Social media applications are neither Godsends nor the coming apocalypse for face-to-face meetings. They are simply tools. Figure them out, use the ones that make sense for your operational culture. And if transparency and high value attendee communications aren't part of your culture, just skip it. Really, you'll only hurt yourself.
The rest of you will figure it out just like you did fax machines, email and salesforce.com.
Just in case they decide to pull it, here was the TSMR response:
July 19, 2009
In response to: Challenge for Traditional Events and Exhibitions in Embracing an Online Connected World
Rich Westerfield commented:
Re: "Most show producers had trouble understanding how a Twitter account could generate closed deals."
Jesus H. Christ. If that's what they're looking for, they'll never get it, just like they it took a dozen years to begin to understand database-driven websites.
1. Give the attendee an experience of value (and social media helps that).
2. They return next year (and tell their friends) and/or purchase/subscribe to exhibitor/speaker content.
3. Attendance grows organically with QUALIFIED people exhibitors want to meet.
But no, the bastards want their money today. This industry can't die soon enough.
It's not as if there aren't hundreds of models on how to use this stuff. But setting up a Twitter account on Monday and watching checks roll in on Thursday isn't one of them.