How can twitter make my conference experience better?
I want to look at a perfect world for a second. Rose colored glasses on if you please.
We are going to go to a conference. A conference where everyone has a twitter account and everyone has a phone with a twitter client(i ❤ Uber Twitter-if your phone has a client). At this conference Im able to ask a question via twitter – “How do I fix problem x? #confhash” – All these fine folks are periodically checking the relevant conf hashtags and are able to provide input immediately with a reply. In the next 5 min I get 3 reply’s from users that have had the same issue, 1 reply from staff and 1 reply from a vendor that wants to sell me a solution. I end up meeting with the 3 users and solving the issue, rubbing shoulders with the staff and the vendor buys me a drink. Ive just leveraged the staff, the facilitators of the conference, the attendees and folks that are not physically present. All which now feel included and can participate. Also all around the conference halls are monitors with the live twitter feeds of the hashtags so others can look at the questions and happenings and going on as well. Pulling them in. Getting them involved or as the mighty @unmarketing preaches, engaging them.
The networking at the conferences is by far the best reasons to go. The folks that you meet and make pals with and can call are the real take aways. The classes are good but the people are great. And twitter makes it easier for us to connect with each other. If I know that there are 10 -15 folks that are getting in a bit early and have been chatting on #conftech why not arrange a little dinner get together. One I would have never had the chance to have before hand.
Another area that a good implementation of twitter at a conference could help tremendously would be for first time attendees. There is not a better way to heard those poor overwhelmed souls and keep them together than to say Hey follow #confNoobs and ask questions on #confNoobs and we will get you sorted out. But the conference has to push i to the attendee’s. And it needs to start before conference. They have to say get on twitter, use these hashtags, lets start talking.
If your going to a conference, beg plead and cry to make them start using twitter. The first year wont be great, there are many lessons to learn but after you see the result the next time you plan a conference it will be an intregral part of the strategy.
Twitter is this amazing free tool that we can use to connect to each other but like any tool if it is unused then it is unproductive.
ps here is another very involved article about twitter and conferences.
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