James Sun, CEO and founder of pirq.com, is a Facebook guy. Nicholas Segura, CEO of Somos Agency in Kansas City, Missouri, is a big fan of Twitter. Monica Vila, co-founder of The Online Mom, is platform agnostic, preferring to spread her message over two or three social networks at the same time.
Regardless of their favorite tool, each understands what is becoming more evident by the day: Social media connects people in a way few things can. For planners, nothing could be more important in reaching as broad an audience as possible. The trick is finding a message that resonates and causes action, particularly when reaching out to attendees of various races with myriad backgrounds and interests.
Consider that the U.S. Census Bureau counts 50.4 million Hispanics, 38.9 million African-Americans and 14.6 million Asians among the country’s population. The growing minority represents the new majority. By 2043, the census projects Latin Americans will overtake the number of Caucasians in the United States. Simultaneously, the face of meetings is also changing.
To get ahead of the curve, planners are actively reaching out to diverse groups to bring them together for conferences, conventions, meetings and other special events. There’s nothing wrong with that, says Sun, who advises the best approach is a direct one.
“Be honest when you are reaching out and saying you want representatives who are Millennials, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, African-Americans… Be forward about it,” says Sun, who was a keynote speaker at Connect’s Diversity Marketplace in Newport Beach, California. “They don’t want a watered-down message. Tell them why you want a diverse group of people and how you want to collaborate with them.”