Here is the latest version of my “10 Reasons to Tweet a Conference?” post. It has changed slightly over the years but is still very relevant. Hope it is helpful. The primary reason to Tweet…
Share, Share, Share
Tweeting at conferences has allowed me and others to share info from sessions we may not have been able to attend. Once I committed to live-tweeting conferences, I got a lot of great, positive feedback about it from other attendees. I have had many people come up to me and say “Hello @kentbrooks”. It has been a great way to meet other conference attendees.
Since it turned out to be a great way to meet other conference attendees I kept on tweeting. I’ve gotten the bulk of my Twitter connections through live-tweeting conferences. Live tweeting doesn’t just build recognition among attendees of the conference, either. Live Tweeting is essentially engaging on Twitter for a continuous period with a series of focused Tweets. These tweets are also generally aggregated with a hashtag.
Following a conference attendee on Twitter may well be the new currency for exchanging contact information. My experience sharing contact information via Twitter is better than the brief come and go business card exchange which I often refer to as the “business card trading ritual”. It provides an immediate benefit for you as you to follow them on Twitter, and then often on other social media. I find this more valuable than the 60 minutes of a conference session + the 5-minute rush to talk to that presenter immediately following the session.
Those following a conference Twitter feed along at home are participating in what is often referred to as the “backchannel”. The term “backchannel” generally refers to online conversation about the conference, a topic or a speaker. The backchannel conversation is a real-time conversation alongside the primary event activity or live spoken remarks.
More than once I have had requests from one of the Wyoming CIO’s to live tweet the Ellucian Live conference since they were not going to be able to make it to the meeting. Also, I have actually been paid a couple of times to live tweet a conference. Pretty cool eh? All in all, I have found it is easier to meet more people at conferences through live tweeting. Ironic, isn’t it? …technology humanizing the experience of a gathering of people. Here is a summary of my top reasons to Tweet at a conference
10 Reasons to Tweet at a Conference
- Take Conference Notes … I type faster than I write
- Archive Conference Notes… The archive is immediate and public
- Share Conference Notes… Just point people to your Twitter Feed
- Build a Personal Learning Network PLN… This goes beyond people you meet at the conference
- Meet Fellow Attendees… Whether the conference is small or large, finding a way to connect is the most valuable part of any conference.
- Gain Insight to Some of Your Own Thoughts... after the conference, I can go back through the thread to review important items
- Share Resources… links, images, and people to follow all become part of your social conference experience
- Allows you to Summarize Important Points…When the character limit was 140 characters at a time it forced you to be really concise. The 280 character limit is really nice in the conference setting. It still forces you to be concise but gives you a little more flexibility to share those important points shared by the speaker. This summarization also helps me evaluate my understanding (or lack thereof) of a conference session.
- Gain from Sessions held Simultaneously…I can partially remove my frustration at not being able to attend 3 or 4 conference tracks at a time since I can glean ideas, links, and comments from different sessions.
- It helps me Confirm I am in the Right Session…Keeping an eye on the twitter stream allows me to head to a different simultaneous session if the topic in another session turns out to be more directly related to my work, if I am unsure of a certain content or if the session just stinks. (This may be rude, but with limited travel $$$ we have to make the most of any conference and glean the very best ideas from sessions we attend).