Normally I don't write about specific events but I'm making an exception as this is almost a mini overview for how charity in social media can turn into a benefit for the social Web community.
In May I launched a Social Media Charity Auction that raised about $6,500 for Team in Training, the fundraising arm of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. How? I auctioned off the services of some of the big social media guns: Chris Brogan, Joseph Jaffe, Geoff Livingston, Aaron Strout and Greg Verdino.
One of the auction winners was HubSpot, an Internet marketing software firm, which paid a nice reduced price for the speaking services of Brogan and Verdino. Little did we all know (well, maybe Hubspot knew) that they would be put to such great use.
Brogan and Verdino are now two of the speakers at next month's Inbound Marketing Summit in Cambridge, Mass. They are in great company, with Seth Godin, David Meerman Scott, Christopher S. Penn and many others. So suddenly my little auction has put these guys right along side some of the other better known names in the business (I'm not taking credit for this -- credit goes to the guys for being names in the first place).
So what, right? It's a cool event like many other cool events. But what made me smile about it is that the folks at Inbound Marketing Summit have provided free event passes for some of their speakers to give away to their fans and readers. Verdino is doing his giveaway via his blog right now (contest ends August 11). I haven't seen yet what the other speakers intend to do with their free passes.
Some might say that this is a promotion tactic and not one to be lauded. I don't think that's the case. The Inbound Marketing Summit has already reached near capacity (I think there might be some spots left) and the giveaways seem to be geared toward extending the experience and education around inbound marketing to more users who otherwise might not have been able to register for the event.
"Since we promoted this event primarily with social media and inbound marketing, we took the cost savings from not having to do direct mail, telemarketing and list rentals and put that into giving away some free passes via social media folks," said Mike Volpe, vice president of marketing for Hubspot.
It's not saving the world. It's not curing a disease. But it's a good example of how to take a charity win and continue to give back in a small way.