I had the opportunity to go to the Dallas Digital Summit this year, it was my first digital marketing conference. It was interesting to see the digital marketing community outside of the day-to-day of PMG. Intelligent conversation and content allowed top minds of their fields to communicate different aspects of digital marketing, and monitoring the conference on twitter added a whole new level to the experience.
I’m not on twitter much, but following the conference hashtag, #DDSUM14, while at the conference helped me absorb more information, made me eligible for free stuff, and it helped expand my professional network. I highly suggest monitoring an event hashtag even if you don’t actively tweet much out. While in a session, I noticed I was sitting next to a gentleman, @GregGifford, in the audience who had been actively tweeting during the conference. Later, he tweeted he was actually a speaker at the conference the next day. I wanted to see his local SEO (I’m not a local SEO guy) session based on his tweets. It turned out to probably be my favorite session of the conference.
Most of the conference was centered on the user experience and content media, twitter helped me decipher all the jargon and realize while speakers were talking about different subjects they seemed to overlap in some way. Going to a large conference like this helps make the “big picture” clearer. With so many sessions going on at the same time it is impossible to go to everyone, but with so many people actively tweeting in real time it helps uncover trends and common themes of the whole. One of the buzzwords used throughout the conference was disruptive, referencing that data can be disruptive for both businesses and the user experience. I saw a speaker give the example, the average web user has an attention span of 8 seconds and a goldfish has an attention span of 9 seconds. While monitoring twitter I saw that several other speakers gave the same example.
During the conference, I improved the content of my twitter feed by following several of the speakers I saw. One of the presenters sent me a link for a digital copy of his new book because I started following him, and now my twitter feed is full of more relevant tweets about digital marketing. I was also able to grow my professional network by interacting with other members of the audience. I meet an interesting man from the University of Illinois while we sat and ate box lunches, provided by the Dallas Digital Summit.
You should go to something like a conference with the mindset that all the presentations are about the same thing, in this case digital marketing, and how does everyone’s opinions fit together. Twitter helps to clarify the main messages because you have access to more information.