A Virtual Experience Can Be Just As Powerful

While watching my beloved Texas A&M Aggies lose a close football game to Alabama last Saturday, I was struck at how big my community has become. In the past, I would call one of my close friends at game time…and we would watch the entire game “together” – just as we did while we were in college. After graduation and as technology improved, we could conference in other close friends and have a virtual watch party with participants from Iowa, New York, Florida, Louisiana, Texas and beyond. We were somewhat able to replicate a stadium experience (only with better food, cheaper drinks and easier access to the restrooms!).

Last weekend, I REALLY paid attention to the twitter feed for the game. I have looked at in-event twitter feeds before, but never as an invested participant. On this feed, there was just as much passion, agony, thrill, joy and pain – as if I was on campus attending live. Everyone was captured by the drama and invested in the outcome…and more importantly, paying attention to every detail.

In the nonprofit community, we look for ways to stay top of mind. Stay relevant. Invoke passion. Deliver meaningful experiences. By looking at each of our communication channels in a silo, we thwart our ability to truly develop community and build an in-event experience. When we hold events (walks, runs, galas, auctions, etc…) – let’s find a way to make it standard procedure to include a virtual audience in these activities.

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