Like a number of you, I’m heading to the annual GIS in the Rockies event next week in Northern Colorado. There hasn’t been a ton of pre-event hype and hooplah on the social media streams yet, but hopefully that will change as the event approaches. In addition to 2 days of sessions and GIS/Geo Tech demonstrations, there’s also some fine pre-event educational training the day prior to the event as well as some post-event off site visits (like a trip to the local USGS office and other interesting outings).
As I plan for my getaway one of the first things I find myself doing is searching for an OFFICIAL event hashtag. Unfortunately its been a little tough to come by, perhaps the planners hadn’t given that any consideration. I think this a great reminder to anyone planning events need to keep in mind that developing an official hashtag for use by attendees is critical and needs to be done at the early stages. In addition to helping attendees and others that are interested in the event come together and share their discussions, the hashtag is also very useful as a promotional tool. When properly done, a hashtag can be used by attendees when they register (imagine tweeting “I just registered for event XXX”, or “I’m presenting the following paper at event XXX” etc…).
Events and social media go hand in hand. Any event planner needs to make it simple for attendees to share their event experience with the World and its also a crucial tool for non-attendees to virtually attend and take part in discussions from afar. So, the final point here is planners need to designate and promote an official event hashtag early on in the planning stages, they need to use it online on the event website, incorporate the hashtag into the registration process if possible, and use the hashtag in all your pre-conference planning and promotional efforts.
Event Hashtag Tips:
- create a logical, easy to use, easy to spell, and easy to remember hastag
- create a SHORT hashtag – you only have 140 characters in a tweet, don’t waste valuable real estate!
- tweet and retweet people who are using the hashtag
- consider registering your official hashtag at What the Hash – this will provide you with some useful stats and information about users – See http://wthashtag.com
I’m still not 100% sure of the GIS in the Rockies HAshtag but I’ll likely use #GISRock or #GISRockies