In May I was attending a conference in Vail with a couple hundred of my planner friends. Several of us were having coffee and one planner told us that she was getting married (again) in Prague this summer. We were all so excited and happy for her. As we talked, it became clear that she had not received a bridal shower. Well, put a few ladies together and we decided to rectify that issue. I had just attended a Social Media seminar and suggested that we give her a social media bridal shower. Since we live all over the U.S., trying to get together again would be impossible prior to her wedding but we could use social media.
The invitation list was drawn up and gifts purchased. Then we simply sent our wrapped gift to the bride’s home clearly marked “Do NOT Open Until July 13” (which was the date that we all agreed we would host the social media shower). My thought was to just use Skype, however, it doesn’t allow multiple participants at multiple locations. We have ladies in four time zones “attending”. So I reached out to a friend who is my social media guru and explained my problem. She quickly recommended Google+ Hangout.
After two trips to the local Duck IT Store (our equivalent to the MAC Store), my iPad was ready to go. I tested the system with a friend and it worked! I felt like I was on top of the world. The guest list was quickly loaded into my Hangout Friends Circle and I was ready for Saturday morning. I initiated the call but unfortunately the bride’s computer began to experience some issues and we were not able to get an audio feed with her. Since we could not get the bride’s system working, we did not connect with all of the guests. So we postponed the social media shower for a few days, giving her some time to resolve the problem.
On the night of the rescheduled call, we all were on our electronic devices. I initiated the call, inviting all guests to participate… Would they be there (remember we are working with ladies from four different time zones), would they respond, would there be more computer glitches, had the gifts all arrived? Sadly Google+ Hangout limited us to 3 participants at a time. It did not matter what we tried; three was the maximum that we could get connected. So we did the shower in shifts, starting with those on the east coast and moving west. The bride opened the appropriate gifts from those in that particular call and then took photos of all of the gifts afterwards. Photos were then emailed to all of the guests. During that time we learned that one of the planners attending the shower is in the process of purchasing her first home and someone suggested trying this again as a housewarming shower. We need to look for more social media options before that! It was great fun to visit “face to face” while we were each in our own home, sipping favorite beverages. I really loved being able to connect with a great friend and to be able to celebrate her special time with her. Thanks social media….
Dallas, Ms. Alabama America 2013, is a Christian speaker, author and hosts a weekly devotional at www.Jesus-Knocking.com.