#CmgrChat 2/16 – Conferences

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?

JPedde I would love to attend one of @JakRose‘s Social Fresh Conferences

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

carleemallard I’d like to go to @Internet_Summit @socialfresh and #CES too!

timbursch Hope to go to Community Leadership Summit:

THO_R:  Met some great folks @PivotCon (@briansolis involved this yr) & I love what @jeffpulver does with #140conf

tmonhollon Last year I went to an #OptSum that was in Dallas. Featured @briansolis @jasonfalls and others

pjmattson Headed to Radian6: Engage 2011

amirad I only go to conferences that are relevant. I have to be able to find value in the ppl attending. Many R locally

marnysmith Link for the Spark & Hustle conference organized by Women For Hire CEO Tory Johnson

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!

kristinabobski I encourage everyone in the midwest to go #FMW11 digital marketing and PR w/social focus


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

Ruckus Going to a conference you should probably have @Hashable on your phone!

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.

tmonhollon Also, @Hootsuite suggested adding “buffer” accounts between your personal and big brand accts to avoid an “oops” Tweet like this

gilmoreglobal HAHAHA! I tweet from my Blackberry and my accounts are very obviously colour coded! No #redCrossTweets here!

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


Thanks to all who participated! If you would like to see the entire transcript, please contact Jenn to have it emailed to you. (WTHashtag decided to eat the transcript).  Make sure to come back to #cmgrchat every Wednesday from 2-3pm EST for more chats!

If you have any ideas or suggestions for future topics, leave comments or get in touch with either Jenn or Kelly!

Enjoy this article?

Enter your email to receive free community management advice in your inbox:
About the author

Jenn Pedde

Jenn is a Co-Founder of The Community Manager and the Editor-In-Chief. She’s also an adjunct professor at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. You can find her almost anywhere online, but specifically on #CmgrChat every Wednesday from 2-3pm ET.