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Many events now have published hashtags so attendees and even people at home can discuss sessions, connect with like-minded people and even ask questions of the organizers.
It’s really a great tool. I remember a few years ago when I attended my first global United Way conference and made a number of offline connections after first connecting online through the event’s hashtag. In fact, I made friends that I’m still connected with today years later and more than a year after my last full-time United Way gig.
I was mostly recently reminded of the power of the event hashtag when I presented on authentic storytelling (what else, right?) to a standing-room only crowd at EntreFEST in Iowa City, Iowa.
I usually make it a habit to pay some attention to what people are saying on Twitter the day on which I’m presenting. When people talk about how they are looking forward to the day, or that they are heading to the event or anything else along those lines, I often tweet back at them with something like this:
Looking forward to the event as well. Hope to see you at my session on … in … at ….
People often respond. Sometimes they even show up. At EntreFEST, where my session received an average rating of 4.16 by those who rated in on the event app, one person stopped by after the talk:
“I wanted to let you know that your tweet got me to attend your session. So your social media marketing worked. It got me here.”
Of course, it was very nice of him to let me know. The way to connect with people today is to be present and by participating.
I could have just shown up for my session, but I like to participate in the discussion. So I inserted myself when I thought it might be relevant – without being to promotional.
It has helped with offline connections more than once now.
Whether you are organizing an event, speaking at or sponsoring one, there are ways to connect with your target audiences at the event in real-time. Contact me here to set up a time to talk. First hour free.