My 2014 Summer Plans: Social media planning for an international conference

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It is hard to believe that the 2013-2014 academic year is over. Summer is upon us.

It was a super busy year. I had so many ideas for things I wanted to blog about, and never got around to: Like my final project in Communication Research where students build surveys and use iPads to collect survey data around campus. With summer here, I thought I’d take a moment to highlight my big plans for the summer.

The International Congress of Behavioural Optometry Social Media and Mobile App

International Congress of Behavioural Optometry ICBO Home

This summer I earned a grant via the Shepherd University Foundation at Shepherd University to complete some exciting and important volunteer work. I will be working to help the Optometric Extension Program Foundation (OEPF) create and execute a social media plan for the International Congress of Behavioural Optometry, the premiere international conference in the optometric community. The conference is held every four years and this year’s event is in Birmingham, England in September. The Optometric Extension Program foundation, an international 503c non-profit, OEPF helps advance the discipline of optometry by helping educate optometrists and their staff in addressing learning related visual problems (including performance as well as concussions), sports vision, vision rehabilitation, etc. They also do outreach to the public about these issues.

Planning the social media is going to be a lot of fun and a lot of work. And we are just getting started. A major component of “ICBO Social,” our social media efforts, will be creating a conference mobile app aimed at really bringing the conference experience alive with exciting engagement opportunities for attendees to interact with the conference and one-another.

While most conference apps simply provide a way to get the conference agenda on their smartphone, the ICBO Social app is so much more (we’ll be using DoubleDutch to create the app). The ICBO Social app is inherently social and aimed at interaction. The best way to describe ICBO Social is as a social media platform for mobile devices (available on Google Play and the App Store) that we are creating for and will be specifically used by conference attendees and exhibitors.

That creates opportunities for attendees to build profiles, connect with one another based on interest, share comments and photos to the activity feed, see what events others are attending and commenting on via the activity feed, like and comment on others’ posts, learn more about exhibitors, and build real connections with exhibitors through the interactive opportunities popular on many social media platforms.

It will be an easy-to-use, fun, engaging, and rewarding way to get the most out of the ICBO 2014 conference and build lasting relationships.

While the app is the centerpiece of the plan, there are a host of other components that could be their own blog posts themselves!

Over the summer, I will not be blogging as often. But I will post from time to time on my progress with ICBO Social along the way, as well as discuss other projects (I’ve got a few exciting research projects I’m working on), updates from my classes, and hopefully some fun posts about a few vacation trips I’ve got planned, etc. Not to worry –  I will be picking back up full swing with weekly or bi-monthly posts in the Fall.

In the meantime, keep in touch via Twitter or LinkedIn, blog comments, or email. I will see you all in a few weeks!

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