A while back I wrote a post on social media for events which spawned from a presentation I made on the topic. I’ve contended for a long time that while building relationships through social media is great, it still doesn’t replace meeting someone in person.
Simply, if I were attending a conference and had a booth or meeting room for my business, I’d find ways to get people to check in at my booth as a way of connecting with them online, driving more traffic to my booth and finding new peers and contacts.
Think of it has “hyper hyper local.” There’s nothing on Foursquare now that says a location has to be a Starbucks, grocery store, …. why not your booth at a conference?
I’d track who checks in at the booth, reward my mayor, have people tweet it, run give-aways for people who check in (beyond the usual useless conference schwag) and try to get people to connect with each other at my location.
I’d be cautious of conference trolls who are just looking to score prizes but we could find ways to weed them out.
Foursquare might also be a good way for a company that is sending people to a conference to see where employees check-in, less for “monitoring” and more to see who they are having a chance to connect with while there.
Admittedly the strategy needs some flushing out but what do you think? What ways would you use Foursquare at a conference?
Update: Misha Williams from iMergeMobile.com dicusses how he used Foursquare and other social media platforms in a manner similar to what I’ve suggested above to drive traffic and business to his booth.