It was 2010 and airports around the world were shutting down due to weather.
While most wallowed in the misery of not being able to fly out of x, y, z cities, I heard a remarkable story from a friend, who told me about a young social entrepreneur who–in the matter of a few hours–gathered stranded passengers together to create an impromptu TED-like event. It was a brilliant idea of turning adversity into an opportunity; airports are an epicenter for talented and bright leaders across all fields, so why not work with what you have to create something meaningful?
On the way to London (I’m here now at the #SMWLdn HQ, come say “Hi,” I’m wearing orange pants–you can’t miss me!), I set my sights to do something similar (albeit less ambitious because I had an hour before my flight boarded). My goal was to have conversations with folks in the airport to learn about how they were using social media in their daily lives. Since we live in a digital world where image-leading campaigns succeed (learned that from the Masterclass: How to Get The Most Out of Facebook This Christmas), I brought along a whiteboard and dry erase marker to have folks write down their responses.
During these conversations, there was something that struck me:
Of the 60-70 people at the airport who I talked to (trying to include them into the project), there was a large group of individuals who told me they did not use social media at all in their daily lives. As someone who is immersed in the world of technology (and about to attend SMW), I forgot that there is a subset of people who are not yet participating.
Related: During today’s Get Noticed Online: The Basics of Advertising on Social Media Networks session, the panelists agreed that combining offline and online approaches together is the most effective way to engage your brand with your target audience.
In addition to the photo up top, here are two more of my favorite responses (photos captured on the Nokia Lumia 1020):
This post was written by Scott Shigeoka, a 2013 Social Media Week Travel Award winner. Click here for more of Scott’s writing on SMW.
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