In a recent column, we talked with industry experts about the fact that just because attendees aren’t using a conference hashtag or Twitter doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in social media. It could be that attendees just need a little hands-on help in using the tools.
Last week, at the 2012 Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) Annual Meeting in Anaheim, Calif., MDRT not only set up a laptop-equipped “Tech Zone” as a learning lab on the exhibit floor, but Liana Blum, MDRT’s website coordinator, found the perfect tutors: other MDRT members.
Who better to tell others about the benefits of using Twitter at a meeting than someone already actively doing it? Blum recruited more than a dozen of the association’s most prolific Twitter users to volunteer for short blocks of time during several “Tweet Team” sessions throughout the four-day meeting. And a big plasma screen showing a live Twitter stream featuring the conference hashtag provided instant gratification to the new Twitter users.
Aaron Lee Hammer, an MDRT attendee from St. Cloud, Minn., was both enthusiastic and patient as he guided first-time Twitter users through the process of choosing a handle, signing up on Twitter, and sending out a first-time tweet, using #MDRT2012. (“That’s you, my man,” Hammer told one Twitter newbie, pointing to the screen.)
Hammer likes to help others (volunteering is the “MDRT way,” Blum said), but he also has his own reasons to help others MDRT attendees learn how to converse via Twitter, he told me. “The more people who use Twitter at the meeting, the more I know about what other members think are the best ideas.”