Two weeks ago I attended the U.S. Summit for Global Citizen Diplomacy in Washington, DC. It was a great several days of meetings and I'm happy that I was able to attend. I hope to post more about the Summit here on IHEC Blog in the days and weeks to come as there are several things I want to write about.
Something that caught my attention was the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy's use of Twitter. I'm not really talking about their tweets (which I did follow and occasionally retweet). Specifically, I'm referring to the Center making the Twitter conversation from and about the Summit available to the entire Summit community.. Prior to one of the lunch plenary sessions the Center displayed the Twitter conversation in real time on the large screens (pictured above) for all in attendance to follow. I saw several people take note and watch the screens for several minutes.
I also discovered that the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy made available two standing and rather large monitors out in the exhibit hall/coffee break area that also ran the real time Twitter conversation for attendees to follow (two photos in this post). Again, several people stopped to watch and follow the conversation.
Finally, the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy did something really great (and something quite simple really) to engage participants in the Twitter conversation. On the back of their Summit program they printed the hashtag (#citizendiplomacy) to be used for the Summit to follow the Twitter conversation as well as the address of their Facebook page as another way to engage Summit attendees (picture below).
I don't know the official/final Summit registration numbers but I think it was between 600-700 attendees. There was considerable Twitter chatter from and about the Summit and I would say it rivaled the Twitter conversation during the #nafsa10 conference in Kansas City last May.
Many conferences don't even create a #hashtag for attendees to use and those not able to attend to follow along. This, in my opinion, is a [HUGE] missed opportunity as it literally takes 30 seconds to think of a good #hastag for your event and post it to various spaces for people to pick-up and follow. Organizations never need to post to Twitter during their conferences (although it is nice and a great way to engage attendees and others)...just set a #hashtag and let others do the tweeting for you!
So this is a tip of my hat to the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy for a great way to engage Summit attendees in the Twittersphere and to bring the Twitter conversation from and about the Summit to all in attendance!!
Photo credit: http://davidcomp.wordpress.com/