Twitter Hashtags and Conferences

Hashtags are your friend and whether attending a conference IRL (in real life) or watching remotely using hashtags can deepen and enrich your experience of a conference.

Prior to the Conference
It's starting to be common practice for conferences to assign a hashtag. This enables those tweeting at and about the event to add a way to search for all related posts. Visiting the website of the conference or a quick Twitter search for tweets regarding the event should reveal if a hashtag has been assigned.
Hashtags Protocol
  • the # sign appears without a space before a short identifiable abbreviation, sometimes with reference to the year, especially for annual events
  • generally the shorter the better as tweets have a 140 character limit
  • #sxsw was the hashtag to follow the South by Southwest Conference, SXSW is a trademark of theirs, but hashtags on Twitter can be implemented by anyone, it is simply a matter of getting others use them as well, this is what is referred to as crowdsourcing
Start your search as soon as you find hashtags. It may be a bit quiet prior to conference but this will give you a chance to start following and connecting immediately.

Make the Hashtag Easy to Follow
  • A saved search is a great way to bookmark the hashtag for easy reference.
  • You can't be everywhere at the conference and following the tag can keep you informed of discussions, panels and workshops you couldn't attend.

Friend Up
  • As you see more and more of your fellow conference goers use the hashtag friend them up. Send them a quick @ to let them know you are there too.
  • If you are serious about connecting share something. If you are at the same conference it shouldn't be hard, you have related interests. Try some Twitter Gifting to connect.
Be sure to Join the Twitter Conversation by

1. Checking your @'s
2. Check your DMs
3. Use Search

Make a List
You might even want to make a list of all those you connect with at the conference. Creating a public list of all the people chatting about the conference provides a nice resource for others coming to your Twitter page.

Tweet Photos as You Walk Around the Floor
Everyone has returned home from conferences with mounds of business cards and notes and schwag. All those ideas and inspirations from rubbing elbows with others in your industry sparks lots of ingenuity and ideas. You arrive home exhausted with all these bits and pieces and names and cards.

Take pictures and tweet out your notes. You are providing a photographic history for yourself, for others and those not able to attend will really appreciate it! Later our trip around the conference floor can be relived. Share some pictures with vendors and colleagues you want to keep in touch with. Create a resource for yourself and others.

Post Live
Do not wait to come home and flesh out posts and inspiration. Post live! Post from the event. It's timely, it's now and you won't regret it.

Summary for You
  • Using Twitter to connect with your fellow conference goers.
  • Friend up and chat with others in your industry. Try to connect in real life.
  • Create a list or saved search to have a stream of just conference activities and to provide you a document of the event.
  • Post live. Post pictures. And post often. Share and document your experience to connect with others and to create a historical resource for yourself.

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