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Mission Possible: Why Volcanos, Floods and Snowstorms Can’t Stop Us From Meeting

While natural disasters throw an “unplanned” monkey wrench into the normal rhythm of our events, they don’t have to stop us from meeting.

I have been impressed with the role that event technology and social media have played in events during natural disasters like snowstorms, volcanos and floods this year. Some inspiring and innovative people, like Lindy Dryer from Social Fish, proved that we could create opportunities out of the madness.

Last week at EIBTM in Barcelona, Ruud Janssen and I highlighted a few of these examples and shared some advice with the audience on what they could learn from these events and take back to their own events.

Take a look at the slide deck:

[slideshare id=6011426&doc=20101130crisiscommunicationseibtm2010-101202175245-phpapp01]

Social Media In Natural Disasters

While our presentation concentrated on the events angle, we discovered an amazing open source crowdsourcing platform called Ushahidi in our research. The developers designed a full portfolio of technology to help crisis teams collect, filter and process real time communications from text and Twitter. Then, turn those messages into actionable information that could be used for rescue missions, etc.

In addition, the Ushahidi platform allows people thousands of miles of way to volunteer their time to help in the rescue and recovery efforts. Pretty cool – if you ask me! (Read More)

Bottom Line

We don’t have to let a crisis stop us from meeting. There is a way to create opportunities despite the madness.

What is the most interesting use of event technology or social media use that you have seen to help an event during a natural disaster in the past two years?

Shameless Plug: The slides above were picked by Slideshare editors to be one of 14 featured presentations of the day on Friday, December 4, 2010. Yes, Ruud and I did feel cool!

Disclosure: My Trip to Barcelona was Sponsored by EIBTM.

Written by

Samuel J. Smith is the Managing Director of Interactive Meeting Technology, LLC. He wakes up every morning to save the world from stuffing attendees in chairs for hours on end at events. Oh, and he has small children who usually want some breakfast.