Going Social With Events Using Google+ Hangouts

Posted by R J Coleman on Fri, Mar 30, 2012

Families are social of course, and some business ideas begin at home.

About five years ago, my sisters and I started weekly calls to help to bridge the geographic distance between us using a free conference line and our unused cell phone minutes. We recently up-leveled the experience to a weekly video chat using Google+ Hangouts. Then, a neighbor was selected as one of the lucky, five regular U.S. citizens chosen from 130,000 submissions to do a Google+ Hangout with President Obama. Very exciting! Afterward, when she posted an image to Facebook I glimpsed the immediate potential of how Hangouts could have a major impact in the world of tradeshow and event marketing.

This idea – which I’d read a bit about -- was reinforced when I was travelling on business and having lunch with colleagues. I received a notification on my Android smartphone and I simply pushed the “Join Hangout” button and the entire table joined the Hangout. 

If library patrons can do a Skype session with an author, what if executives at a tradeshow roundtable could use a Hangout to extend the reach of the discussion to those not in attendance? The technology is fairly simple and doesn’t require much more than a webcam-enabled laptop.

What about capitalizing on the opportunity of your demo or your launch in your tradeshow booth and opening up that demo to a focus group, or groups, via a Google+ Hangout?

Or, could a Hangout be used “experientially” (thanks to the mobility of smartphones) to bring the tradeshow experience to a remote group attending a Hangout? I imagine several “reporters” roaming the floor in the Hangout with their smartphones, checking in at relevant booths and displays. Perhaps there is an “anchor” in your own booth and “correspondents” on the show floor?

Hangouts could also be a great way to bring customers into the conversation as they can join in real-time discussions even though they’re not actually at the tradeshow or event.

Does your business have key partners? Thanks to mobile devices and Google+ Hangouts they can all take a “tour” and have facilitated discussions of the business on the tradeshow floor.

The possibilities appear only to be limited by imagination.

Have you seen or been a part of Google+ Hangouts in relation to a tradeshow, event or sales meeting? Do you have other ideas of how Hangouts could extend your reach?

Thanks for your comments, and for hanging out!

Tags: Event Marketing, Event Technology, Event Industry Trends