First think on the agenda for NSA Convention 2011
The halls are busy, there are speakers E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E! Lots of hugging and hand shaking going on, introductions being made and new friendships formed… and we haven’t even really started yet. Here at the Marriot Hotel in Anaheim, the National Speakers Association convention is officially starting tomorrow - Saturday - but of course today people are arriving, and the pre-convention programme is underway.
Appropriately the first speaker of today was for the GSN Special event, and our guest speaker was the Vice President of Marketing and E-Commerce, Convention and Resort Hotels - Americas (Whew what a LONG title), Meltem Priest.
Attended by 30 GSN members, Meltem led a lively series of discussions about Social Media and how the Marriott hotels use SM as part of their marketing mix. Janelle Barlow mentioned in her thanks to Meltem that we may have wondered what a global hotel chain might have in common with professional speakers and what the relevancy might be - but surprisingly there was a lot of information shared that showed how connected we all are in this regard. Essentially we are all doing much the same as the Marriott Hotels are, only the scale of operations and people behind the scenes is different. This is perhaps reassuring to all of us as SM becomes a daily part of our own marketing rituals.
Size does not matter - consistency of message, usage, and intentions does.
Meltem pointed out that the ROI on using SM is important, but physically hard to measure in many ways, but that maximizing use of it if a long term strategy to build and maintain brand visibility, and engage with customers. She said that ‘the Magic is in the Mix’ and therefore all other forms of marketing are still hugely relevant to them, and therefore to any size company.
There was a great discussion in the room about Authenticity and Recommendations both the giving and receiving of them. Many voiced their thoughts around feeling that some recommendations and endorsements are a little too well written or ‘plastic’, lacking solid content or believe-ability. It certainly made us all aware of relevancy in who we get our recommendations from and how we obtain and use them.
Meltem was a fascinating speaker and the time flew by - then Lunchtime and more meeting and greeting in the corridors of the Marriott.
If you are a speaker in multiple countries, please take a minute to look up the criteria for joining the Global Speakers Network - the bonus meetings and events held at conventions like these are simply brilliant. Hope to see you there next time too.