A Must-Attend Conference!

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Let Me Tell You A Story About PMC 2012

If you’re a regular reader of this site, a Facebook Fan or Twitter follower, you know I was recently at a conference. And I was VERY happy to be there!

In case those pictures don’t let you know, this event was the Philanthropy Midwest Conference and it is the “Midwest’s largest gathering of nonprofit organizations to network, learn and grow”. It’s a well-hosted and organized event from Nonprofit Connect and if you’re from a Kansas City NPO (or can get to KC without too much fuss) I highly recommend this conference! There are a lot of takeaways from all aspects – keynote speakers, workshops, social times, the exhibit hall and networking luncheon. Seriously – put aside the time and finances for 2013!

What I really want to give you here is a glimpse into the event and what I, as a representative from an agency not an NPO, was able to get from this conference in order to help my NPO clients. I’ll try to keep this relatively short, but I could probably write a full blog post on EACH workshop! Here we go! (If you attended the event yourself, you can skip all this and jump down to the Fearless Friday Challenge at the bottom.)

The entire event had the basic theme of “story sharing” (although this wasn’t really stated anywhere, many of the workshops included “story” in their title or theme). From the very first Jump Start Workshop until the final workshop of the 2nd day, everything was about story sharing, story gathering and story building.

Since there were 4 sessions offered at each of the 4 regular workshop times plus one “Jump Start Workshop” (that’s 17 sessions for those bad at math), I obviously had to select which sessions would best suit my needs and my clients’ needs. This is what I attended:

  • Jump Start Workshop: Branding your Organization with Stories with Andrew Nemiccolo
  • Workshop #1: Think INSIDE the Box Fundraising Success with John Armato
  • Workshop #2: Show Me Your Soul: Interviewing Techniques for Compelling Video with Kristin Sukraw
  • Workshop #3: How Mobile tech is Changing Nonprofit Marketing & Fundraising with Joe Waters
  • Workshop #4: Storytelling for Grantwriters with Maryanne Dersch

Some of the main takeaway points I gathered:

  • Humans are 22 times more likely to remember facts that are embedded in a story. (Jump Start Workshop)
  • Your Story Bank = Right Story at Right Time in Right Context (Jump Start Workshop)
  • The capacity to bring existing elements into new combinations depends in large part on the ability to see relationships; Combinatorial Play (Workshop #1)
  • The more existing elements you have to work with, the better chances of coming up with new relationships (Workshop #1)
  • Creativity is a process, not an outcome! (Workshop #1)
  • When you create a Call to Action tie it to measuring (Keynote Luncheon)
  • Be sure to prep – it’s important to know the in-depth who, what, when, where and why before you begin a project (Workshop #2)
  • QR Codes are not evil…or even stupid (Workshop #3) – Sorry Ramsey!
  • Text to give is growing in popularity (Workshop #3)
  • Link the offline world with the online world in a way that is functional, useful, memorable and unique (Workshop #3)
  • Give donors a sense that they are directly connected to the beneficiary, not the organization (Workshop #4)

During the event, I was also privileged to be the facilitator for a “Conversations that Matter” luncheon table. Eight individuals from seven distinct organizations joined me for a rousing discussion on “Going Beyond Ticket Sales: Social Media for Fundraising Events” which I had been prompted to share after writing a blog post under the same basic premise. Some of the topics this group discussed were:

  • Pros and cons of promoting your event through the organization’s Facebook page versus it’s own page
  • At wat point should an event get its own Facebook page
  • Pinterest Usage
  • Causes on Pinterest
  • Value of social media sites dedicated to NPOs
  • Silent Auctions
  • Mobile Donation Services
  • Rule of Thirds for posting to social sites
  • How to decide which tactics to use

All in all, it was a wonderful experience and again, I HIGHLY recommend attendance for any and all non-profit professionals!

Fearless Friday Challenge

As I posted yesterday, each Friday I’ll be posing a challenge to you with the hope that it will get your out of your social media comfort zone or kickstart your social media usage. Today’s challenge is a pretty easy one but it will help me decide which future challenges to use:

Challenge: TELL ME YOUR BIGGEST SOCIAL MEDIA FEAR.

Do you have a fear of doing it wrong? That you don’t have enough knowledge or experience? Do you worry about failing? Are you unsure what to post or when? How about picking the right social site(s)?

Whatever your fear, share with me. Please leave a comment below, tweet it with hashtag #FearlessChallenge, put it on my Facebook page, or shoot me an email at tababcock [at] gmail [dot] com. Any way you do it, share your fear with me and we’ll see if we can tackle it together as a team right here!

I’m at a Conference!

Hi there! For the next two days I’ll be hanging out, networking and learning with some of the best nonprofit professionals in Kansas City. Nonprofit Connect is hosting the Philanthropy Midwest Conference and I am so happy to be here!!

If you’re at the event I hope we run into each other. If you are a Kansas City NPO professional and you aren’t here, watch for my updates on the conference and make plans to attend next year! I’ll be posting snippets and updates via Twitter over the next two days and will post recaps on this site.

On today’s agenda: Jump Start, Keynote Luncheon, 2 workshops and a social hour. Sure hope my boots were made for walking!! 🙂