FOLLOWERS ON Twitter, friends on Facebook and Live streaming viewers make up the numbers at Play the Game 2009 as organisers seek to exploit the ‘New Media’ to publicise the conference, writes Marc Johnson.
As well as allowing live and on demand streaming of speakers from Coventry cathedral, organisers are also informing the world via Twitter and Facebook on immediate conference news. However, what effect is this going to have on the attendance of delegates to future conferences when access to the important issues in sport is becoming increasingly easy.
Ida Relsted Kærup, Communications manager for Play the Game 2009 told CU Today she didn’t believe this would have an impact on the number of attendees at future conferences.
“ I think most of the attendants chose to attend Play the Game 2009 months ago, the academics did and the journalists decided about a week ago…they get interviews with people they wouldn’t normally get. I believe the people watching online are the ones who didn’t have chance to come.”
For an event which is funded by official Danish associations and whose revenues would struggle to cover running costs, utilizing these forms of ‘New Media’ is essential in publicizing the event and representing the important issues in sport. Twitter and Facebook are another example of organisations adapting to appeal to a society becoming more occupied with micro blogging and social networking.
Ida added: “It is sort of an experiment…it’s my personal interest in New Media that’s made me go here and ask if we can try it. It’s not part of a very official strategy; it’s more of us pushing for it.”
Play the Game strives to address “democracy, transparency and freedom of expression in the world on sport”, and getting this message to as many people as possible is seen as fundamental. There is clearly a demand for live streaming of Play the Game conferences, but is interest outside journalism and those in the sports industry limited?
Ida concluded: “We do find people who are interested somewhere in the blogosphere on one particular part of the conference, but you won’t find anyone who will sit for five days watching us live… If you know about Play the Game you can go and find the events and if you don’t maybe they’ll stumble across some of the big names.”