Ahead of our 50th Member Meeting, we're going to be spotlighting our top 10 Member Meeting All Stars — members who've attended the most Member Meetings during their time in the community. To continue this series, we chatted with Delaware North Senior Manager of Brand and Social Strategy Kerry Hassen who, at 17 (soon to be 18) meetings in the books is tied for the second highest meeting count, about what Member Meetings mean to her and her role leading social for a BtoB brand.
How would you describe your first SocialMedia.org Member Meeting?
I don't know if I even have words to describe how I felt at my first meeting. I felt like I had found my people — my home. I knew we would be able to grow our program and accomplish what we had been challenged with.
What are some of the biggest insights or “aha” moments you've taken away from Member Meetings and applied to your program?
Some of my top AHA moments were: Killing off social media accounts is not a bad thing and it can be necessary; that I am not alone — we all wear lots of hats and have more work than time to do it in; that social media is not a one-way communication channel, it's about engagement; social media is not cheap, it's not free, it's not easy, and not everyone can do it.
Every meeting has a new “aha” for me because before I attend each meeting, I inevitably have a new challenge, question, or issue we are facing. That's what keeps it interesting. It validates the need for our membership to the organization and attendance at the meetings.
Those are just a few… I could go on forever.
What are some of your favorite activities or memories from past Member Meetings?
The “reunions” in Orlando at Disney were always a highlight for me. Not only was the venue great, but the professional speakers and wide variety of topics was always timely and professionally beneficial to me and our broader team.
In addition to that, I recall when we were undergoing a PR crisis that really was impacting us hard on our social media channels, and the team at SocialMedia.org went out of their way for arrange one-on-one meetings for me to talk with other members at the next SocialMedia.org meeting to ensure we had the information, resources, and support we needed to make it through the event. True proof that the meetings are counseling sessions as well as professional development and networking opportunities.
Why do you make attending Member Meetings a priority?
I make attending Member Meetings a priority because it keeps me connected to my professional network, and I always learn something new that I can take back to my organization and put to work immediately.
What advice would you give to someone going to their first Member Meeting?
I would advise that they come prepared to soak it all in. If they can focus on seeking out ideas and solutions to just one issue they are facing, the money and time will have been well spent because they will find the help they are seeking. One more thing: They should take the later flight home as they won't want to miss a thing.
Meet members like Kerry at Member Meeting 50 in Chicago, October 8-9!
Our 50th Member Meeting is coming up October 8-9 in Chicago, and it's going to be one of our best meetings yet — in large part to social media leaders like Kerry who share their amazing experiences and insights to every meeting and conversation that they join.
We're so grateful for our All Stars and all our members who continue to make every meeting so special and unbelievably valuable. They're the reason this community has been thriving for over a decade, and we can't wait for what's next!
Learn more about Member Meeting 50 here: https://socialmedia.org/community/meetings/mm50/