Is Your Conference Twitter Worthy Or Not?

Totally Tweet.

If no one tweets about your event, did it really happen?

While you may think this question is absurd, research shows that we’ve moved from the “experience economy” to the “social economy.” Now, it’s not good enough to simply attend an event. We have to tell others about that event while it’s happening, or the event was worthless.

In other words: Pics or it didn’t happen. Tweets or it didn’t happen. Facebook posts or it didn’t happen.

If your event is hot—as in Twitter-hot, or tweet-worthy—people will be sharing their experiences while it’s occurring.

It’s The Social Economy Stupid

In the late 1990s, authors James Gilmore and Joe Pine released the book Welcome to the Experience Economy. Their position was that in economies of mass affluence, people are more interested in paying for an experience than paying to own something. The memory of the experience becomes the product.

Their book had a profound impact on events. Event designers started focusing on creating memorable experiences.

Research shows that today’s economy has moved into a new phase in which people define themselves not only by what they own or do, but primarily by their ability to connect, share, and broadcast that experience. The term social economy doesn’t imply that the experience economy has disappeared—it suggests that the experience economy needs to be viewed through the lens of sharing.

Technology Is The Fifth Sense

When given a list of options, more than 50% of young people (16-30 years old, McCann Worldgroup Research) would be willing to give up their sense of smell if it meant they could keep their personal technology (smartphone, tablet or laptop). Their willingness to sacrifice one of their senses in exchange for social technology shows how important it has become.

Why? Technology represents all of the friends you could ever want, all the entertainment you could desire and all the information you’ll ever need. For young people technology is really the fifth sense.

In the Social Economy, your event attendees carry their friends in their pockets. They are always sharing their experiences with those friends.

Create a boring event and they will text all of their friends about it. Create an amazing, unusual experience and they will post pictures, tweets and videos of that experience. Even better, if they have friends attending the event, they will post pictures and tag their friends at that event.

Community Is Core

Young people today rate communing Read more.

This post originally appeared in BizBash’s Best of 2011 on December 14, 2011.

How can we make our conference experiences more shareable? What are some tips to encourage people to post their conference experience in their social networks?

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  1. I’m not sure if I would give up my sense of smell, but technology is really important in everything we do, especially social media.

    1. Jeff Hurt says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m with you, I’m not sure I would give up my sense of smell. I’d prefer to have a six sense – technology. 😉

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  4. Interesting points – the idea of SM technology as an additional sense is fascinating. Like others I’m not sure I’d give up one of my traditional senses for it but I know a few people who (think they) would!

    It’s a bit of a problem for me though, as a speaker and trainer, to have tweeting going on in the room. Generally I’d expect people to be so fascinated by what I was saying that they *didn’t* tweet. I’m not saying that they’d not want to tweet if they thought about it, but if they’re thinking about it I’m obviously not being interesting enough.

    In other words – based on the ideas here – the more successful I am as a speaker in the room the less successful I am as a speaker in the SM world!

    1. Jeff Hurt says:


      Thanks for reading and commenting. So how do you handle people taking notes? Do you want them so enamored with you that they don’t take notes.

      And here’s an interesting scientific proven fact for you. You cannot think and listen at the same time. It is impossible to do. In order to think, the attendee has to stop listening.

      My question for you is do you want your audience to hear your presentation or learn it?

  5. […] fascinating Jeff Hurt is saying some interesting things. On one post in particular, asking “Is your Conference Twitter Worthy or Not?” he makes the suggestion that technology, in the context of social media is the sixth […]

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