Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

December 09 2013

What Contagious Behavior Could Mean for Your Next Meeting

By David McMillin



When you hear the word contagious, you might immediately want to wash your hands. However, that word can actually carry plenty of positives for meeting professionals. In a digital world driven by what online peers like and share with their friends, Sinan Aral, David Austin Professor of Management and Associate Professor of IT and Marketing, MIT, says that being contagious can create big opportunities.

“Peer adoption creates engagement, which creates peer adoption,” Aral, who is also a featured speakers at PCMA’s 2014 Convening Leaders, says.

“As my friends join me in the behavior or the product, I am more likely to continue to use it and not to leave it,” Aral says. “And then, I’m likely to invite more friends, which causes more peer engagement.”

SEE ALSO: How To Make The Most Of Attendee Social Media Addiction

That’s an essential lesson for today’s meetings industry. Meeting planners are constantly searching for ways to get their audience engaged. While offering compelling sessions and powerful networking opportunities undoubtedly play key roles in the process, Aral’s recent research shows that getting people to care about something ultimately starts with making that something seem popular among their peers.

Amassing likes, shares and comments may sound challenging for some organizations that do not have the time and resources for a robust social media strategy, but it’s time to figure out how to overcome those road blocks. Aral’s research shows that harnessing the social influence of some of your most loyal attendees can make a huge difference for the future of your meeting.

SEE ALSO: 5 Tips To Succeed On-Site With Social Media

Want to get a preview of how Aral analyzes human behavior? Click here to see Aral speak at a recent TEDx event in Silicon Valley. Then, go to the Convening Leaders website to register to catch Aral live in Boston early next year.

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