Live Tweeting at Conferences


Live Tweeting at Conferences

Live Tweeting at Conferences

You may have been to a conference lately and wondered about people who live tweet. This post is how to make your experience easier. With just a little bit of planning, your live tweeting can add to your conference experience. For other tips on conferences, read Entrepreneur’s The Art of Hacking a Conferences.

Why Live Tweet?

Aaron Hockley Recommends This "Friend Maker"

Aaron Hockley Recommends This “Friend Maker”

Live tweeting lets you connect to other Twitter users, and amplifies what’s happening at the conference or live event. Live tweeting lets the speakers know that you’re listening to them, since you can interact with them. Often, a conference such as WordCamp San Francisco (#WCSF) will have a live Twitter feed. The #SFGiants interact with their audience through live tweeting. You may have read my post about the San Francisco Giants and how they can improve your game.

Before the Event

  • Search for the Hashtag. If your conference has a hashtag, search for it. For instance, I’ll be attending WordCamp Orange County (#WCOC), and have been following the hashtag. You may find out about extra parties or discover more about your favorite speakers. For instance, there is a pre-event golf game for #WCOC.
  • Follow speakers whose talks you’d like to attend.
  • Follow fellow attendees.
  • Create a list in Twitter for the event. When you add someone to a list, they’re alerted on Twitter. Once people are on a list, you can more easily hear what they’re saying and cut down the noise of Twitter.
  • Create a Pinterest place board for bonus points! My pal, Bridget Willard, created this Orange County WordCamp board that’s both a place board and a group board (so I can pin to it, too!).
  • Make a list with the participants, their handles, and the hashtag on your smart phone.
  • Print a list using Post-it notes. Yep. I found it on Pinterest.

Stuff to Bring

Extra chargers, fully charged phones, an extra extension cord (aka Friend Maker), and your already-made lists.

Follow the Conference Hashtag

Follow the Conference Hashtag

During the Event

  • Use the hashtag at the end of every tweet. You could use for this (adds the hashtag automagically!). People who are watching remotely use the hashtag as well as those at the conference.
  • Follow the conference hashtag (you can create a column in Tweetdeck or HootSuite to make this easier).
  • Listen for Interesting Quotes. Add value to the conversation by cherry picking the best quotes.
  • Tweet your own questions or comments.
  • Use abbreviations. Here are some common ones: OH (Overhead), h/t (hat tip), MT (modified tweet).
  • Meet New Friends. Since you’ve already been following people (and hopefully engaging with them), they will probably be more open to meeting. So don’t be shy!

Do You Enjoy Live Tweeting?

What would you add to my lists? Please leave me a comment. Thanks!


  1. HA! We may need to sit next to Aaron. I got a new battery for my 2008 MacBook but it still will only go for 2 hours. I’ll get my “go bag” ready tonight with my computer, cords, battery for cell phone, and my purse.

    I can’t wait for #WCOC!

    Making a list ahead of time (which I’ve done this year) may help prevent what I did last year which is live tweet with the wrong handle listed (oops).

    Listening for interesting quotes helps me focus on the talk better.

    BUT I was at a meetup a couple weeks back where someone brought up a possible security risk with Chrome Cast. I tweeted that out and he was afraid of being sued. I didn’t even use his handle (because I didn’t know it).

    I said that at a social media group with internet-connected phones and laptops, there’s no reasonable expectation of privacy. The moderator and host backed me up.

    Most people that I’ve live tweeted (pastors, politicians, speakers) have appreciated the extended reach of their talk.

    • Hi Bridget,
      I went to the hardware store and bought a surge suppressor/power strip and extension cord, so we should be set!

      I’ve got lists to share (on Post-its). Yes, it’s so old-school. But it was fun! I haven’t heard of anyone being afraid of being sued–that’s a new one! I believe if people are speaking publicly, they shouldn’t be scared of having their words repeated.

      Thanks for commenting!

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