Today I attended the Dinosaur Trail exclusive Blogger/Tweeple Preview at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC.
The event was organized by Beck Tench, who manages the Museum Life and Science Twitter account (@lifeandscience). Beck reached out to the local Triangle, NC blogging and Twitter community, which is strong, for the exclusive preview event. And if you think bloggers and tweeple are not interested in dinosaurs, then you’re wrong. Before the event began, tweets were tweeted, asking who’s going, and everyone was excited to preview the new dinosaur trail.
Joining me was fellow OurHashtag partner, Jeff Cohen (Digital Papercuts). As we arrived, we were welcomed by Beck and other Museum of Life and Science employees to receive our V.I.P wrist band, and name badge. Then we were on our way to the Dinosaur Trail.
As we walked the trail we met fellow tweeple @SmallJones, @clubjuggler, @GregoryNG, @dburr10085 and blogger Kevin Davis of Bull City Rising. We also met a few other local Triangle Tweeple for the first time. Despite it being a little humid, the weather was perfect and Jeff and I started our Dinosaur photo-blogging, tweeting, brightkite-ing, Facebooking tour.
Take a look at my photos below:
A few years ago, or even a few months ago, if you would have said that a museum was having a special exhibit preview for bloggers and twitter users, some may have looked at you like you’re crazy and just laughed. But with the explosion of social media and a strong tech community in the area, having an exclusive Blogger/Tweeple preview at the Museum of Life and Science made perfect sense. Why? I would say for marketing and community engagement. Was the event a success? I would say, yes. The @lifeandscience twitter account sent out a tweet saying they had over 100 tweeple and bloggers attend the event.
The event was not only a success because of the attendance, but also for continued awareness for the Museum of Life and Science. As I walked around, I saw families on the dinosaur trail taking a lot of pictures. Adding local bloggers and tweeple to an already scheduled member preview is a great idea. It can only build excitement and generate awareness of the new exhibit. My hat’s off to Beck and the entire team for coming up with the idea. Will this work for every company looking to engage with the local community using social media? Maybe, but let’s take a look at the process of what the Museum of Life and Science did to have a successful event.
1. Hire someone who’s connected in the community.
2. Engage with the community using social media.
Their twitter account has over 1,700 followers and they have accounts on various social networks.
3. Think outside the box and be creative. Instead of trying to just pull bloggers/tweeple away from their computers and iPhones, they welcomed them with open doors, saying join us.
4. They made us feel special by including us in a sneak preview. The exhibit doesn’t open to the public until July 25th.
5. Have an engagement dinosaur. Unlike Raleigh’s Lego store. The museum had one open dinosaur for everyone to climb on. The kids were happy to play and the parents got better pictures. It was clearly the most popular dinosaur there.
6. They planned for success. They passed out Moo cards with the url http://lifeandscience.org/dinosaurs on it. The url is for collecting blog post such as this one, flickr photos and youtube videos. And not only from today, but from future attendees.
Again, great job to the Museum of Life and Science. Today was my first time visiting and I’ll be back in the near future.
PS. All of my photos and videos where taken with the iPhone 3Gs.
No dinosaurs where brought back to life during today’s event, but this one is cool and I would love to have it as an pet.