10 reasons why Twitter is great for conferences

I’ve been to 4 conferences in the last few weeks and at each one I have tweeted throughout.

Why is Twitter good for conferences?

  1. your tweets from a conference can act as your conference notes – I am just reflecting on the conferences I’ve been to and I can read my tweets and those of others using a tool such as Twapperkeeper.
  2. you can converse with other delegates whilst the conference is taking place – it’s a running commentary on proceedings
  3. as the twitterati you can change the conference’s direction – at the Digital Engagement conference in London a couple of weeks back, Helen Milner changed her presentation because of feedback from Twitter
  4. you can ‘attend’ the conference without physically being there:

    Tweet from a remote participant
    Tweet from a remote participant
  5. it makes networking at conferences so much easier:

    Tweeting makes networking easier
    Tweeting makes networking easier
  6. at the conference you can develop a community of practice who can go on to develop explored ideas further – these people may meet for the first time through the conference hashtag on Twitter
  7. find new people to follow on Twitter by following the hashtag of a conference you’re interested in
  8. promote your conference on Twitter before and after the event using a hashtag (info on choosing a good hashtag can be found here)
  9. use Twitter to pose a question of the speaker – whether you are physically present or not!
  10. Using Twitter at a conference means that you get a 3D experience. A question was posed at the European Congress on E-inclusion held in Brussels, I tweeted it My tweeted question from the floor
    …and was answered by a librarian in England! I then shared this with the conference.The power of Twitter!
    The power of Twitter!

    I can’t recommend using Twitter at conferences enough! You just need to make sure you have a decent connection and to follow what others are saying I would recommend using Twitterfall, just type in the hashtag you want to follow. Twitterfall makes it really easy to retweet or follow or reply to people as well. You can also follow multiple hashtags – which was very useful at one I went to recently where two hashtags were being used!


    • The conference was about digital engagement but most of the talks in the morning were about technical issues like broadband access and not engaging with people. As a result the conference attendees started to moan via Twitter. It was quite surreal as the conference hall was all tweeting whilst this guy was speaking! It was very like passing notes around at school!

      Then it was Helen’s turn to speak in the afternoon. She had been involved in the Twitter backchannel in the morning so had seen all our disgruntled tweets. When she got up to speak she prefaced it by saying ‘People were saying that they wanted to hear more about digital engagement on Twitter this morning so I have changed my presentation to fit what people were asking for’. She said she’d done this over the lunch break.

      It was a fascinating conference for me as it was one of the first at which I had tried tweeting. Another amusing thing that happened was that Martha Lane Fox got ‘caught’ tweeting as she was on stage as a key note speaker – whilst one of the other speakers was speaking! You could sense a slight sense of disapproval in the conference organisers that they couldn’t overtly express because it was a conference about ‘digital engagement’!


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