Six Benefits of Using Twitter at a Conference

Image from mastermaq via Flickr

When you attend an event, whatever the theme, you always have two goals: to learn and to network.

In the past these goals were achieved by fervently writing notes and just as fervently handing out business cards.

While these activities still happen, Twitter is a highly-effective tool for achieving those goals.

More conferences are using hash tags as way for attendees to network, share ideas about the sessions and even stay informed on sessions that they don’t attend.  A hash tag is a keyword with a pound sign (#) in front of it.  It allows for an easy way to categorize and search messages (tweets) on Twitter. NOTE: You don’t have to have a Twitter account to follow hash tags.

Benefits

  1. Networking: being able to easily see others that talk about conference topics allows you to reach out to people that you might not meet in person and build a virtual relationship that can be solidified in person.
  2. Session coverage: conferences that offer concurrent sessions are problematic if there are sessions that you would like to attend at the same time.  By following the conference hash tag, you’ll be have to get the key messages from other sessions and follow-up for more details.
  3. Back-channel conversations: if there are a number of people in your session tweeting, there likely will be a back-channel discussion about the presentation.  While some may say this is distracting, it can provide valuable additional ideas and conversations about the topic.
  4. Share with colleagues: quite often you may be the only one from your office attending the conference.  Sharing key points on Twitter allows your colleagues or associates to receive coverage of the conference – all in real-time.
  5. Provide comments/suggestions: have you ever been to an event and wanted to track someone down to provide comments or complain about something not working? Sharing your feedback on Twitter using the conference hash tag provide an open venue for you to vent and is sure to be read by organizers and likely responded to quicker than e-mail.
  6. Collective note-taking: we’ve all been there – writing feverishly everything the presenter says.  But despite your diligence, you often miss key points.  Following the conference hash tag on Twitter allows you to tap into the note-taking power of everyone in the room using Twitter.  You’re likely to get better coverage of the ideas shared by using Twitter than taking your own notes.
Do you have a positive experience using Twitter at a conference of event? Please share below.
  • http://twitter.com/eolsencreative Eric Olsen

    Mike, the collective note-taking is a benefit I’ve only recently started taking advantage of. Creating a Storify re-cap for my co-workers based solely on hashtag notes from conference participants usually ends up being a perfect summary. Great thoughts!

  • http://www.mikemccready.ca/blog/ Mike McCready

    Thanks Eric.  I haven’t fully dove into using Storify.  Seems like a resource worth looking into.  Glad you enjoyed the post.