I recorded this message in 2017 and it’s true for 2018… As the National Safety Council Congress & Expo 2018 begins this weekend, I am hoping to see some more posts on social media from my fellow safety pros. There are many of us who are not able to make the trip to Houston, and we are seeking more social media updates from those “on the ground.” Listen to my quick message for more on why I think there’s not a lot of social media chatter surrounding this event – it’s both positive and negative!
A lot of my fellow safety professionals are at a huge safety conference this week. It’s the National Safety Council Congress & Expo. It lasts all week and it’s taking place in Indianapolis, Indiana. I haven’t really seen a lot of information on social media about the conference besides information posted on Twitter and other social media channels from conference exhibitors. This is a little different than other safety conferences I’ve been to in the past few years where a lot of the social media content is coming from those who are attending the conference. First, i’ll talk about the positive aspect of that and then what I think might be going on maybe… on the negative side. First the positive. I think there’s not a lot of social media activity because it’s a huge overwhelming conference. I’ve been to the National Safety Council conference as just an “expo only” attendee which is overwhelming in itself to walk the expo hall and see all the products, talk to all the exhibitors, and just to have a conference experience that way with out even attending an educational session. You can still get a lot of information from the event. So, that may be going on. Another part of that might be that often there’s not really reliable cell phone or wifi service in these expo halls. Even if people are finding some really great information and products they may not be able to post about it in the moment. Then the are not posting about it later on when they get to dinner, happy hour, or their hotel room. It’s kind of a missed opportunity there. And, I have some thoughts on that as well. Being overwhelmed by the expo hall, that could be one reason why I’m not seeing a lot of social media chatter about the event. The other thing that could be a positive slant about what’s going on and why there’s not a lot social media talk about the conference is that people are attending the educational sessions. There’s a couple of different ways to slice and dice the National Safety Council event. One, that I already mentioned, is just going to the expo hall only because there’s so much there and that can be your experience without even going to educational sessions. The other angle to take is to go strictly to educational sessions and a lot of times when employers pay for a safety professional to go to these conferences…especially if there is a team of safety professionals at a company…often the team divides and conquers. They are required or strongly suggested to go to specific sessions, so the safety team can cover as many sessions as possible and then regroup together when they get back to work. I think that might be what’s going on or part of the picture on why I’m not able to follow this event so closely via social media like I had intended. Another part of it is that maybe there’s just not a big push to use social media to augment the conference experience. At other safety conferences I’ve attended there’s games that are centered around using the conference app. The mobile application sometimes is a little bit clunky for these conferences and tough to use….knowing that, conference planners plan games around it to get people using the app and posting to social media. Really making the conference come to life outside just the walls of the conference. There may be that sort of thing going on here with the National Safety Council is that people are just not using the app and not using their mobile devices to supplement their experience. That’s great for those that are there at the conference. But, for those of us who are trying to hack the conference and watch it via social media… are not getting a lot of content. I want to encourage any of my fellow safety pros that are at NSC whether they’re exhibiting or attending…Please, start posting more on social media. Let us know what you’re learning. Let us know the trends. I know that my friend Tim from Safe Start that he’s taking part of the keynote…giving the keynote right now as I speak… at the event. I know he’s got some good information and I’m hoping to see some posts later on from people that attended his keynote and also from Tim himself to give some more information on the keynote topic which is the future of safety. Hopefully the future of safety includes mobile devices & social media. I sure think it does. I’m hoping that in the last few days of the safety council congress & expo to see just a little bit more chatter on social media to bring in the rest of us who were not able to go, due to timing, budget, & other factors. So again, looking for more social media chatter & trying to bring social media into the conference experience in these last few days of The National Safety Council Congress & Expo. We want to hear from you!