Initially started for use by
colleges, the free social networking site Facebook.com now
allows anyone to log on and reconnect with old friends. Blane
Marable, the administrator for the Future Farmers of America
National Convention’s official Facebook group, explains how the
technology can help meeting planners, especially if their attendees
are under age 25.
Post updates. Planners
can set up groups on Facebook that are mini-networks of people,
such as members of an association or attendees of a conference.
Marable says posting news updates to an entire group is fast, easy
and doesn’t require sending a mass e-mail.
Although young people tend to change both e-mail and physical
addresses, Facebook accounts remain constant, so it’s an efficient
way to stay in touch. Planners can use Facebook member profiles to
keep track of current contact information for attendees, too.
Get chatty. Groups are
a forum for both private and groupwide messages. “Monitor the
boards for negative comments,” Marable advises. Administrators can
remove offending messages at their discretion.