For those of us using Twitter in our day-to-day, it’s often frustrating to stumble upon a conference or other event that clearly isn’t taking advantage of all that social networks have to offer. Here are some warning signs that the event you’re about to attend isn’t yet clued into the power of interaction before, during and after the event.
1. The event hashtag has been established by an attendee.
The event communication needs to be managed by the staff. The planners need to decide how they want their members to communicate (realizing that Twitter is not the only option) and make this very public information. If attendees are left to create their own channels, this is not a good sign! That being said, there is some value to jumping in on a conversation already created as an event planner and helping to encourage conversation. The double bad sign? When an attendee has created a way for folks to communicate and no one from the planning staff has even noticed!
2. The event Twitter stream is filled with self promotion.
If you are going to list “Follow Us on Twitter” as a part of your marketing, you should ensure that there is good content for your attendees on that list. Link to speakers, sponsors, and planners. Share related articles. Do something to connect the attendees. Do something more than just marketing the event over and over. Give people a way to connect!
3. Attendee lists are impossible to find as are Twitter handles of the speakers, sponsors and promoters.
While some events keep this information private, there are ways to integrate attendee-specific information on your event website. The savvy conference attendee is doing their homework before the event – trying to connect with other people who will be there in advance. By not listing contact information, or at least a list of names, you are making their job much more difficult.