Recently, I waxed philosophical about certain demographics’ adoption of Google+ and how it drives participation and content there. Another great example of how Google is implementing content driving services to their new G+ adopters is the crowd-sourcing photography feature, Party Mode. Basically, Party Mode enables smartphones to automatically upload any photos or videos taken during an event to the Google Event, sharing them with other attendees in real time.
What a great feature! Live, real-time photo sharing?! There are vendors charging an arm and leg to provide this kind of service, including hardware and complicated infrastructure set ups. However, by capitalizing on the phenomenal growth of the BYOD (bring your own device) craze and the ubiquity of high-speed data network access (4G, LTE, etc) for smartphones, groups of any size can crowd-source party pics!
There are unlimited possibilities for nonprofit organizations and special event managers to use this free functionality:
- Stream photos from the Event page on a big screen
- Devise photo “scavenger hunts” to drive participation (eg, a couple dancing, group shot of your table, self-portrait)
- Provide props to boost creativity. (eg, silly hats, mustaches on sticks) Make it fun.
- Schedule a photo “flash mob” time, when everyone takes a photo at the same time. Got an MC? Have them call it out. “Everyone smile!”
- Silent Auction: Post photos of items with recent bids. Consider assigning a volunteer to do this rather than the bidders themselves.
- Too busy at the event itself? Encourage participants to upload their photos “after the fact” when they get home.
- Honor your best photographers with acknowledgements, praise, and prizes
- Share photos in event follow-up communications. Don’t forget to include a call to action!
If you want to try this at your event, start by setting up your event in Google+ and inviting attendees. Provide instructions to attendees when they get there: Log into G+, Join Event, Enable Party Mode. If attendees have already joined the event on Google+ and have a Droid smartphone, the event will already be on their calendar and (depending on settings) they will receive automatic notification to start Party Mode at the start time of the Event. (Bonus! = You don’t have to do a thing!) For other attendees, consider providing a 2D bar code (QR code, MS tag) that links to the Event page itself, so they can join too without having to search for it.
|Screenshot of Google Event example with 4 contributing photographers in Party Mode|