As we go into 2011, Facebook has now surpassed Google as the most visited site on the web. Facebook, the ultimate social networking site, has surpassed all of its competitors, and this has happened in spite of predictions about its demise and the frequent changes that draw the wrath of many of its loyal users.
As event planners, there are lessons we can learn from the success of Facebook:
· People want to connect, and they want to connect in a meaningful way around topics that are of genuine interest to them.
· People want an experience that goes beyond focusing on predictable topics and moves into speculation and possibilities.
· Even though we hear complaints about changes that signal progress, eventually these changes are incorporated, and we reach the next stage of interaction.
· The original charter for Facebook was limited to college students; making something appear exclusive creates a demand for membership.
Event planners have the advantage of creating face-to-face opportunities, something Facebook doesn’t provide but does facilitate. Events give attendees not only educational opportunities but also the chance to explore new interests and future hot topics. Event planners can push the envelope when it comes to presentation styles and challenge speakers to find new formats to reach their audiences. And finally, event planners shouldn’t fear change; change keeps us growing and responding to our constituencies.