The ERF’s ‘Spider’s Web’ of Influence

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Map3Last month, I was in Egypt at the Economic Research Forum’s 20th Annual Conference. The CommsConsult team had decided to mark this special anniversary event with a few added extras to our usual social reporting suite. On top of the Tweeting, daily e-newsletters, blogging and talking-head videos that we perform as standard at these events, we also decided to create two special ERF 20th anniversary videos to be shown at the open and close of the conference and give a taste of just how far ERF has come in the last 20 years, and where it is headed in the next 20! On top of this, we came up with a plan to map ERF’s influence through the conference participants by getting everyone to contribute their picture to a huge map, (see my previous news story on this idea) where we would mark where they are based and had travelled from to be at the conference. Over the three day conference, we cornered participants with our funky pink instant camera and snapped their pictures for the map.

To the right is one of the social reporting team members, Dina Mannaa from GDNet, with the pink camera, ready to grab conference delegates!

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Slowly, the map started to take shape…

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Cornering more participants…

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Dina and map

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Above is the finished article! The polaroid pictures capture participants with string leading to where they are based. The spread of locations was very interesting. Understandably, given the ERF’s focus, there was a highly concentrated level of attendance from the MENA region, but there were also a number of participants from across the USA, Germany, France, Italy and Latin America. It was a fascinating exercise to see the map come together and visually mark the spread of ERF’s reach across the globe. Given more time and capacity, it would have been good to take this idea to the next level and also map the spread of each participant’s research and the areas in which they themselves have made an influence with their research. This is something we’re bearing in mind if we decide to do this at an event again.  All in all, I think the idea turned out well and we certainly had a great response from everyone attending, who couldn’t wait to be snapped by the pink camera and added to the board.

For more of our conference coverage, see the ERF blog and follow their Tweets @ERFlatest.

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