Conferences give you and your team the opportunity to network with leaders in your industry and learn about the latest innovations you need to know to stay current. But how can you meet the people you want to in a group of several hundred or even several thousand? Social media can be used to enhance and cement face-to-face networking.
Follow the Conversation by Using the Event Hashtag
If you want to connect with brands and teams attending an event, use the event hashtag across various platforms. When attendees search the hashtag, they’ll see all attendees, posts, photos and videos associated with the event. You’ll know ahead of time who is going. This is an excellent way to engage speakers at the event. Let them know that you’re looking forward to their session.
“Be part of the conversation before the conference even starts by using the event hashtag.”
– Sue B. Zimmerman
The Instagram Expert
Engage People You Want to Meet First on Social Media
Connect with attendees before you attend the conference. This is also the time to review your bio on your various social media profiles to make sure it indicates your interests and expertise. If you find someone who has similar interests or offers parallel services, let them know you want to meet up at the conference. You could exchange thoughts on how you service clients. Or you can even switch notes if you can’t cover all the session you want to attend.
“Use social media to break the ice! You know how when you first meet someone you are having a lot of small talk trying to find out who the person is and if you want to keep connecting with them? Use social media to have those initial conversations so when you get to the conference you have built anticipation to connect with the folks you would like to connect with. With the folks you’ve found share similar interest and are kindred spirits.”
– Mike Ambassador Bruny
Director of Attendee Engagement for Social Media Marketing World
Create a Twitter List for Attendees
If event organizers haven’t set up an attendee Twitter list, take the initiative by providing the very visible service of creating a list. Twitter lists are an excellent way to follow the social media stream and provide a way for non-attendees to follow along as well. Be sure to make the list public and invite people to join the list via a hashtagged Tweet.
“Twitter lists are a powerful way to connect your network, acknowledge those who are experts on various topics, and to showcase the topics you care most about. When an expert creates a list, they share with the world their “tribe” of expert peers, colleagues, and friends. When you connect experts, you are showing the world that you not only know the industry/topic; but also, that you know the movers and shakers in that industry/topic.”
– Susan Beebe
Digital & Social Media at Tyson Foods (Corporate Affairs)
Follow these tips so you can get more out of the personal interaction that conferences provide so the conference can be an even more valuable learning experience for you and your team.