Not Able To Attend A Conference

Every year there are countless conferences I want to attend and every year I have to pass up on almost all of them. It is disappointing but I find ways to follow along. If you find yourself in a similar situation to me, what might you do to still gain insight about the conference?

 

LinkedIn – Check LinkedIn events and see who is attending and begin to network with them. Some individuals you may know and others maybe not. But connecting in advance could lead to sharing of information and feedback on the conference and topics and maybe even the sharing of notes about valuable take aways.

Twitter – Find out the particular hashtag of the conference and follow along with what is being shared and follow along. See what is being shared and even participate in the conversation from your home or office. Good tools to follow a particular hashtag include:

Ustream – Some conferences, like the 140conf will use Ustream to play live video of the sessions so that everyone may see what is happening. You are able to listen to the sessions, just miss out on the in-person networking.

Facebook – Some conferences will create a Facebook Page for people to join and get upcoming information about a conference or seminar. What is also valuable about these Pages is that the conference hosts may also upload pieces of the conference after the fact in video form or transcripts or with reviews.

YouTube – Many conferences or conference attendees will take video and upload the content to YouTube to share with the masses. This is an excellent way to get information but also hear others opinions on topics that were discussed.

Blogs – Use Google and do a search for blogs from the conference name and see what others wrote about their experience. These posts may appear after the conference but they will be helpful in accumulating additional knowledge about events.

 
While all of these are good tools to use, it is helpful to follow a variety of channels to maximize the impact and knowledge of what is being discussed. Conversations even continue online after events or into the evenings. Knowing that we are all busy and following along all day is not realistic; pick and choose what makes sense for you. And chances are, you will network and meet new people along the way even though you are not there in person.

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Social Media Expert?

Is there such thing as a social media expert?  There are many individuals out there who blog about social media and social networking, including me.  There are certainly leaders out there who have more data and insight on the topic than others but how does one sort through all the information out there to devise a plan or goal that works for you.  Ultimately, it is up to the individual to determine what their goal is and how they want to interact in each space.  I recommend reading what you have time and interest for on the subject and determine for yourself what makes sense.  What works for one person may not work for you and may not be your goal.

 

Ask yourself simple questions, here are a few samples:

• What is my ultimate goal for this site?  Job hunt, professionally network, socially network, etc.

• What information do I want to share?  Am I comfortable putting personal information and pictures on sites, do I keep it more professional or a smattering of both?

• What will be the opinion of me when others search for me and come across my information?

 

Spend some time on this and consider your options and goals, it makes all the difference.