I could not be more excited to attend the PRSA T3 conference on June 11, 2010. The co-chairs, PRSA Technology section chair Rich Teplitsky and my #PRStudChat partner, 2.0 expert and author Deirdre Breakenridge, have put together an incredible agenda of topics and speakers that are sure to excite anyone looking to stay ahead of the curve in public relations and social networking.
Here are a few of the ways I’ll be integrating social media into my conference experience to assure I make the most of the opportunity.
- Twitter: If you follow me on Twitter, you may already have seen that I’ve begun tweeting about the conference, speakers, and other attendees using the hashtag #techprsa. In addition, I’ve participated in a pre-conference Twitter Chat and started a Twitter list of T3 attendees, so that I could get to know them better outside of the hashtag. I’ve even set up a column using hootsuite.com to begin monitoring pre-conference conversation using the conference hashtag.
- LinkedIn: I’m a longtime member of the PRSA LinkedIn Group and am watching closely a discussion posted by Nicole Zerillo, marketing communications social media manager, PRSA, regarding the conference. I also joined the PRSA technology section group which is much more focused on the upcoming conference than the general PRSA group on LinkedIn.
- Facebook: My Facebook account is really more personal, than professional, but sometimes the lines blur a bit. For example, I’m keeping a close eye on the PRSA Facebook page and have left a comment on one discussion about the T3 conference.
- Google Reader (RSS): I’ve confirmed that the blogs of all speakers are in my Google Reader and organized them in a special folder. Now to continue adding the blogs of other attendees I anticipate meeting…
- General Social Media: When it gets a bit closer to the event, I plan to update my status on all social sites and share that I will be attending the event.
As important as the online preparation is, don’t forget the value of offline communication. Many speakers are also authors; in fact, I am hoping to finish speaker Justin Levy’s book, Facebook Marketing: Designing Your New Marketing Campaign, before hearing his session!
When the big day comes, I’ll be there early. While a conference offers many opportunities to share information live, I don’t intend to focus on live blogging/micro-blogging. I am there to take advantage of the benefits of face-to-face networking and learning. Perhaps I’ll tweet a few of the brilliant remarks from speakers, but only if I find that it is not distracting me from making the most of what is happening in that room.
But don’t worry, I won’t forget about you, the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas. I’ll bring my flip cam, in hopes of introducing you later to some of the incredible people I meet. Perhaps I’ll take a few photos to share; I’ve really enjoyed the Whrrl stories created by Perkett PR… maybe it’s time I create my own, or perhaps interview some of the speakers for a future Fresh Ideas or Public Relations Examiner post.
I am sure that I will return from the conference with many new connections and valuable resources and expect that the night (and weekend) after the conference, I’ll be very busy. In general, I make it a point to follow EVERY new contact on Twitter (and plan to add those from the conference to my T3 PR Twitter list); this allows me the opportunity to continue listening and learning from them. And I send personal LinkedIn invitations to those I have connected with, and want to be sure I keep in my network.
I’ll also be downloading video and sifting through notes, taking some time to contemplate all that I heard and learned, before sitting down to blog. And finally, I intend to make a trip to Barnes and Noble. (I always seem to walk away from these conferences with some great new book recommendations.)
Whew. It seems like a lot, but I am a firm believer that there is a direct correlation between investment and return. What steps do you take to maximize the opportunities of the conferences you attend? What are your plans for this year’s PRSA T3 conference? How are you integrating social and real-life networking and capitalizing on the ROI?