When I attend conferences, Twitter is typically my go-to platform to follow and contribute to the conversation. Twitter is real-time, and it’s quick and to the point. Here are 7 tips for conference planners on how to market using Twitter. Your presenters, vendors, and guests will appreciate the direction and exposure!

  1. Create a Hashtag: The very first thing you need to do is create a hashtag for the conference. It should be short and sweet. Remember, you can only use 140 characters for each tweet so you want it to be short so people can retweet and/or comment back to you. Most conferences will abbreviate their name and then add the year of the conference. For example, Social Media Success Summit 2013 is using the hashtag: #smss13. Check to be sure no one else is using this hashtag. If they are, you might want to modify it just a bit.
  2. Promote the Hashtag: A hashtag is no good unless people know about it. Create the hashtag early and put it on all of your printed materials, websites, and other social platforms. Encourage people to tweet using this hashtag when referencing the conference. Always use this hashtag when sending out a tweet about the conference. Remind all employees, vendors, and sponsors that they should use the hashtag when tweeting.
  3. Set up a Hashtag Stream: Set up an alert or a search for this hashtag so that all messages and tweets with this hashtag go to the same list. This will help you keep up with the conversation and will alert you when the hashtag is used. You can do this using several different monitoring platforms such as Sprout Social, HootSuite, or Twubs.
  4. Tweet Before, During, and After the Event: Tweeting before, during, and after the event keeps your conversation going and the content fresh. Remind your speakers to tell the audience to tweet if they hear something they like. Give your audience your hashtag and encourage conversation on Twitter. Don’t forget to download the Twitter app or a similar platform so you can tweet from your mobile device.
  5. Connect on Twitter: Before the conference, look to see if your sponsors, vendors, and speakers are on Twitter. If they are, follow them and connect with them. Send them a tweet telling them how excited you are to have them as part of the conference. This will nudge them to tweet about the conference and shows them that you are using Twitter as a key component in marketing for the conference.
  6. Review and Analyze: You can learn a lot about what was tweeted during the conference. Using your hashtag as a search, go back and read the tweets. Which speaker was quoted most often? Which topic stirred the most conversation? Use this information to your advantage when planning for next year’s event.
  7. Say Thanks: It is always nice to thank you sponsors, vendors, speakers, and attendees after the conference. You can do this through hand-written letters and/or e-mails but it is also nice to send them a tweet. Give them some recognition and make the tweet personal.

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published by Heather Myklegard

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