6 Tips On Using Hashtags for Events

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If you’re planning a conference, workshop, webinar or any event where knowledge will be shared, please use a hashtag. Even if you’re not into Twitter. Even if your organization isn’t into Twitter. Use a hashtag anyway in the event that one of your attendees wants to live-tweet your conference, seminar, workshop, webinar or speech and share  your wayward genius with the world.

Here are my tips for using Twitter for your next event.

1. Search the hashtag (Twitter search) and make sure no one else is using it. There’s nothing worse than announcing your official hashtag only to have one of your more savvy event attendees point out that the hashtag is already in use. How embarrassing.

2. Register the hashtag. It’s not really yours unless you register it, and you can’t get a transcript of the tweets after the event is over unless you register it. Use wthashtag.com

3. Every time you mention the event, mention the hashtag. Every. Single. Time. Mention the tag in your web pages, blog posts, press releases, postcards, flyers, posters, direct mail, e-blasts, digital signage, banners…you get the idea. Think of the hashtag as just another bit of contact information for your event attendees, like the web address or phone number. Think “they won’t be able to get there if they don’t have this hashtag…”

4. Mention the hashtag as early as you can. If you get an early start to your marketing, get an early start to the mentioning of your tag. People will start to wonder what it’s about so they’ll start searching it to find out who else is using it and what it’s about. If you start using the tag before the event as opposed to the day of the event, you’ll have a better chance of getting more people to sign up for the event. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a hashtag take over my timeline and wonder to myself “why didn’t I know about this…Had I known about it, I would have been there.” So as soon as you start mentioning the event, mention the hashtag. Get it out there.

5. Include the hashtag in media guidelines. If news were to break at your event, a reporter in attendance would be able to at least tweet something  on the hashtag before following up with a more detailed story later. Plus, the media don’t want to have to search for crucial details like keynote speaker names, why would you make them dig for the event hashtag?

6. After the event, provide a transcript of  all hashtag activity. Post it on your organization’s blog or send out the link in your post-event newsletter recap. It’s a nice touch.

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