Over the last few weeks I have started exploring the latest craze that seems to be sweeping the social web… that being the network Pinterest. For those of you that haven’t heard of Pinterest it is a website and mobile application that allows you to create virtual pinboards to which you can ‘pin’ images you find on the web. These pins can then be repinned by other users and shared with their network of Pinterest followers.

To date Pinterest has been proving popular for people wanting to create mood boards and share beautiful things from furniture to fashion and craft to cake – making brands sit up and take notice.

Yesterday I read how Pinterest was helping to drive increasing amounts of traffic to online retailers so it is unsurprising that brands – including Gap, NBC Today Show and Drake University – seem increasingly keen to hop on board with this social media trend. That being despite the fact Pinterest doesn’t allow explicit self-promotion.

“Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion.”

All of this got me thinking about my days in the meetings industry and how conference venues might be able to use Pinterest to engage with delegates and event organisers. Here are four ways I came up with:

1) Faces – To profile the people that make a conference venue come to life by sharing images of venue staff, delegates, events organisers, suppliers etc.

2) Behind the scenes – To chronicle what goes on ‘backstage’ in venues – in the kitchens, during event set-up and breakdown, during a building or refurbishment project – after all people love to see how things work and get an insider perspective.

3) Organiser inspiration – To share interesting event concepts – set design, room layout, catering options, uses of technology – to inspire conference organisers when they’re planning their next meeting.

4) Places – To showcase beyond the four walls of the venue. Convention centres, hotels, training venues don’t sit in isolation share and show what there is to see, eat, do and so on in the local area.

Pinterest has restricted access at the moment so if you want to get pinning email me at me@socialbedia.net for an invite. Or alternatively check out my Pinterest board Convention Centres.

***UPDATED: Last week I was asked for an opinion on the opportunities Pinterest might provide arts and cultural organisations. Have a read on the Guardian Culture Pros Network – What Pinterest means for the arts.***