Connecting conference attendees with Twitter

When you host a conference (or attend one) be sure to share a Twitter Hashtag with attendees, so they know where to keep the dialogue going and someone else doesn’t start one for you. Clueless? Let me explain.

Twitter is mini blogs using 140 characters (letters and spacing). Not 140 words. Characters. When you “post” it’s called a tweet. As a business person, it’s imperative to check in for news sources, politicians, business leaders or even your kids.  Even the President is tweeting. Brevity or abbreviations rule this form of social media. One aspect is use of a hashtag- #. When you preface info with a real hashtag it creates a place for everyone to have a sidebar conversation, an ideal way to connect people at a conference and clue in to what’s working–or not. What speakers are generating conversation or boredom? What thought provoking conversation is out there?Note that some people use the hashtag to indicate irony or sarcasim and it’ll be something like #don’tseewhytheybother. That won’t really be a conversation, unless one or two people share that, but it won’t go into depth and is a waste of time to follow. You’ll catch on to real vs smarty pants quickly.

A terrific use is to send out info to the conference attendees and provide the hashtag in advance. One great example was the President’s first twitter session #AskObama. If you type that in to the search section of twitter, the entire conversation comes up. You can see the random questions, legitimate questions and some ploys for business exposure or derogatory comments.

The eWomenNetwork are using #eWN2011. You include this hashtag and ID as part of your 140 character Tweets and everyone sees the conversation. For the savvy business person, getting in on this conversation early helps you connect to others quickly and find interesting people to “follow”. AND it’s great for people who can’t actually attend the conference to check in to see what they are missing.

We’re heading to Dallas next week. Look for our tweets @algaulden and see what the #eWN2011 conversation is all about.

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