Many times this semester Professor Robinson has iterated the importance of networking and how to use networks — particularly through social media — to our advantage. This weekend I experienced first-hand how important it is to utilizes social networks.
I’m one of the core organizing members for ConvergeNC Southern Music Festival, a free annual festival that takes place at UNC-CH each spring. This year’s festival was to take place this past Friday night at the 140 West Plaza on Franklin St. We had everything planned out perfectly: a street closure with the Town of Chapel Hill, beer specials with Old Chicago and New Belgium Brewery and talent coming in to perform from all over the South.
Our first two years of the festival, we were so lucky regarding the weather. This year, not so much. Following a gorgeous 70 degree and sunny day, I woke up Friday morning to rain and 50 degree weather. We quickly realized that midmorning our outdoor festival was a no go. So on to plan B.
We had planned our after-party for the festival at Nightlight, a club one street over from our originally planned festival location. We made a quick call to the owner to make sure we had the go-ahead to host the entire festival there. Then we reached out to our sponsors, UNC’s Water In Our World (the coalition in charge of our campus wide theme of water) and the Town of Chapel Hill.
After touching base with all of the required parties, we took to Twitter and posted this:
We reached out to our friends, media contacts and sponsors of the festival and asked them to either retweet us or create an original Tweet of a similar manner. We posted on our ConvergeNC Facebook page and both event pages for this year’s festival and after-party to help spread the word about the change of plans.
And it worked! We were able to get the word out about moving to our rain plan. We had Nightlight packed from the start of the night all the way through the end.
Thankfully, we were able to utilize both our festival and personal networks through social media. I can’t imagine how hard it would have been to change plans like we did in a time without the ability to instantly communicate to our audience.
PS: Catch The Suffers, who rocked the ConvergeNC stage, on the David Letterman show this Monday night!