A conference used to be something you’d simply sign up for, get a few good tips out of and then soon forget about. This is a way of the past. With the introduction of social media, conferences happen online almost as much as they do offline. Most conferences encourage the use of Twitter hashtags and mentioning Twitter handles to create a lasting online community for attendees long after a conference is over. With ABA TECHSHOW coming up in just one short week, here are some tips to make the absolute most of your conference experience using Twitter.
Many conferences use social media long before the official kickoff date in order to generate excitement about specific seminars, ease any confusion and hint to or promote sweepstakes. As soon as you register for a conference, follow the Twitter handles of the event to get updates directly from the host. Also check for a specific hashtag used for the event to see what other attendees are saying. ABA TECHSHOW, for example, made the official Twitter handle @ABATECHSHOW and encourages the use of the hashtag #ABATECHSHOW when tweeting about the conference. This way, all the information about ABA TECHSHOW can be found in one area, filtered through the hashtag.
Using social media before a conference is a great way to network with other attendees and get the most updated information as the conference gets closer. Getting involved in online conversations before the conference can only benefit you. If you are an approachable and prominent voice on Twitter, people will be more likely to approach you in person at the event.
During the conference, use Twitter for live updates. Live tweet your experience; share the most exciting events and keep other attendees updated on unexpected occurrences such as changes in the schedule or technical difficulties. Tweet pictures and videos as they happen – this kind of multimedia will also engage your followers who are unable to attend the event. However, don’t just focus on your own tweets. Keep a lookout for mentions and valuable tweets using the specified hashtag and interact with other attendees as well.
After the conference ends, mention everyone you met and interacted with in one or several Tweets. Share your reflections and use the conference’s hashtag so others can see your opinions and share their own. The end of the conference does not mean the end of the connections you made there! Keep in touch with everyone you met through Twitter and other channels. If the conference is annual, make sure to reconnect with the attendees you met the previous year to see if they’ll be attending again.
Twitter provides a great channel to create the type of community you can pick up year after year even if only for the purpose of a single conference. With that being said, try your best to interact with them throughout the year as well.