GroupMe is a texting service that can be used via smartphone or any phone that allows for texting. After registering, you can set up a group and send invites to friends by sending them texts. Once everyone joins your group, you send texts that function as a “reply all” functionality for email messaging. You’re also assigned a group conference call number which allows you to send a text to the group and say, “jump on a call,” for quick discussions. For users on smartphones, you can also see their physical location.
How could you use this technology at a conference?
- Company Private Chat—Have everyone from your company join a private group where you can send updates or photos relevant to your business.
- Company Public Chat—Set up a group and invite clients so you can send value-added texts to help them enjoy their experience at the conference.
- Broadcast Chat—Invite clients or employees to get real-time updates from people who can’t attend a conference.
Whatever your preference, group chat services provide an iteration to the idea of wider-broadcast models like Twitter. They are the digital equivalent of pulling a bunch of friends into a room to discuss a particular topic. Most of the services are also trying to monetize via hyper-specific ads based on the interests of the groups that have been established.
Tips for Implementation:
- Whatever service you choose, establish WHY you’re using the service to help determine who should be a part of each group. For instance, you don’t want to invite clients in a private group for your company. Establish those protocols to avoid any awkward, “we didn’t’ mean to invite you” types of conversations.
- Email folks to have them opt in to the service before sending them a text as an invitation. People need to know they may be getting multiple texts.
Know when to go offline. Once texts/messages become granular or between just two people, establish a guideline that says, “please text privately” to keep extraneous messages to a minimum.