Hillary and I exhibited at a conference for Citizens for Midwifery (CfM) for the first time! We just got back from Boston, home to this year’s Doulas of North America (DONA) annual conference. We wanted to be at DONA because doulas are key birth and breastfeeding educators and activists for The Midwives Model of Care.
Being at a birth conference is, of course, about being with doulas “in real life.” We wanted to meet as many doulas as we could face-to-face, plus I had lots of Birthways networking to do. So why talk about social media at conferences?
Social media – used purposefully – at conferences is a great way to:
- continue to engage with your new IRL (in real life) connections after everyone goes home
- arrange meet-ups for online friends to meet and network face-to-face
- draw in those who care deeply about the conference topics, but couldn’t attend
- extend the reach of the conference presenters
- deepen your organization’s social media connections
At the Citizens for Midwifery booth we were meeting some twitter friends for the first time (hello @robinpregnancy and @JakeAryehMarcus), making friends we’ll keep up with on social media (*waves* to @vsjacobson and @msanniekennedy), and connecting to folks who will never, ever be on Facebook or LinkedIn.
We put a lot of hard work into prepping for the conference and using social media to compliment our attendance helped extend our reach, spread our organization’s message and more effectively connect with our intended audience–consumer activists. In our next two posts, we’ll talk about our Facebook FRIENDraiser strategy and how we used twitter at the conference.