Using Twitter to Enhance your Conference
Twitter is a fantastic (and free!) social channel that can be used to enhance a conference for both organisers and delegates alike. It provides an instant, public and searchable record of interactions about a conference that everyone is able to follow. Here are our top tips on how to get the most out of Twitter at your next conference with us.
A good starting place is to advertise your conference via Twitter. If your company already has an established Twitter account (visit ours here) then this is the perfect way to get your message across to followers who are already interested in you. Alternatively, you can set up a Twitter account specifically for your event. Include your Twitter ID (a little twitter birdie icon and your Twitter name) in all your marketing material in the build up to the event to get people engaged from the outset.
Select an official event hashtag so that you, your followers and delegates can keep track of everything that is being said. A hashtag is simply the hash symbol (#) followed by a key word or phrase. Make sure no other events are using the same hashtag and that it’s separate from general topical conversation. Keep it short, because the hashtag eats into the 140 character limit, and keep it simple so it’s easier for delegates to engage with. A good conference hashtag will include the conference name or abbreviation, and sometimes the year or location. For example #NEEXPO (North East Expo) or #ica15 (International Charitable Association).
The day of the conference:
As your conference begins, try to make the official hashtag easy to find. Post it on presentation slides, as well as signs/posters around the building, list it on the conference website, and use it in official tweets from your company’s Twitter account. You can use Twitter to welcome everyone to the conference and send out last-minute information about changes to speakers or workshops. You could also ask speakers to use the hashtag to provide links to helpful handouts or for attendees to pose questions for a Q&A session.
Encourage your delegates to tweet during the sessions and follow the conversation by tracking your hashtag (just click on it). Engage with the conversations that are taking place via your main Twitter account and retweet any posts that you think are interesting. You could even display some of the best ones on the main screen during break times. If your delegates mention any problems, make sure you attend to them quickly. Perhaps attendees are unable to find a particular room or they are saying the wifi is not working, you can address the problem speedily (come and have a quick chat to us in the office if it’s something we can help with) and promptly tweet back that the problem has been fixed.
As your conference draws to a close, ask delegates for instant feedback via Twitter. From this, you can determine popular speakers and presentations, and discover areas for improvement. Twitter can provide a vast amount of information about what has proved most popular, and in turn, invaluable information for future conference planning. You could even save some of the best quotes to help promote your next one!
Of course, Twitter is only part of the conference experience, and not all your delegates will have access to it. The best kind of conference will be accessible to all! However, when used in the right way, Twitter is a very useful tool that can enhance a conference for all involved.
If you’d like to follow us on Twitter, please click here.
For other tips on how to enhance the conference experience, you might be interested in our post: 10 Things to Remember When Planning an Event.