I have news that is disappointing to gnomes throughout CU-land: EverythingCU will not be holding a Triple-B in 2008. It’s not that we don’t want to; I personally can’t wait to continue what we started in 2005 in Portland and continued in 2006 in Baltimore. But as you can imagine, putting on a top-notch event of the quality and innovation that our gnomes have come to expect from us is a rather large undertaking. Not to mention that because most CU budgets are set near the end of the year, we really need to announce an event no later than November a year in advance in order to insure the best chances of a good turnout. It has also been a huge compliment to us that other CU organizations have copied some elements of the Triple-B in putting on their conferences. But needless to say, we are working on the next innovation in event experience and will deliver something even more outstanding and relevant than our competitors.

So let me recommend some conference alternatives this year, all of which I will be at except the CMBDC conference.

Massachusetts CU League Marketer’s Networking Roundtable tomorrow, March 12 – Marlborough, MA.

CUNA Marketing & Biz Dev Council Conference – March 16-19, Nashville

BarCampBank SF – March 29 – UC Berkeley’s Wozniak Lounge in Soda Hall, Berkeley, CA

BarCampBank NewEngland – April 5 at America’s Credit Union Museum in Manchester, NH – The EverythingCU.com crew is planning a spectacular ending to the day.

BarCampMoney NYC – April 12 – Midtown Manhattan, 40th floor – We should have a spectacular view to go along with the spectacular conversation.

CUES Experience – May 13 – 16 – Minneapolis – I’ll be leading the PixelFarms Interactive tour, and look forward to seeing both William Azaroff and Ron Shevlin present.

MAC Conference – May 21-23 – Newport Beach CA – EverythingCU.com will have a booth at this one.

Georgia CU Marketing Conference – June 6 – Lake Lanier Islands, GA – I’ll be conducting a World 2.0 and PR workshop.

BarCampBank Dallas – TBD in June

Forum’s Partnership Symposium – October 1-2 – I look forward to being Shevlinated at that one. I hear it doesn’t hurt too much.

On the drawing board: BarCampBank Charlotte for the second half of 2008.

For those interested in learning more about social media, I recommend you also watch for any PodCamps or Facebook Developer Garages happening near you.

Facebook – Powerful Marketing Platform

January 11, 2008

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you know that one of the very hottest web sites is Facebook. And that’s for good reason. It may be one of the greatest marketing platforms created to date. If you are a credit union, and you hold member education events, you need to get them on Facebook. The first credit union to do this was Beehive CU in Utah, which put on a Credit Make-Over Seminar in April 2007, and created a Facebook Group for this purpose. They had a resounding success, attracting 19 people to the group.

On deck is Laura Baker (bakedlaurabean on twitter), Director of Marketing for Valley Credit Union in San Jose, CA. Her credit union is holding an event, Credit Score Enhancement Seminar, on February 21, 2008. Laura has already invited 20 people to the event, and has posted it to her profile. Chances are good that she’ll attract a good turnout since young adults and professionals, especially in her region– Silicon Valley, are the fastest growing age groups on Facebook.

It’s hard to explain why Facebook is THE place to go to promote your event if you have never used it. In order to understand better, the best way is to get on Facebook, connect with your friends, and watch your feed. You’ll see all the events your friends are going to. You’ll become aware of events that you would have never known about otherwise. If you become friends on Facebook with professionals in your field, you’ll find out about industry events that wouldn’t have known about otherwise. That’s how I found out about BarCampBank Seattle. Robbie Wright, author of Life and Times of a CU Employee, who I hadn’t yet met in-person, invited me to come a couple of days before the event. I was sorry that my schedule prevented me from getting there.

This is how and why Credit Unions need to put their events on Facebook. First of all, it’s completely free to do so. Secondly, it’s quick and easy to do it. But the best part is that once several of your members sign up for the event on Facebook, THEIR friends will see that they are going. Friends, family members, and colleagues of your members will see that your members are attending your event. You can’t buy that kind of publicity. Especially with the younger generation’s natural aversion to advertising, this kind of exposure is worth ten times the equivalent traditional ad exposure. Because it’s a PERSONAL ENDORSEMENT, and in it’s own way, it’s viral exposure. The more people who go to the event, the more people see that others are going to the event. Imagine how powerfully compelling it is to see that 7 of YOUR friends are attending a seminar on the ins and outs of improving your credit score. That’s going to make you at least want to check it out and see what the big fuss is.

Because of the social nature of Facebook, one of the keys to getting good exposure to your event on Facebook is to entice gregarious people to attend your event. There are many people on Facebook with hundreds of friends. It will get more exposure for your event when these “connectors” attend, than someone with only a dozen Facebook friends.

If Laura’s event does not draw a large crowd via Facebook this time around, it’s not because it’s not the right thing to do. It would only be because she’s ahead of her time, or because she hasn’t yet cultivated a large enough Facebook following among her members yet. But holding the event, and getting the word out there is the beginning of cultivating those member relationships on Facebook.

I covered the basics of Facebook event marketing at the Lake George World 2.0 workshop that we did in December, and look forward to the opportunity to speak to more credit union groups in 2008 about this exciting new marketing channel.

Successful World 2.0 Hands-on Workshop in Lake George

December 5, 2007

Explaining World 2.0Just got back from a fun, intense day of leading a workshop for the NYSCUL Adirondack and Capital Region Chapters on Bringing Your CU into World 2.0. This was a laptops-up, hands-on workshop, and it was a resounding success. As part of the workshop, we twittered with several people who couldn’t be at the event, including Ginny Brady, Ron Shevlin, Jeff Hardin, and even Brent Dixon, who we conversed with while he was with 20-year-old Board Member Justin Ho in Austin TX for the YES Summit. Via twitter, Brent asked our collective workshop in Lake George if we had any questions for Justin. Linda Dickie, of Hudson River Community CU asked what the average age of Justin’s board was. I twittered that question to Brent, who in turn asked Justin. Brent twittered back to us that the answer was 57. (A very young number according to our Lake George friends.)

Laptops Up at Lake George NYIt was fantastic to take the mystique out of World 2.0 by demonstrating how quick, simple and free it is to sign up for these tools and sites. Attendees now have the foundation for how to succeed and win in this new World 2.0 we are living in.

Also, huge props go to Linda Bourgeois and Jody Carpenter of UFirst FCU, for organizing the event and making today possible. In addition, a big thank you to EverythingCU’s Dan Reynolds and Adam Lueb, who demonstrated EverythingCU’s webinar interface and online switch kit, respectively (and for taking some great pics of the workshop). And it was indeed great to meet Charles Folensbee, Matt Barbell, Kim Reilly, and Kip Summerlin in person at last, and to reconnect with Walt Everhardt, VP of Marketing for First New York FCU, who has been blogging for several months now.

Demonstrating blog commentingI will be doing this workshop throughout 2008 to help CUs across the country experience first-hand how easy it is to get going with World 2.0. If you know the education director at your state’s CU League, please email me and I will email you back a PDF containing the info that is covered in this hands-on workshop that you can, in turn, forward to him or her. If you attended this event, in-person or virtually via twitter, please comment here! Here are some Twitter Tips. Also, if you send me your email, I’ll send you a PDF of the slide deck. Let me know what we could have done better, or what topics you’d like to see covered more, or less of. More of Adam’s great photos of the event available here.

Live World 2.0 workshop in Lake George NY

November 30, 2007

Myself and the EverythingCU team is getting pumped for a live, hands-on World 2.0 workshop taking place in Lake George, NY next week on Wednesday, December 5. The combined chapters of the Adirondack and Capital Regions of the NYSCUL are hosting us. We’ve instructed all the participants to BRING THEIR LAPTOPS. We’re not just going to be talking about World 2.0 and social media/networking, we’re going to be DOING IT. We’re so excited about the sites and tools we’re going to be covering. It will be an eye-opening experience for all the attendees, and will hopefully catapult their respective CUs into this new wired digital age. It’s exciting! And we’re so excited to be meeting several long-time EverythingCU members, including President Charles Folensbee of Saratoga Community CU. Walter Everhardt, VP of Marketing for First New York FCU is going to be there, along with President Linda Bourgeois, and Director of Marketing Jody Carpenter of UFirst FCU in Plattsburgh. Ginny Brady, blogging Board Member of UFirst FCU will be with us virtually via twitter, as will our own Matt Taggart and Nate Duval…. can’t wait! Dan Reynolds and Adam Lueb will be assisting me in person. If you can’t make it, please join in via twitter…. here I am on twitter.


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