It happens all the time. A group or promoter is holding an event. They have a Twitter account and they are encouraging other "Twitter Engaged" attendees to "talk up" their event but fail to let folks know how to follow.
Just last week a client of ours was attending a regional meeting for organic lawn and garden items. It would have been the perfect place to share stories, images and more about the conference. However, the planners of this thirty-year old event had not considered a hashtag to help folks follow the conversation and simply directed people to follow THEM using their Twitter Handle.
Engagement between attendees should be the goal. After all, if you are bringing people together for an event you want to help them connect with each other...and you. Attendee "side chat" is far more effective and it's much more personal...which is what social media is all about.
Creating a hashtag isn't hard but there are some considerations:
- Length - Remember you've only got 140 characters on Twitter if you use up twenty-five of them with your hashtag it doesn't leave much room for comment;
- Usage - You will want to find out what is being or has been used in the past. We recently attended an event in Little Rock and used #NTPDA13 with is the association letters and the year. That usually works pretty well;
- Broadcast In Advance - Long before your event start sharing the hashtag with attendees or and folks on Twitter. You can include it in the signature of your email, on your website in your blog;
- Don't Over Explain - But, let people know. Folks who are "into" Twitter already get it...but who knows, some new people might be attending so at registration make sure you push the idea...even maybe with a handout: "Connect with others during the event on Twitter by following #NTPDA13".
Then, use it and start connecting with attendees, friends and fans of your event.