Live Tweeting Guide

Conferences are an ideal place to reconnect with your old acquaintances, meet new people and enlarge your (online) network. Live-tweeting has become a huge part of conferences, big and small. The following short guide will help you use Twitter effectively and professionally during your attendance at conferences:

1. Make sure you know the #hashtag of the event

Browse through the event website, check the social media profiles to find the right event hashtag. If you don’t use the correct hashtag you may find out afterwards that no one saw your tweets.

2. Engage with people prior to the event

Attending conferences can be daunting experience, especially if you don’t know anyone else who will be attending. If you follow the conference hashtag before the conference, you may be able to make some social connections beforehand, and find out some good tips about the conference hosting city/venue, transport, dining options, and other interesting things going on as part of or nearby the conference.

3. Find out the Twitter user names of speakers (in advance if possible)

The schedule of an event is usually up well in advance so you can plan which sessions you’re going to attend. Look up the speakers beforehand and find their Twitter user names. Some presenters will also include their Twitter (and other social media) user names on their slide shows and handouts.

4. Capture the essence of the conversations

Choose the statements made by speakers (or people asking questions) that are the most interesting to your followers.  A big part of tweeting from a conference or other event is about curating the most relevant and important points that speakers make and sharing them with your followers. Remember, not everything said at a conference is worth repeating.

Tip: let your other followers know that you plan to live tweet an event in advance so they can temporarily mute your Twitter feed or the hashtag that you are using.

5. Quote speakers correctly

When you tweet ideas and quotes from speakers, always add their Twitter user names to attribute their authorship. If they’re not on Twitter, simply include their name in the Tweet (use a format like “[name] says [their statement]”) so you don’t confuse their ideas with yours.

6. Tweet consistently but wisely

Tweet consistently throughout the event to keep appearing in the tweet stream, but choose your tweets wisely to bring a different perspective on the event. Be careful not to become spammy!

Tip: Linking back to your earlier tweets is a good way to reflect on your own experience at the conference.

7. Remember to be polite and respectful

Disagree with something a speaker says? Don’t be afraid to share that, just remember to be respectful and professional.

8. Tweet interesting and compelling visual content and rich media

Take pictures of the speakers, their slide shows, other fellow delegates, the venue premises, conference dinner (and other social events), etc. If a speaker mentions a website, video/audio, or paper, try to find a link to it and include it in your tweet.

9. Connect with other fellow delegates

Be generous, Retweet and favourite other posts to increase your social footprint. Using the event hashtag, your tweets will appear in the live stream and people will start following you. Make sure you follow them back so the newly created connections can extend to off-line meetings too.

10. Keep the conversation going

Make sure that you respond to the tweets of other conference delegates and those who are following the hashtag but who may not be in attendance. Engage in the conversation by agreeing/disagreeing  with the tweeted statements or providing your own point of view. Twitter’s Retweet function allows you to quote a tweet and then add your own comments.