Mel Kettle is a communications and social media consultant, speaker, blogger, educator, coach, bookworm, obsessive foodie and eatie, and a budding photographer. She blogs on marketing and social media at www.melkettle.com.au. Mel is passionate about working with organisations to show them how to communicate effectively so they can develop communities, share their stories and raise awareness. She particularly enjoys working with people who want to make a difference to other people’s lives. In her spare time Mel writes a food blog, The cook’s notebook.
With the NPAworldwide Global Conference coming up soon, I thought I’d share a few of my tips about how to use Twitter to help you get the most out of the event. Twitter is a fabulous way to network and interact with people online, and it can be a great way of getting to know people before meeting them in real life at a conference.
Before the conference
My #1 tip is find out who else is going. This is usually pretty easy thanks to hashtags. Just tweet a simple question – Who else is going to #npaconf? And then wait for the replies to roll in.
Tip #2 – follow the official Twitter handle for the host organisation, or the event itself if there is one (@NPAworldwide).
Tip #3 – follow the event hashtag (#npaconf) so you can see what other people are saying.
Tip #4 – if you don’t want to follow everyone who is going to the conference then create a Twitter list of attendees and speakers, or if the organisers have created a Twitter list, then follow that.
Tip #5 – engage with the conference speakers. Some of them may ask what you are hoping to get out of their presentation – so let them know.
Tip #6 – work out what you want to achieve at the conference and who you want to meet. Follow them on Twitter and start a conversation with them. It might be as simple as “I see you are going to #npaconf, so am I, I’d love to meet up with you there.”
During the conference
Tip #7 – share your learnings with your Twitter followers by live-tweeting the highlights (and don’t forget to always use the conference hashtag). Don’t just tweet what the speakers are saying, share your opinions as to why it’s valuable, if you agree, or why you disagree. Not everyone at the conference will be worth repeating, so share what interests you the most. Don’t forget to attribute what is being said to the speaker by using their Twitter handle (if they have one) or their name within the tweet.
Tip #8 – use rich media – share photos of slides, websites that speakers mention, or photos of the speakers in action.
Tip #9 – have Twitter conversations with other people at the event, and with people who aren’t – this is a great way to engage and get to know others with similar professional interests to yours.
Tip #10 – follow back other attendees who are also live-tweeting.
After the conference
Tip #11 – continue the conversations with the people you met at the conference.
Tip #12 – if you write a blog, then consider a summary post of what you learnt at the conference; your Twitter feed can help you with the content.
What are your top tips for tweeting at a conference?