How to Tweet at a Conference

One of the best ways to utilise Twitter is at conferences. You will have noticed social media becoming an increasingly included part of the program at any medical conference, and used well it can really add to the experience.

Benefits include:-

  1. The ability to follow the major topics and themes of a conference remotely if you’re not able to make it
  2. Being able to follow the comments and observations of more audience members while you listen to plenary talks or panel discussions
  3. To interact more yourself, and post your own thoughts or witticisms

Some useful hashtags for major General Practice Conferences include:-

  • GPET Convention – #GPET13
  • RACGP Conference – #GP13
  • Remote Medical Education Conference – #RMEC13
  • GPRA’s Breathing New Life – #BNL13
  • ¬†Rural Medicine Australia – #RMA2013

There are lots more!

Come another year, hashtags evolve to have the relevant year – #GPET14, #BNL14, etc.

Most of these conferences also have their own Twitter account which you can follow as well. They will tweet both before the conference to let you know of useful info, as well as during the event itself.

e.g. GPET Convention – @GPETConvention

You’ll notice that people’s tweets at Conferences tend to fall into one of a few broad categories

  1. Live tweeting or reporting – posting quotes and other info from talks and workshops. This allows people not physically at the conference to be able to follow along
  2. Comments and thoughts regarding different sessions – what you are finding to be the best parts, interesting things you’ve learnt and want to share, etc.
  3. Networking and ‘chatting’ – great way to banter with people both during and in between sessions without being actively disruptive!

Of course, a great way to use Twitter is to also be a passive participant – follow the tweets and see how it can broaden your experience. You’ll soon be keen to contribute actively – it’s infectious!

1 Comment

  1. Genevieve Yates September 21, 2013

    Great summary. Agree that it can add a whole new dimension to a conference, both educationally and socially, and be a lot of fun, but there are some traps.
    Firstly, unless you’re an exceptional multitasker, tweeting / following the Twitter stream during sessions can distract you from what is being said/shown.
    It can also be distracting for presenters to see people tapping away on phones/tablets instead of giving them eye contact (I certainly find this offputting when I’m presenting). Not such a big deal in a keynote/plenary session but can be in small group sessions / workshops.
    And of course, you have to be careful with what you write. While light banter is fun, maintaining an appropriate level of professionalism in your conference tweets is a wise move. These conference tweets may be read by a large number and diverse range of people – perhaps your future bosses!


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