I often joke that I’m “FICP’s Resident Staff ‘Geek’.” Lucky for me, over the last eight years while serving our association, geekiness has become cool! But I’ll share a little secret: I’m not an IT expert. I happen to be a marketing and communications manager with extra experience in technology, social media and digital marketing. In this post, a little trip down memory lane. After all, FICP has been making tech cool for almost a decade.
Of course, a disclaimer: any mention of a particular product, service or company is not necessarily an endorsement. We’ve had good, great, bad and ugly experiences with tech over the years. I would be more than happy to share additional information with anyone who asks! Of course, your fellow FICP’ers have lots more to share out on TheNetwork.
Speaking of TheNetwork
Our online community is rated as one of the most valuable FICP member benefits, and also probably the most underutilized. Launched in November 2014, TheNetwork has more than 200 discussion threads and nearly 500 resources and templates. Block a lunch hour one day, sit at your desk and spend some time finding your way around, responding to discussion threads (even if it’s from a while ago!), and getting to know all that’s out there.
Event Mobile Apps
Be honest: Is your mobile device more than an arm’s length away right now? Are you reading this ONyour mobile device (according to our analytics, 10% of you are!)? Our phones are embedded in our lives, and research shows we’re pretty passionate about how we spend our time on them. So, event apps, for a group that loves events, have to be awesome. FICP first dipped its toes in the event app waters with QuickMobile for the 2012 Annual Conference in Los Angeles. We then learned about a new tool in 2014, GenieConnect. Genie was completely different from any app we had seen, and it could incorporate a custom appointment tool for The Network – Live at the Annual Conference. While we had some bumps along the way, Genie Connect (which, incidentally, was acquired by Lanyon later in 2014) proved to be a good fit for FICP. Of course, as in many industries — things constantly change. Lanyon merged with Cvent (which had already acquired mobile app company Crowd Compass…confused yet?) in November 2016. Whew.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead
FICP has just spruced up TheNetwork, providing a more beautiful and intuitive experience. We’re busy building a brand-new mobile app with Zerista, and we’re cooking up much, much more.
Cool Event Stuff
On the FICP staff and among the volunteer leadership, it often comes up that FICP events are a ‘test kitchen’ for innovative ideas. We had a day of sessions on a cruise ship. We transferred attendees to an evening event via ski chair lift (in June). We served salad bars in giant, custom wooden boxes. We held a mock trial in which we covered ethical dilemmas. On the technology front, we have tried Crowd Mics, Catch Box, iPad rentals, television broadcasts, real-time feedback with Educational Measures, audience engagement with Conferences i/o, and more. And we aren’t done yet…
FICP has tried a lot of things, and we’ll continue to do so. It can be intimidating (and sometimes expensive), but it’s always led to lessons-learned and new technologies for everyone to appreciate. Don’t be shy — give something new a try at your events, too, and share your experience with us! Which great and unique technology products have you used? Any favorites you think FICP should try? Any you had challenges with? Leave a comment, contact me in TheNetwork or shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FICP Community Manager