I have been both a Tweep and an attendee at the conference of the Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand (#SMAANZ) since 2007. I have been itching to have a go at combining the two after watching others tweeting from conferences. I had a bit of a go in 2009, but it was only @GeoffSchoenberg and I, so it was a bit lonely. This year there was a critical mass of tweeps in attendance.
Why I liked tweeting at the conference:
– I could share my thoughts rather than just taking notes.
– I made more contacts in a shorter time than I previously had. I’m not one of those people who can “work a room”. Twitter helps with that.
– the contacts I did make are more meaningful, because instead of a two minute conversation during a break, it’s the beginning of a continuous dialogue.
– I tweeted more, got more followers and was RT’d more than previously.
– during multiple sessions, you could glean what was happening in the other rooms.
– the hashtag makes for a nice summary of the past three days.
– we could share and interact with others who weren’t at the conference.
What I didn’t like about tweeting at the conference:
– sometimes I wasn’t taking as much in while I was tweeting.
– I felt rude being on my phone.
My tips for awesome tweeting at a conference
1. Tweet thoughts and insights, not just verbatim from the presentation – as much as you can in <140 char
2. Check the conference hashtag to read others’ tweets. Create a dialog.
3. Get organisers to publicise a hashtag up front.
4. Get organisers to screen tweets during breaks.
5. Where possible, continue the dialogue after the conference.
6. Brave presenters: how about using a plugin to put a live Tweetstream into your Powerpoint?!!
See you in the Twitterverse and IRL at #SMAANZ in 2012.