This past Friday I had the pleasure of presenting two sessions on Social Media at the MIVA Merchant Conference in San Diego. OK, so it was one session twice. That totally counts. This year was the first year that conference used an official hashtag for their event, and the difference it made is huge. One of the organizers of the event was able to learn about and deal with a bad router while away from the conference site because he was monitoring the hashtag and saw people talking about it on Twitter and was able to respond. People attending the conference had more networking opportunities because they could meet and speak with other attendees who were in the same rooms or sessions as they were.
During my session, people were commenting and posting pictures and providing feedback that could be useful to organizers when they’re planning the breakout sessions for next year’s conference. At Blogworld, individual sessions had their own hashtags to people attending the sessions could ask questions to panelists and comment on the session as it was underway. You can project that feed on a screen and create engagement without having to raise your hand or step up to a mic, for those who are uneasy speaking in public.
You can make lists of attendees for others to follow, share the conference with those who are unable to attend and keep a conference alive long after it’s over.
How have you used twitter at conferences you’ve attended, or how would you like to see it used at conferences you have coming up?