I was on the Planning Committee again for the Seattle RE Barcamp held this Thursday, March 3rd 2011. This was the 4th annual event and we saw an amazing turn out. There were over 600 people there, but we don't have an exact count because many people did not sign in at the registration area. But this was probably the largest RE Barcamp held to date in the whole country! Seattle Rocks!
Our keynote speaker was Jim Marks, a renowned real estate social media and web consultant and developer. He talked about the impact of social media as an expression of humanity and how powerful that has become and why. Then he moved on to talk about how we as brokers can and need to embrace and utilize this change to grow and exist in this new environment. As always, he was insightful and riveting.
We really raised the bar this time (pun intended:-) with a complete separate “Newbie Track” to help guide those just jumping into social media. We estimated perhaps 20% of the attendees focused on taking these sessions to help them with the basics. These were mostly panel discussions with experts in the fields of Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and video.
Having a complete separate room for the Sponsors was a new idea too. And we tried hard to create a place where sponsors could promote their products and services, as well as spotlight them with presentations. Over the course of the day, there were a lot of people who came through the Sponsor area. And given the low cost of sponsorship, we heard a lot of vendors were pleased and grateful to have the opportunity to get in front of so many agents. But the presentations had a hard time getting people to join in. I suspect that most attendees just didn't want to miss out on the main sessions that were running simultaneously. We may need to re-think this when we do another barcamp.
We also had a complementary “Green Screen Recording Studio” for anyone wanting to shoot their own videos or podcasts with a green screen backdrop and lighting. Not as many people utilized this as we had hoped. But a lot of people came by to find out more about how to make these types of videos, or ask about the equipment and software that they would need to produce videos with green screens.
All in all we got a lot of positive feedback about the event and a lot of people learned a lot about social media and how to utilize it in their real estate business models. If you were there and have comments, please tweet us at @REbarcampSEA
at Seattle RE Barcamp 2011