by Jennifer Nicole Dienst | March 01, 2008

illustrationInitially started for use by colleges, the free social networking site 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.

Stay connected. 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.