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5 Things Virtual Event Platforms Can Learn from Pinterest


View my Pinboard on the Jeremy Lin sensation: http://pinterest.com/dshiao/linboard/

Introduction

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that “lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.” (source: Pinterest). While I haven’t created my own Pinterest boards, I’ve been reading about the service. And, I’ve visited the Pinterest pages of a few friends. During the course of learning more about the service, I’ve come to the conclusion that virtual event platforms can learn a lot from Pinterest.

1) Visual appeal.

Let’s face it, the “meta data” surrounding virtual event information is heavy on text. Whether it’s session titles, exhibitors or digital spaces, everything is described via alphanumeric characters. But what if virtual event content could be rendered visually?

For instance, for a selected session, you could “pin” a photo of the speaker. When viewing sessions, isn’t there always that one slide that you’d love to capture and share? Virtual event platforms could utilize “Pinterest-like” boards in lieu of the conventional “user profile page,” which promotes event content via images, rather than text.

2) Make it seamless to take action.

Pinterest would not be where it is today without the “Pin It” Button. Once you add this button to your Bookmarks, it becomes a cinch to add to your pinboard as you find interesting images across the web. There’s also a Pin It button for web site publishers, which “will allow your customers and readers to pin your products onto Pinterest.”

Virtual event platforms need a one-click “pin it button” that enables attendees to post interesting content (e.g. sessions, other users, exhibitors, documents, links, etc.) to a curated space (namely, their profile page).

3) Allow “second order” sharing.

Posting an item to your “pinboard” is a “first order” form of sharing. Pinterest has a “repin” feature, which allows you to take another user’s pinboard entry (e.g. say, a captivating image) and pin it to your own Pinterest page. In virtual events, let’s say a user has pinned her favorite session to her pinboard. Other users who visit her pinboard should be able to add the same session to their own profile page.

4) Brings out the “dorm room decorator” in all of us.

As I visited users’ Pinterest pages, I was reminded of college dorm rooms. College students use their dorm room walls as a means for expressing who they are and what interests them. They have posters of their favorite movies or musicians, photos of family and friends and perhaps a ticket stub from a life-changing concert they attended.

Of course, virtual events won’t inspire the same degree of self-expression, but we may want to display our favorite event content, wouldn’t we?

5) Adds some “user-generated spice.”

Pinterest allows users to include short comments on items they pin. For an image of a dream vacation spot, the user may write, “Wish to get here some day.” For a sought after gift item, perhaps it’s “makes for a great holiday gift.”

In virtual events, content can be a tad “dry,” but adding user-generated content can add some spice to the environment. If a user wrote “best session of the day,” other users are more likely to view the on-demand archive. An exhibitor booth that was tagged “visit them and chat with Donna” may encourage others to visit and seek out Donna.

Conclusion

With interest in Pinterest growing by the day, platforms ought to apply some of its interesting features to virtual event experiences. Use the Comments section below to share your thoughts – or, to list your Pinterest page.

Related Resources

  1. Great article by Mark W. Smith (@markdubya), published at USAToday.com, “How to use Pinterest’s pinboard for the Web.”

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2 Responses to 5 Things Virtual Event Platforms Can Learn from Pinterest

  1. Rosemary says:

    Great article! I have used Pinterest both as an event planner and a supplier. My first 9 board are related to the conference & event industry: http://pinterest.com/socialsail/
    I also started a Linkedin group exclusively dedicated to using Pinterest for Conferences & Events, virtual or otherwise: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=4248418&trk=hb_side_g

    • Dennis Shiao says:

      Rosemary: thanks. I love your use of Pinterest for conferences and events. Also, I just submitted a request to join the LinkedIn Group.

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