A Business Event Without Twitter is Like a Day Without Sunshine

by Alyse Mitten

Twitter is such an under used and unappreciated “social network” for business use. In fact, in a survey conducted by Pew Research, only 19 percent of online adults use Twitter verses 71 percent using Facebook. With that said, those businesses not incorporating Twitter with running a major event are missing the mark on attendee involvement before, during and long after the event.

Why Twitter and not Facebook? Twitter’s ease-of-use format lends itself as a better choice for engagement. With the use of a hashtag, attendees can share their experiences in real time, quickly. Those engaging with the comments can read them, quickly. With the use of the # (hashtag) it is much easier to find just what is being mentioned about the event and to follow those at the event without any negative feedback.

Recently, I attended an international event for a major corporation. Their use of Twitter throughout the event became viral and viral is what you want. Long before we arrived at the Conference, we were able to download an event app to share with us who was there through Twitter, the sponsors for the event, the schedule of the event, speaker’s bios, and much more. Top of the list was the word “Timeline.”

Once part of the conference, I began to receive alerts, that I was getting tweets from some of the first to arrive. Photos of luggage in the airports and signs and photos of the venue created an excitement for those attending as well as those, regrettably, not attending. The attendee engagement began long before the first keynote speaker.

During the event, a large screen in the exhibit hall displayed a Twitter feed of the comments and photos being shared by those in attendance through Tweet Chat. People who seldom used their Twitter account where joining the conversation and getting involved. Did this take away from the conference activities? Absolutely not. If anything, it enhanced the camaraderie of those attending and continued the conversation about the conference long after arriving home.

I know personally, my Twitter followers increased exponentially because of the event, as did a change in my tweets. So, what did the conference organizers do right?

  • Provided an app for the event through a third-party company like: cvent, attendify, crowdcompass.
  • Had key people attending the conference in place who were well versed in using Twitter to begin the excitement. They began by using the # [hashtag] to create an easy way to find out what’s being said about everything on Twitter about the event, and used @ [call outs] so those on Twitter would know what was said.
  • Displayed  the feed of tweets being shared at the event to encourage the conversation to go viral.
  • Mentioned the # [hashtag]  in all of their sessions.
  • Continued the conversation long after the conference had ended.

By implementing Twitter at your event, it can become an excellent source of feedback about what people liked about your conference from speakers, topics, exhibitors, sponsors, and even the venue. The Twitter feed can actually be used as a source to help plan future events.

Other ways Twitter becomes invaluable to you, imagine real time ways to communicate with those in attendance. Do you have a change in the schedule? Tweet it. Do you have access to speaker slides? Tweet it. Do you have a question or two to ask those attending? Tweet it.  And, after the event, do you want feedback about the attendee’s conference experience? Tweet it.

Your takeaway from this? Make Twitter a part of your next conference or event to make it a way for those attending to engage with others attending and provide your organization with vital information for future events.

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