With SXSWi just around the corner, we decided to tackle the topic of conferences – everything that goes along with the pre, during, and post activities. What was most interesting to me, was all the little tips all of these seasoned community manager conference goers had! A fun idea to host a Community Manager conference came out of the chat too… definitely a project to consider for the future!
Q1 GO: We know about Blogworld & SXSWi, but what are some other conferences you’ve been to/want to go to/recommend?
rhogroupee I’d love to go to Social Media & Community 2.0 in Boston…too $$$$ tho
evanhamilton Community Leadership Summit (CLS) and CLS West are fantastic unconferences for us community types
tmonhollon Local and regional events are always good for networking. And some AMA, PRSA, IABC chapters have conferences too
amirad I only go to conferences that are relevant. I have to be able to find value in the ppl attending. Many R locally
KellyLux If you have a chance to attend Social Media Week next year, I would strongly encourage u to attend, the one in NYC was fantastic!
Q2) How do you prepare for heading to a large conference? How have you managed requests to help out/speak?
carleemallard I’ve created a twitter list of everyone I might want to meet at the conference ahead of time & add new ppl periodically
tmonhollon Plan head: What to take, what sessions to attend, who to meet. Be flexible
tmonhollon Try to meet 5 of each type of contact: Aspirational, Peer, & Student. Microcelebs are great, but other contacts are powerful too!
rhogroupee I also like to start thinking of good questions for panelists/speakers beforehand…
KellyLux I like to set up some meetings with people who I know are going to be there. That way, I know I won’t miss the opportunity.
marnysmith Before I go to a conference I always stock up on business cards, you always want to have enough
amirad If I dnt think I will have enough cards, I bring company stickers and write my info on the back 🙂
Q3. What do you do post conference? How do you maximize your time spent and connections made?
7Huck: Totally write notes on your follow up stack, super handy weeks later
mor_trisha Post conference, I review the tweets I made during conf and summarize
evanhamilton You’ve gotta follow up with people you met, beyond just a “nice to meet you”. If you really like ’em, start a dialog.
timbursch Follow up with connections (lots of emails) and follow through on ideas/learnings
THO_R Post conf., milk that event hashtag for all it’s worth. Post relevant links and try to keep active year-round
gilmoreglobal I always try to snap a lot of pictures and then I have something valuable to share with the contacts Ive made
tmonhollon Oh, and my BIG secret for networking at tech conferences? Take a power strip. You’ll make friends for life!
muruganpandian Do you surprise them and send a non-social media message? Example post cards.
AdamBritten: You think it smart to make a new avatar for what you look like that day?
Q4: How do u ensure that when ur enjoying urself @ a conf & juggling accts, a @RedCross tweet doesn’t happen?
nickcicero Use multiple Twitter programs. My timelines look totally different.
kristinabobski I am extra extra careful now! Use two different platforms when tweeting from my iphone.
DanKlamm I think the accidental tweet shows some humanity behind the brand. People make mistakes. Not a big deal.
THO_R To avoid accidental tweets, spend 2x the time editing as you did writing