When SMCHI started over 3 years ago, social media was an emerging trend, and today its a full-blown phenomenon changing the lives of businesses, nonprofits, governments and touching the lives of individuals. As social media grows, so does SMCHI.Â We’ve held or helped plan over 50 events in that time. We’ve had generous volunteer speakers from around the world speak to audiences on topics as wide ranging as social media in Europe, SEO, social media policies and more. Â As of June 2011, we’re an official nonprofit educational organization complete with insurance and a bank account. Our growth as an organization has been exponential.
SMCHI events have increasing value for the community. Our speakers and topics are better than ever. And as anyone who has ever been to one of our events can attest, they also come with the added benefit of being very fun. Get a bunch of “social” people in the room and watch the magic happen. Â In addition, one of SMCHI’s goals in 2012 is to be able to host other high caliber speakers, like last year’sÂ Mari Smith event, for an affordable cost.
But SMCHI does more than host events, we maintain a website with a blog which features custom content by our professional members. We manage numerous social media profiles and try to keep everyone in the loop about social media and digital literacy events throughout the islands. While all activities are 100% volunteer driven, SMCHI stillÂ incurs administrativeÂ costs for items like web hosting, equipment, live-streaming, and communication management.
Traditionally our events have been free. With this month’s event we’re announcing a slight change: we’ll begin charging a small fee for our events to cover SMCHI’s ongoing administrative costs. We know this might come as a surprise to some, but rest assured in the spirit of inclusion, our events will remain high value at a veryÂ affordableÂ price; in fact, much moreÂ affordableÂ than public events for other professional and educational organizations. Due to our ever generous event venue sponsor, Hagadone Printing, our nonprofit rental cost at Amuse is covered, so due to theirÂ generosity, we’re able to keep the price of our events downÂ significantly. Â We hope that some of these fees can also help SMCHI begin to bring in some knowledgeable social media leaders from around the country.Â We want to continue our reputation as one of the most dynamic Social Media Clubs in the world by leading our community with top-notch events and speakers. We want to continue to find ways to support our neighbor island professionals.Â Â As a side note, SMCHI events will remain free to all Professional, Small Business, Nonprofit and Educational members. Â
We continue to invite all members of the social media community to be part of SMCHI and its events, regardless of their experience with social media. We know that more than ever, people are curious about social media and want answers from reliable sources like those that SMCHI is able to bring to you. We’re committed to bringing you more and better quality information.
Thank you so much for your ongoing support of SMCHI. And we look forward to seeing you at our next event on May 14th, where we’ll show you time saving tools for managing social media.