With the use of social media, more and more people can now experience conferences virtually. Whether you’re attending in person or just following along via a hashtag, here are five tips to help you get ready to use social media at a conference.
- What’s the hashtag? Hashtags are a great way to follow the conference on twitter. If you’re leading the conference, create the hashtag early and publicize it! Put it on all of your registration information, printed and online. Be sure to include your social media icons here as well. When creating a hashtag, make it short but not so short that it becomes confusing. Use “10″ instead of “2010″ or consider using no year at all.
- Connect ahead of time. Using the hashtag or the conference’s Facebook page, connect with speakers and other attendees beforehand. Perhaps almost as important as the educational benefits at a conference are the networking opportunities. Get a head start and connect now.
- Be mobile. If you don’t normally use your phone to tweet, now’s the time to set it up. Save your twitter login information on a twitter app. Learn how to search for the hashtag. Link Twitpic to twitter and save your twitpic email address on your phone. Connect your phone to Facebook as well. And don’t forget to pack your phone charger!
- Live-tweet. Tweet about the conference in real-time. There are several ways to follow the conference hashtag. You can create a TweetChat room for the hashtag or enter it as a search column in TweetDeck or HootSuite. Not sure what to tweet about? Tweet about the conference sessions, quotes from the speakers, how you finally met a twitter friend IRL (in real life), the view from your hotel room, etc.
- Tweet-up. If several of the attendees are on twitter, plan a tweetup! Add your twitter name to your name badge or your business cards. Tweetups are a great way to network and bring online relationships offline.
What are your tips for using social media at conferences?