At a recent half day seminar on social media, I noticed a flat panel display off to the side of the stage. It appeared to be a twitter feed related to the event. Since I’m never one of those folks who sits up at the front table in a ballroom conference setting, I couldn’t quite make out what the hashtag was that was resulting in the tweets being shown on the screen.
Over the course of the presentations, the display panels remained static, without a single additional tweet being added, until the very end when the event staff tweeted a thank you and goodbye. What was the cause of this lack of audience collaboration, you may ask? None of the even attendees had any idea what hashtag to use to join a collaborative conversation!
This miss on the part of the event organizers could have been avoided with a few simple tweeks to their pre-event promotions and their on-site plan:
- Add an event-specific hashtag to all pre-event promotional materials
- Remind participants at check-in of the event hashtag and any liveblogging they can comment on/join in with, such as on the corporate blog
- Include the hashtag or community discussion details on the event agenda that is left at each seat
- Have signage near the flat panel that displays the tweets that includes the hashtag
- Verbally give out the hashtag in your opening remarks and encourage attendees to give comments and feedback via their preferred social media channel throughout the event
- Kick off your post-presentation Q&As by taking a question from twitter/FB/LinkedIn
The best part about all of the above is other than the hashtag signage, they don’t take a budget line item or a bunch of your time, just some planning upfront, and consistent communication throughout your event.