I've gone to a lot of enterprise/technology conferences in the last 15 years - and even developed and managed a few. It has always been a somewhat numbing series of presentations, demos, meetings and new faces. If I was really well organized, I had a series of specific meetings lined up but...let's be honest, I was rarely that organized.
With Twitter things have changed a lot - from enabling spontaneous organization (is that possible?!?) to allowing me to participate in presentations without disrupting them. Here are various examples of how I've seen Twitter transform events:
- Creating demand for a particular event - when people raise their hands and tell each other that they will be at an event, it attracts more people
- Sharing events with a broader audience through hashtags like #C20 and #E20 and photo streams like this one from David Terrar (great conversationalist BTW - even when jet-lagged!)
- Spontaneously planning events like @stevemann did with the Enterprise 2.0 Mayhem dinner which brought together big software company execs, bloggers, interested observers, PR, and consultants all of whom are interested in enterprise social media - great fun and very interesting.
- Finding people at big events 'hey - I'm near the Starbucks, where are you?'
- Audience participation - while I'm not in favor of trash talking during presentations - Twitter allows me to add my perspective to what is being presented and that keeps me more engaged than just sitting and listening - even if no one reads it.
- Meeting 'old' Twitter friends in person and meeting new people in person and continuing the relationship on Twitter
How else have you used Twitter to enhance your event experience?