In case you have been under a rock or out of the country, the Democratic National Convention has been in Charlotte this week.
I had the opportunity to volunteer with the Host Committee in January in the finance department, working with donors and organizing the merchandise room. After a couple of weeks though, I knew I wanted to be more involved with the DNC.
Fast forward to August and I attended a Social Media Breakfast panel discussion on how social media has put Charlotte on the map in terms of the DNC. The panelists – Tracy Ross of the Host Committee, Desiree Kane of The PPL, and Amy Aussiecker of FABO, reminded me why I love social media. The discussion demonstrated how local people are taking initiatives and garnering attention in the community.
Desiree spoke about The PPL creating co-working space for media and bloggers, Amy talked about her Stalking Stewart campaign to get Jon Stewart to visit FABO Cafe, and I knew I had to be involved in a social media setting. I signed up to volunteer with the PPL.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I worked with The PPL at Packard Place in uptown Charlotte and really enjoyed it. Even though I mainly participated in simple tasks like running the registration tables or securing a door, I was able to experience the DNC outside of just the politics. I loved sharing my love of Charlotte with visitors and being able to help journalists get their job done.
In addition to volunteering, I took advantage of some free events like the NDI forum on poverty and human rights, and breakfast at POLITICO. It is amazing how much I relied on Twitter this week. To ask questions, answer questions, find out where free events were taking place and feel connected to other DNC participants.
It was a great participant experience – from the Google box providing free drinks and charging stations, to the live coverage from MSNBC at Epicenter, this convention was connected to social media and about connecting people.