Digital Economy USRG

Maximising the value of social media at conferences #caasoton #SMiLE

Avatar photoMarch 24, 2012
by Lisa Harris

The Social Media in Supporting Live Events (SMiLE) research project is now in full swing for next week’s Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology Conference (#caasoton). We will be monitoring the use of a range of established and experimental social media tools. The purpose is to track how they are utilised by delegates before/during and after the event, for example for information recording/sharing, network building, profile raising and the development of an ongoing community of practice. In addition, we will be carrying out interviews and surveys with conference participants about their individual experiences.

We are also interested in exploring the dynamics of the relationship between ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ communities, such as whether people meet at the event as a result of an online introduction, or if they skip sessions on the basis that they can follow what goes on via the live streaming and Twitter backchannel.  Assessing the impact of social networking activity on an intended ‘real world’ outcome has historically been difficult to measure, but we suggest that recent developments in social network visualisation and analysis now enable valuable insights to be generated for the benefit of event organisers and community developers.

Here are some of the services that we will be using and monitoring:

    • Twitter (Q&As, question of the day, ‘tweet your phd topic’, event logistics, collection of shared urls saved into Delicious, etc )
    • Facebook Page
    • LinkedIn Group
    • Storify for producing summaries of each day’s events, linked to event website
    • Pinterest and Flickr for photo display, linked to event website
    • Video of keynote sessions, ‘best of the day’ collection and interviews with presenters/attendees (produced and uploaded to event website on the same day by SUSUtv)
    • Lanyards with relevant urls and QR codes which link to each delegate’s contact information that was collected at registration
    • Interactive map generated from delegates input of their journey details to the conference from all over the world
    • Blogging competition to post on topics related to ‘Day of Digital Humanities’, linked to event website
    • Crowdsourcing of delegates’ personal memories looking back over 40 years of this annual conference – video footage,, photos and drawings ( )to be captured and uploaded onto a SIMILE timeline, linked to event website
    • Student posters to be uploaded to event website to allow comments and feedback. Printed posters to have QR codes which link to the presenter’s details that were provided at registration
    • Wikiathon competition running until May, asking delegates to contribute to two Wikipedia topics: ‘Archaeological Computing’ and ‘The CAA’ . Winners will be decided based on page submission ratings from Wikipedia users over a period of two months, and a judging panel
    • Plasma screens across the venue will dynamically display the tweets using the conference hashtag (#saasoton) through VisibleTweets
    • Virtual attendees (registered through the conference website) will be sent welcome packs by email outlining the various ways they can contribute via social media

Please feel free to join in with your contributions or feedback, particularly if you are planning to run an event this summer :-)

Categories: Other Events. Tags: #caasoton and #SMiLE.