How to Make the Most Out of Your Conference Participation – Digitally

Are you planning to attend a conference, a training, or even a webinar this year? If so, your physical participation is only one part of your event experience. Here’s a list of things you can do on the digital front to make you and your brand known.

  1. Determine the hashtag of the event early. Almost every event will have an event hashtag that you’ll want to use when posting about your participation at the event. For example, the hashtag for QuickBooks Connect is #QBConnect.
  1. When you pay your registration fees, post about it on social media:

“I’m so excited to be attending QuickBooks Connect 2018 in San Jose #qbconnect”

You can post more updates when you book your air and hotel for the event.

  1. If the event furnishes an app, you can post when you’ve downloaded the app. You can also post when you’ve set up your agenda, if this is a pre-event option.
  1. A week before the event, post an update such as “Who else is going to #event-hashtag?” You should get some comments on your post that you can engage with.
  1. On the day of your travel, Facebook has a cool feature you can use to map your flight. In the status update box, select “Feeling/Activity and scroll to Travelling to. Select your destination airport, and Facebook will display the location. Next select “Check in” and choose your home airport. Facebook will now make a route map of your trip. Write something in the status update text box and click the Post button.
  1. Once you’re at the event, you can post another update. But the most important task is to search by the event hashtag in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and all other social platforms you’re active on. Review the status updates of others and “like” or comment on them.
  1. In the hashtag search in Twitter, follow everyone who uses the event hashtag. Many of them will follow you back. You can make similar connections via Facebook, LinkedIn, and your other platforms. Keep up with this throughout the event.
  1. As you meet people, connect with them on social.
  1. When you’re in the audience watching and listening to a speaker, post tips about what the speaker just said. Take photos of the stage or slides and post those as well.  Use the hashtag and include the speaker’s Twitter handle or Facebook page. If you’re lucky, the speaker will retweet your post, giving you a lot of new exposure.
  1. Take photos, including selfies, liberally throughout the event, and post them to your albums in Facebook.
  1. Ask people what Facebook and LinkedIn groups they belong to and join the ones that make sense for you.
  1. If you are meeting with key business associates such as partners, vendors, customers, or employees, be sure to take advantage of photo opportunities with them.
  1. Do you admire one of the speakers? Go up after (never before) their speech and ask to take a photo with them. Sometimes, if they are an executive or very famous, it can boost your business reputation to post the photo prominently on your website and explain your relationship.
  1. During the event, continue to engage, follow, post, and like in your social media platforms.
  1. When heading home, post updates about all the fun you had, and upload any photos you haven’t already uploaded. Be sure to tag people in your photos.
  1. On the day of the flight, post an update in Facebook that shows your return flight, just like you did in #5.
  1. A few days after the event, consider writing a summary of the event. It will help you consolidate what you learned and will reinforce your learning as well as help you organize your action steps. Post your update to your blog and share it in social media.
  1. Monitor the search of posts with the event hashtag one last time and connect with anyone you haven’t already connected to in the stream.

With all the activity generated from the conference and your new followers and connections, your social media reputation will rise. And hopefully this will translate into referrals and business for you.