Several members of the Hammock crew spent June 3-4 in Washington, D.C., for the Association Media & Publishing Conference, an annual meeting for association publishing professionals hosted and organized by SNAP. Hammock Inc. served as social media sponsor for the event, and part of our responsibility in that role was creating and maintaining the “real-time” event website We believe it’s a great example of how to pull together some of the streams of the “live” web (Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, SlideShare, blogging) to capture the activities of an event. It also allowed a increased level of participation for those who attended by including their tweets and photos.

“The launch of a conference live site enabled SNAP to convey content in real-time to both to attendees and those who couldn’t make it,” said Amy Lestition, CAE, SNAP executive director.

In addition to developing and updating the live site, Hammock also developed and helped the folks at SNAP host a six-week pre-conference community at that helped to start the conversation leading up to the conference. While good content and networking are the keys to a great meeting, it’s interesting to note in this environment of magazine-oriented conferences being canceled and having their attendance fall dramatically, this conference hit its attendance goals and sold out its exhibitor space.

“The online component increased the interaction between the attendees and created a valuable, worthwhile experience,” Amy said. “For SNAP, the live site enabled the association to foster connections not only in person, but virtually as well.”

We’re not suggesting that making social media a central part of the conference promotion is the only reason this conference attendance has held up; however, we do believe it displayed how a focus on online “community” reinforces the intuitive understanding people have of the value of investing time and money in making the effort to spend time offline connecting with people with whom they share a professional passion.