Meeting the Future: Madison Ruby

This article is part of an interview series currently running on Conferize called ‘Meeting the Future’ about conference organizers’ present and future involvement with social media.

Madison Ruby logo
The tech conference Madison Ruby has truly managed to tap into a lot of different and new online services to promote their event. According to Conference Chair Jim Remsik their primary marketing strategy has been the simple goal of “reaching out to people that we know through Facebook and Twitter so they can help us spread the word”.

Apart from that, a bunch of other inspiring services have played a role in promoting the conference. One of them is Chicago-based start-up Shortlist which recommends people to meet at events based on their unique set of goals, professional background and social media connections. This way, Madison Ruby’s delegates can avoid wasting time talking to hosts of people with whom they do not share interests.

Jim explains: “We also use GoSoapBox which is actually intended as a forum for teachers and students, where students can ask questions and discuss difficult topics outside the classroom. We encourage delegates to ask questions about the conference or its content that organizers or other delegates can reply to.

ClickToTweet generates a custom link for us to a tweet that we want other people to tweet. We then share the link and when people click on it and log in to Twitter, the message is automatically added to their Twitter status box so they only need to click to tweet. We want to help because we know that people don’t always have a lot of time.

In addition, we use HootSuite to schedule tweets in advance and GetPromotd to promote the conferences through websites and press sources online. For this year’s registration, we used Wufoo.

Finally, we use Eventifier and FlickR for sharing photos and other material before, during and after the conference.”

The downside of social media
Jim emphasizes that Madison Ruby wants to support the products that are trying to solve his problems – however, he also has had a few bad experiences, being engaged with so many different social media:

Some of the feedback we got from attendees about Shortlist was that is requires LinkedIn to sign in, and a lot of our attendees would prefer to use another method, either Twitter or Facebook. We gave Shortlist this feedback and they are now working to get Twitter integrated.

GetPromotd were quick at getting us out there, but posted our logo in reverse colors and had the location of the conference wrong.

Woofu are trying to solve a lot of different problems and were thus not always the right tool for us. We felt a bit of a pain there, but we kind of knew it beforehand.”

Madison Ruby took place for the second time this year on August 23rd-25th. The aim of the conference is to showcase the assets of the Ruby community to locals and give visitors a chance to experience one of the best, brainiest, and least expensive places in the US to live and work.  Catch up on all the activity at Madison Ruby on Conferize.  

by Christel Laerkholm Hansen