This article follows on my from my post about how an event organiser can use social media to enhance their event. I thought that I would give the other side of the story and help people who attend conferences, to get the most out of them using twitter.

Twitter is a great tool to use at an event. If used successfully it can help to increase your personal brand and indirectly, promote what you do.

Be sure to follow the event hashtag while the people are speaking, if you can. You can retweet any  good tweets from other people also listening to the speaker.

How to increase your visibility at the event

One of the things I usually do to increase my visibility at events is to tweet some of the key facts or ideas from the speakers.  Tweet about the ideas, concepts and facts that people will want to retweet because it is interesting, insightful or useful. A lot of people can’t be bothered to tweet but it’s easy to retweet.

Example tweet

The format I generally use for this kind of thing is below. I usually copy and paste the start and the end of the message, then add the insight in the middle. See the example below

.@speaker-twitter-name says (insert your message) #event-hashtag

Be sure to put the full stop at the start if you use the @mention. If you don’t do this, it will limit the number of people who see the message. See this Twitter’s support page for more information about why.

If you do this, you will get people who are following the hashtag retweeting you and often the speakers will retweet you as well when they finish their presentation.

Do not forgot to tweet pictures

I often tweet pictures of the event and @mention people in the pictures if they are on stage.  Almost always get people retweeting it.

Continue on after the event

After the event I usually write a crowd sourced blog post with all the key information from the event.

Crowd sourced summary of #SBSS12 in 60 tweets!

Crowd sourced summary of #SBS2012 in 63 tweets!

Crowd sourced summary of #CSMB2B in 42 tweets!

I then tweet the blog out and @mention people who I have quoted and most people retweet it. For one of these articles, I was retweeted to over 90,000 people within 1 hour. This resulted in a spike in traffic to my blog.

Your turn

How have you used to twitter or any other social network to promote yourself at a conference? Do you think twitter can help enhance the experience or distract people from the content? What tips have I missed that could help you use twitter at an event?

Join the conversation


  1. Being relatively new to Twitter (six months) I tweeted my first conference last month, and discovered it was a great way to take pertinent notes.

    Of course a challenge to capture complete ideas within the limitations of number of characters, but a great way to offer very valuable content to your followers.

    Absolutely recommend to anyone wanting to establish themselves as a true industry expert.

  2. I love this article and since I have used twitter within the dynamics of the SAP User Group conference, agree with the fact that this not only raises the profile of the individual but also the event. Expanding that to RFID like stations enhanced the experience overall. One thing I would say is that while it is a fantastic idea to tweet about the speaker and the session itself, please remember that for the speaker it can be off-putting to see their audience tapping away on their phones while they are trying to deliver a presentation and make eye contact.

    1. Thanks for your kind words Jayne. I do agree that it may be off putting to the speaker. I guess this is not going to change with the increasing use of twitter at conferences. There is a guy called Timo Elliot who has mastered the art of using twitter in a presentation. He has some tools to put into your presentations to actively engage your audience more. Check out the link below

  3. Hi Chris,
    Great post! I am wondering how challenging it is for you to create the crowd source blog post after the event? I am working on a product specifically designed to make Twitter more useful for conference goers, and would love to get your thoughts.
    Twitter: @jodyburgess

    1. Thanks for your kind comments. I took a look at your website and the product looks like something I might find useful at a conference. One of the best products I have seen so far for use at an event is Maybe you could partner with them of work with them in some way depending how much common/competing ground you have?

      I have only used it at one event but it enabled me to see who was going and research who I wanted to meet up with. It uses a simple LinkedIn social sign in so you can see what everyone works as.

      Good luck with your venture and let me know when it is live so I can have a play.

  4. Thanks, Chris. Bizzabo looks like a cool product – I will check it out. I think they are more focused on networking ahead of time, whereas Tribbon is all about the memory afterward (another huge problem for conference goers) I will let you know when we have a beta ready. Thanks again. Jody

  5. Helpful blog. Added a few ideas to my brain. Am liking the look of bizzabo and liking the idea of Tribbon particularly if it has a memory focus because that is one of my big gripes about speakers who do nothing to help anyone remember anything important!

  6. Sorry, but it looks like I’m the skunk at the lawn party.

    I’ve stopped tweeting at conferences because multi-tasking is unproductive. I also spend good money on registration fees, hotels, meals, travel, etc. and I don’t want to miss one golden nugget from the stage that might go right over my head if I’m glued to my phone. I blogged about this and explained “5 reasons why I don’t tweet at conferences anymore” at

    The only thing that’s worse than tweeting at a conference is checking email at a conference. Talk about unproductive and unprofitable!

    1. Hi Joan,

      Thanks for joining the conversation. When I am tweeting at a conference it is my way of keeping notes. The good thing about me doing it on twitter is that it helps to share the good insights with people who were not fortunate enough to be able to attend.

      I have read your article and I agree with some of the points raised especially when people are tweeting and looking at their phone rather than at the speaker. However I do not think this habit will change and I think it is just some thing that speakers will have to get used to.

      I do agree with the idea that I don’t want to miss out on any golden nuggets of information but on the other hand my memory is pretty bad and I do need to take notes in some format otherwise I will forget a lot of the key ideas being spoke about. For the reason stated above I feel twitter is better than my note pad.

      I feel tweeting at a conference is a cultural shift in the way people communicate which will not suit all people. The good news is everyone is free to use it or not use it depending on their own preferences.

      Thanks once again for contributing to my blog, much appreciated.


  7. Totally agree with Chris that tweeting in the right way can also be a good form of taking notes! Personally, I find following hashtags for events I didn’t attend a good clue as to whether the speakers were good, whether delegates found the event beneficial and whether I should bother to go the next time! It’s also good to see who else it at the event, as often the networking can be more important than the content of the talks. So, when I am at an event, I kind of feel it’s only fair that I also contribute to sharing what’s going on – have a look at #socialb2b for example.

    On a slight tangent: I do also find it amazing how many social media “experts” don’t realise that starting a tweet with @name says xyz #hashtag means that it’s an @reply and won’t be visible to followers who aren’t already tracking the hashtag! that little . before the @ makes all the difference…

    Classic example:

  8. Thanks for your feedback Alastair.

    You are right in saying often the conversation is as valuable and some times more so than the main event. I think the networking and conversation around conferences is where the real good stuff can be found.

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