Introducing Pathable Free (and Pro)

Every conference, every tradeshow, every meeting deserves community. People attend these events to network and build relationships, and that can simply be hard for most people, especially if you don’t know who is coming in advance or don’t have a way to contact them.

Unfortunately, for most smaller events, providing good tools for attendees to network, converse and build relationships has simply been out of their budget.

Pathable is about to change all that.

Today, we introduce two new packages: Basic and Pro.

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Do You Really Know What’s Important to Your Members?

Online communities and social media strategy are not “one size fits all”. Can you imagine a 60-year-old blue-chip executive creating a MySpace account? How about a 16-year-old Blink 182- loving snowboarder joining a LinkedIn group?

The biggest mistake you can make is to assume you know what’s important to your membership.

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Trolls in Your Online Community?

“Troll” is the Internet term for someone who is intentionally disruptive to a community. While it (very appropriately) evokes the “troll under the bridge” image, it actually comes from deep sea fishing, where dragging your hook in the water, hoping a fish will bite, is called “trolling”. “Trolls” on the Internet are people who intentionally say mean or disruptive things in the hopes of getting a reaction.

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Fireside Chats with EventProf Thought Leaders

One of the reasons I love going to conferences is that I get to have casual conversations with smart people: no selling, no buying, just bump into intelligent, creative people and chat with them about what’s new and interesting.

Well, it’s certainly no replacement for those easy, face-to-face chats, but we’re happy to announce today a new series of video conversations I’ve had with thought leaders in the event industry: Fireside Chats.

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You Need to Incorporate Allies in Your Online Community

Last week on our blog we wrote a post about recruiting allies to build your online community. This week we discuss how to get them talking in your online community.

Most magazines employ an “editorial calendar”, a preset schedule of topical content. You can employ this same idea when planning the conversations in your community. For each time frame (e.g., one per week), identify a topic and several people that agree in advance to participate in a conversation on that topic. For example:

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Recruit Allies to Build Your Online Community

In research psychology, a “confederate” is someone who poses as someone else to create a situation that can be measured by the experimenter. For example, the confederate might pretend to be someone needing help on the street to assess which factors make it more likely the subjects will lend a hand.1

In an earlier draft of this post, it was entitled “Recruit Confederates”, but we decided it came off as “sneaky”.

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Event Homework: Help Your Attendees Prepare in Advance

If you want your attendees to build relationships with each other, attend the right educational sessions and meet the right exhibitors, let them do their event homework at home.

What is “event homework”? Event homework may include:

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Is Your Online Community Feeding a Need?

An association in the healthcare industry came to us having already tried to  build an online community, but it was a dismal failure. Not only did they fail to build a healthy dialogue amongst the members, they had trouble getting the members to sign up at all.

They had expended enormous effort to making the site look professional and appealing, and testing to ensure that it was easy to use, but so few members  ever signed in, that it was like the proverbial tree falling in the forest: if a site is attractive, but nobody sees it, does design matter?

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It’s a Multi-Screen, Multi-Device World: Is Your Event App?

A fundamental mistake many people make when thinking about their app is thinking of it as just a mobile app. We live in a multi-screen world, with desktop computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones and even smart watches and glasses.

Each has its advantages: a desktop computer come with large monitor, keyboard and a mouse, perfect for browsing large session catalogs or typing thoughtful posts.

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How do You Know an Exhibitor is Right for your Event?

As a conference or event professional do you wonder if you have the right mix of exhibitors? For many of us the offered revenue may drive our decision and our exhibitor floor becomes an open cattle call of first come, first served. But it shouldn’t be that way. With technology it is now very easy to map the interactions of attendees and exhibitors and ensure you find professional vendors who are interested in doing business with your audience.

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