Tweet Chats are online conversations, typically held at a pre-arranged time (usually for an hour), between a group of Twitter users, using a specific Twitter hashtag (“#name of conversation or group” represents a conversation stream) to identify the discussion and are loosely moderated. Most people use TweetChat.com to keep track of the conversation and, as a bonus, it automatically adds the appropriate hashtag so you don’t have to and is free!
These are fast-paced conversations happening at 140 characters per comment. Believe it or not, it is possible to communicate a thought in 140 characters!
There are a few tweet chats in our industry worth checking out. They are topical, no-holds-barred conversations that engage and educate those who either participate or lurk. (Lurkers are folks who listen in on the conversation but don’t comment.) Many are archived so you can read the conversation later.
One of my favorites is #ExpoChat (Thursdays, 12 noon PT, 3pm ET) - where we discuss all kinds of topics ranging from new cool technology (no ads) to what industry associations should be/could be doing better for their members to what makes a great show manager or exhibit manager to dealing with international attendees and exhibitors. See the Web site to see the archived conversations. (Full disclosure: I’m one of the founders of the chat.) Another cool one to check out is #BWEchat (BlogWorld & New Social Media’s Tweet Chat) held on Wednesday’s at 9pm ET, 6pm PT.
The first Tweet Chat in our space was #Eventprofs for everyone in the meetings/events/expo industry. I understand it’s not as active as it once was, but there have been some great conversations held and the schedule promises some good topics this month. Interestingly, several EventCamps were launched as a direct result of the chat. That’s right, a brand new series of face-to-face conferences (mostly regional) came out of a Tweet Chat.
What kind of community building opportunities are you missing out on by not taking advantage of this simple and free technology? Your show can run topical Tweet Chats building up to the show—have speakers try out their material and tweak their sessions for relevance by moderating a session. Trying to bring in a new segment? Use some smart marketing and hold tweet chats on those topics of interest to the group. Post Show? Get real feedback.
Obviously, a select group in the social media world only uses Twitter. However, it is a very passionate and active group. Are you on Twitter? Come join us for a Chat.
Stephanie Selesnick, CEM is President of International Trade Information, Inc., a Los Angeles, CA-based boutique international exhibition management and conference company founded in 1972. ITI has always had an international focus—whether launching shows in other countries or bringing foreign exhibitors and visitors into U.S.-based exhibitions and events. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @StephSelesnick.