For those of us interested in expanding our networks (as we all should be), attending in-person events is key. Here are 5 ways Twitter can enhance your professional event-goings, and give you more bang for your networking buck.
Consider 2 scenarios:
Scenario 1: You're new to a geographic location, industry, or company. You walk into a large room full of already-formed groups. After scanning the attendees, you realize you don't recognize a soul. You make your way over to get some coffee/something on the rocks, and while you stall, try to formulate a game plan to bust into the scene.
Scenario 2: You're new to a geographic location, industry, or company. You walk into a large room full of already-formed groups. After scanning the attendees, you a) recognize an attendee from their Twitter profile and know a few things about them, and b) make eye contact with another attendee who you actually conversed with over Twitter in preparation for the event. You walk over to your Twitter contact and start chatting in person.
Here are 5 tips to use Twitter to enhance your event experiences. Here's an example of a quick engagement. I am attending IgniteDC #6 this Thursday in DC. I've met Alex (one of the speakers) briefly before, but haven't seen him in about 4 months. That way when I go to the event, if I see him, it will be easier to start a conversation and pick up where we left off.
1. Find out it your event has a Twitter hashtag, and search to see who else is tweeting about the event. If there are, introduce yourself briefly, and if a conversation ensues, propose maybe meeting up over coffee if interests align. You might make a new friend before you even get there...
2. Before the event, make a Twitter list (it is ridiculously easy) with the event name so you can keep track of who is attending (before and after - this is extremely helpful, in my opinion). Also, be sure to send it around to others who are attending the event so they can join in the fun.
3. On the day of the event, see who else is tweeting per the event hashtag and break the ice. Don't be embarrassed to walk right up to someone and say, I think "I am following you on Twitter." Many people have broken the ice with me this way and it is actually expected these days. As long as you are not creepy, this method is not creepy 😉
4. After the event, using the event hashtag, search who else was there. If someone looks like they might be interesting to meet, use the event as a reason to introduce yourself. Perhaps you'll see them again, and if you get a conversation going, you'll have a new contact.
5. If you are presenting at an event, put your Twitter name on EVERY SLIDE. Will make things much easier for listeners to re-tweet your talking points, and better get your message out.
Love to hear any of your thoughts!