Maximizing Conferences through Twitter
Conferences are necessary. It’s how we network, exchange research ideas, and share advances in emergency medicine. The reality is that we cannot attend every conference out there because of time, money, and schedule conflicts. But thanks to Twitter, it is no longer necessary to be physically present to reap the benefits of a conference.
This post lists information on how to get involved and stay involved with the Twitter conversation and learn from our great conferences without breaking your bank or schedule.
In general there are 4 different types of tweets that are sent out from conferences:
- Session related – discussions about sessions/workshops
- Social – arranging unofficial meetings/meeting new people
- Logistics – change in room locations/events, information about an individual’s presentation
- Advertising – Tweets from companies present at the meetings
Efficiently filtering through the various tweets will expose you to new material, gain exposure to expert opinion on evidenced based medicine, while also be sure to not miss out on a poster session due to a venue change.
Knowing which hashtag to follow is the next step. Generally conference hashtags are intuitive and therefore searchable. For example, this past SAEM meeting’s hashtag was #SAEM13. Simply using your twitter account to follow the hashtag will keep you in the loop of the conversation. Websites such as Symplur and its Healthcare Hashtag Project can help you create hashtags for conferences and keep track of healthcare related conferences that are easy to find and follow.
Contributing and filtering conference tweets
It can be overwhelming deciding whose tweets to follow while at conferences. Admittedly, it can be distracting if you are in the middle of an interesting session but can’t put down your twitter feed that is buzzing about another session next door. Some people will tweet 1-2 pearls per workshop, while others are giving a second by second playbook to the action, akin to a CNN newsfeed. It is up to you to decide which type of tweeting fits your style of writing and reading.
Introducing ALiEM Conference Twitter account (@ALiEMconf)
The writers at this blog have decided to create a joint twitter account that represents the ALiEM blog at conferences. Our goal is to share pearls, evidence based medicine, and exciting events in the world of emergency medicine.
Virtually follow us at conferences and join in on the conversation!
Note: David Marcus, EM IM resident from Long Island Jewish Hospital in NYC has also approached the problem of getting conferences onto the social media band wagon. Through his blog www.emimdoc.wordpress.com, he has assembled an up to date list of upcoming EM/IM/Critical Care conferences with affiliated hashtags.
Please share your comments!
Neill A et al. The Impact of Social Media on a Major International Emergency Medicine Conference. Emerg Med J 2013; 0: 1 – 4. PMID:23423992.
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