How To Live Tweet at an Industry Conference – Five Key Considerations

Prepare images ahead of time if you have certain messages you know you want to convey throughout an event. I created this image for my agency's blog post on its involvement in the conference.

Prepare images ahead of time if you have certain messages you know you want to convey throughout an event. I created this image for my agency’s blog post on its involvment in the conference.

Studying the results of last year’s efforts and what I have learned since, I came up with five basic considerations to always keep in mind when sharing for/from/about an industry event similar to DOES.

  1. What topics and ideas is your audience most interested in?
    First and foremost, you want to share what people care about. Share tweetable tidbits from conference sessions, behind the scenes photos and secrets, trends you notice and other personal observations that provide your audience access/visibility to the event in some way they wouldn’t have without your help.Don’t tweet: “So-and-so is taking the stage to discuss [insert session title from conference pamphlet]”
    Tweet: “Loved @SoandSo’s take on______ ! “[insert quote from speaker]”Dont tweet: “There is a post-conference happy hour happening in the main lobby now.”
    Tweet: “Any hour w/the awesome folks at [insert event hashtag] is a happy hour. Come say hi to me in the main lobby now!”

    Don’t tweet: “The main stage is set up and ready to host the brilliant minds at [insert event name].”
    Tweet: Can’t wait to hear all the geniuses that will take the [insert event hashtag]’s awesome main stage” + an actual photo you took of the stage.

  2. What topics and ideas are your client/boss most interested in promoting?Maybe you are just at an event for yourself, or because your company sent you to learn and absorb what you desire to.
    More likely, there is some sort of objective. Whether you are tweeting on behalf of an event (as I do), on behalf of someone else (a thought leadership strategy), or as a representative of a company present at an event (think sponsors), you must strongly consider what is it that those paying for you to be at an event care most about publicizing.At DOES there are several breakout sessions every day, that means four or more amazing sessions compete against each other at the same time, multiple times a day. While there may be topics you’re personally drawn to and want to cover, you must keep in mind what topics are most relevant your objective.Is anyone from the organization you are representing speaking at the event? – You gotta be there. 

    Are any of your client’s customers/partners present at the event? – You should be talking about that.

    What statements being made directly relate to the fields your client is involved in?
    – Have a reaction that is inline with organizational messaging and objectives.

  3. Is what you are about to share a coherent thought, understandable to someone not in the room?
    One of the most valuable aspects of sharing live updates and content via social media at an in-person event is that participants no longer have to be “in person.” To see what is going on at an event and involve themselves in happening conversations, all users need to do is log into twitter, facebook, instagram etc.
    But remember, that is all they are doing. They do not have the same visibility as you and they likely don’t have access into the information being shared that doesn’t make it to their social feed. If you are trying to drive involvement, don’t share content that is illogical from an outsider’s perspective.Include as much context as possible and try to ensure that what you’re sharing is a complete thought and could stand on it’s own

    Dont tweet: “Holy crap what a great session.”
    Tweet: “Holy crap, the entire [insert event hashtag] crowd just lost it when @[insert speaker handle/name] shared their results: [insert useful soundbite, shared stats, ect.]”

  4. Are You Fast and Focused?
    When sharing content live, there is always a rush. You are moving fast trying to listen, type and read at the same time. This is when serious mistakes get made. If you are halfway through writing a tweet and you can’t remember with certainty what was said, don’t tweet it – certainly don’t attribute it to anyone who may resent being misquoted.You have to focus on what was said while listening to what is being said. If a speaker starts a phrase like “The one thing you must consider when…” and then ends up on a tangent, never completing the thought, never complete the tweet.

    People are very aware of their social media profiles and presence, if you misquote someone badly enough to change their meaning you risk being called out on social media yourself – something one only enjoys in a positive light.

  5. How can you drive the most engagement from your micro content?
    Just because you are moving fast, doesn’t mean you have to move dumb. As always, you want to drive your content to as many relevant people as well. As with regular social sharing, this is greatly aided by the use of proper hashtags and handles.More often than not these days, conferences will have an official hashtag and publicize that at least somewhere in a program – if not more flagrantly. USE IT. Sending a tweet from a conference without its official hashtag sends the tweet to your followers, not those specifically interested in following the event.

    Also, if a speaker is worth his weight in stage time, they will have a social media presence and twitter handle. Find those ahead of time. Often an event’s program may include speaker handles, however this is not always the case. Come prepared with handles and hashtags identified and ready for use.

“Dear Gen Z”- From a Millennial

Hey Generation Z,

Many of you may have a hard time grasping the concept I am about to introduce to you, too used broadcasting your every waking moment to every waking person to recognize the idea of “unwanted attention,” but please, repeat after me:

“STRANGER DANGER”

I know, I know, that’s totes cray to hear.

I’m aware it’s super serious that you have as many followers on twitter as you do Instagram, while maintaining twice as many friendships on Facebook than people you’ve met in your life.

But are you aware that sharing your name, birthday, contact information, bikini photos, and hourly geotagged updates with people you don’t know online can be dangerous?

Not everyone No one you’re not at least acquainted with should have access to, or frankly want access to, every minute decision you make during your pubescent life. This may change when you’re old enough to have valid opinions and rational thought processes – Networking with strangers on social media is literally part of my job description, but the kinda of attention I’m seeking is professional and guarded, not flippant and promiscuous.

Gen-Z-Claire-Madden_Infographic_McCrindle

Your generation is using technology over 10 hours a day. If you hypothesize that an average seven-hour school day, plus eight hours of sleep should be spent without technology, there isn’t enough time left in any single day for you to be on screens for 10.5 hours! To reach that number, technology must be a part of, or interferring with, nearly every part of your youthful daily lives.

When I was young the internet was new. Chat rooms where the only social networks, and there was nothing more terrifying to a 90’s mother than a chat room. Daily warnings from parents and teachers reminded kids that it only took your initials and an area code and a white van would soon arrive at your door (or school or bus stop) an internet boogeyman would snatch you up and sell you to internet pornography (porn being the other principal bane of 20th century parents).

The internet is no longer new. I realize you likely completely missed myspace let alone are completely unfamiliar with the goings-on inside of a good, old-fashioned chat room. Luckily for you, I recently scoped out a classic anonymous chat room ‘for funsies,’ so you wouldn’t have to.

Just as it was 15 years ago, the majority of fun is being had at females’s, or other minorities’, expenses. Sexual harassment and bullying still dominate conversation – Ah, felt like the good ol’days! 

Chatroom Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 9.12.40 PM

Just a snippet of what genius, thought-provoking idea exchanges you can partake in online in public chatrooms!

Just because you were born retina-screen-in-hand and have never lived a life without war doesn’t mean you are innately ready to combat the dangers of online predators and professional scam artists.

The white vans and boogeymen of my yesteryears are still thriving. Thanks to MTV and the hilarious show that inspired this post by countlessly showcasing the rampant naivety online, in 2014,  Merriam-Webster had a second definition to attribute to the term ‘Catfish’.

Catfish Definition

“Fraudulent or deceptive purposes” has proven to be a widely open category of crazy schemes and online villains with incomprehensible motives and apparent time on their hands… http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/catfish

I’d like to think that most of your generation is more aware and grounded in reality than the victims I watch fall prey to fake profile pictures and con artists on MTV, but apparently the majority of American pre-teens and teenagers didn’t wisen up about contraceptives until 16 and Pregnant aired on the network.

Internet Trolling Goes Far Beyond Catfishing

What’s worse than getting humiliated on your homies’ favorite TV Network? Getting your identity stolen, your computer hacked or worse – those of your parents.

If you truly are of Generation Z, congratulations on your youth and lack of real responsibility. It must be nice having someone else’s credit card stored to your apple account…

Q: What other information is out there about you or your family, where?

Think about all the things you do and say online besides run your parent’s phone bill up with underaged Tinder Premium subscriptions and CandyCrush in-app purchases. What information is out there about you and your family because of you, and where?

A: Chances are it’s everything and everywhere.

If a 1997 creeper with a van could find my friends and I just from an area code and initials in a screename, what could a 21st-century criminal do with all that you’ve made available?

Just a thought,
Halie

P.S. – Before you send that snapchat, remember one thing: SnapChat saves and *owns* all of your photos and private messages long after they’ve disappeared from your own phone.

P.P. S- Oh yeah, did I mention: Brands may be using your information and personal pictures to sell their sh*t.

YEAH – The corporate creepers you share your information and pictures with by engaging with their brands via social media (e.g. tagging them in a photo you took of their product, commenting on a link to their website a third party shared with you or even allowing a company to follow you) immediately claim commercial use rights your posts if you mention their brand, making it impossible to “pay respect” to a company or product without also paying personal information.