Posted on Oct 18, 2012

Are small events and workshops worth amplifying? We look at the impact of amplifying a series of small workshops and consider how this has added value over time.

 
It is always good to hear when event amplification has made a real difference to the impact of an event – particularly for smaller events, which can often have only a limited reach in real time.

I was therefore really pleased to read a post by Rob Bristow describing the impact of several workshops I covered for the JISC Green ICT programme earlier in the year.

For each of these workshops, which covered topics such as Conferencing in Universities and Colleges, and Intelligent Buildings and Smart Estates, I compiled a Storify summary to capture and contextualise the resources from the event. By providing a narrative around the interviews, video footage, photographs of flip chart diagrams, slides, tweets and other digital snippets collected at each event, I created a single focal point for these amplified materials that enabled them to be consumed more easily. Over time, the summaries have gradually brought each of these small events to an increasingly wider audience.

As Rob writes:
 

One heartening aspect of these captures of events – things that are by their nature ephemeral and sometimes only marked by a few decks of cryptic PowerPoint slides – is that they seem to have been very popular with a combined viewing total of over 2,300. Now that’s what I call Event Amplification!

 

To put this into context, each of the four events covered consisted of around 30-40 delegates. This means that the Storify summaries have increased this reach by an average of 14 times per event, which is fantastic news.

The key here seems to be context: “cryptic PowerPoint slides” alone will not necessarily convey the full meaning of the discussions held at an event, whereas we know that views of the Storify summaries will have conveyed all of the key points from the event really clearly, using a variety of media and narrative. Whilst the Storify viewer statistics do not necessarily reflect repeat or brief visits, we can have a greater degree of confidence that people viewing the resource took away a more complete picture of the event and the knowledge transferred therein than they might otherwise have done from partial or scattered amplified materials.

These are straightened times, and organisers increasingly have to show the value of smaller events and workshops to justify the time and expense involved compared to larger-scale, high impact events. Being able to demonstrate the longer term relevance of smaller events through a little bit of co-ordinated amplification could be the key to delivering greater value.
 
Photo Credit: Spettacolopuro.