Twitter tips for conference

Make the most of conference - whether or not you are attending - via Twitter and the #COT2016 hashtag

Thanks to some of those who contributed to past COT conferences, and using other examples from around the Twitter world, we have put together the following tips for making the most out of Twitter during #COT2016.

Following from home:

  • You don't need to be a Twitter user: just visit and search for the hashtag #COT2016. This will give a chronological search of tweets related to the conference.
  • If you want to get involved with Twitter but don't know where to start, check out Twitter's help guide.
  • Keep the conference timetable handy so you can see what sessions people are tweeting from. You might get tweets from the sessions you are interested in, as well as getting to hear about interesting presentations you might not have considered.
  • You will need to put aside some time to get involved, but don't worry if you can't follow it live - you can read through tweets later and catch up on sessions.
  • Don't be afraid to jump in! By talking with those at conference and following from home, Twitter allows you to broaden your professional network.


Getting the most out of Twitter at conference:

  • Tweets from sessions can provide a useful summary of presentations that you aren't able to attend, allowing you to follow up any key points afterwards.
  • When attending a session give the title, name of presenter and any other reference so followers know what you are going to be tweeting about, and can find details in the abstract.
  • Tweeting can be a great way to focus and reflect on the topic during the session, and can provide a useful record of the key points afterwards - you could use this as an example of your CPD activity.
  • For presenters too, Twitter can provide useful feedback on sessions by highlighting the key points that attendees tweeted about.
  • If you're the only person from your work attending, your colleagues could follow your tweets and still feel involved in sharing knowledge.
  • As with those following at home, make use of twitter to extend your professional network, and try and meet up with fellow Twitter users at conference.


Further tips for tweeting at conference

Dan O'Connor has written a useful Guide to Using Twitter @ Academic Conferences which is worth reading, and we especially like these points:

4) Tweet in advance: Don't just turn up to the conversation when the conference starts; tweet in advance about, say, which sessions you're looking forward to, publicity for your own session or paper, or - even better - to ask for advice about which sessions to attend. Having said that:
5) Keep up the tweets: Try not to fall silent when the conference starts. It's all too easy once the madness begins to stop tweeting and just attend "old school" style. There's three basic types of tweets during an academic conference:

  • Live tweeting a session / paper
  • Continuing a discussion after a session / paper finishes
  • Asking for / giving advice about sessions / papers worth attending

All of which are great - but there's one thing you really need to remember:
6) Add value! If you're live tweeting, don't just report verbatim - add opinion or questions or counter examples. Contribute your voice to the conversation, and remember the handy KUDOS framework for successful social media content like tweets:

  • K - Knowledge: each tweet should be a piece of knowledge; a fact, a joke, an opinion.
  • U - Useful: each piece of Knowledge should be useful to your audience, not just useful to you
  • D - Desirable: each piece of Knowledge should be desirable; it should have something which sets it apart from all the other merely "useful" tweets
  • O - Open: be open and honest about who you are and which organisation you represent
  • S - Shareable: your Knowledge should be shareable; things you'd be happy having attributed to you and which you want to be passed around.

If your tweets show KUDOS, we usually find that they get plenty of retweets and generate lots of new followers. But remember:
7) Relax: Just like you can't get to every session, you can't follow every tweet, so don't worry if you drop the twitter ball on occasion.