Twitter, airports, hashtags and mobile
I have followed several conferences in the last few months on Twitter from my desk, but this week I followed my first conference on the go from Tweetdeck on my iPhone, and it was a pretty interesting experience.
The first day of PhoCusWright 2009 found me in transit from Boston to Orlando to get to the venue in time for the opening reception.
Here was my travel itinerary and corresponding Twitter usage:
- Before leaving home, set up hashtag searches on Tweetdeck.
- Drive from home to airport, one hour and ten minutes in a fair amount of stop-and-go traffic. Read tweets (but only when stopped, of course); no tweeting.
- In security line at Terminal C at Logan 20 minutes. Read tweets; hard to manage the phone and bag so no tweeting.
- In gate area with a cup of tea, one hour, constantly reading, tweeting and retweeting. Must’ve looked like a total dork.
- On plane before take off, more of the same. So engrossed I had to be told by a flight attendant to shut off the phone (reluctantly followed instructions).
- In Orlando, waiting for bags 10 minutes, catching up on what I missed during my three-hour flight.
- Waiting on, then riding in, shuttle bus, 90 minutes, tweeting and anxiously watching dwindling power supply.
Am I a Twitter addict? Possibly.
Was I excited about getting to the conference so I could participate directly? You bet.
Was it a great idea for Phocuswright to manage its Twitter-stream effectively, holding my interest and keeping me abreast of speakers and topics? Absolutely.
Conferences that don’t manage Twitter are missing out on a huge opportunity to engage not only their on-site attendees and strengthen their brand, but to reinforce regret at having missed the conference, and build resolve and demand for future events.
For me, it made the long travel day pass quickly, usefully and bearably.
Valyn Perini is a contributing Node to Tnooz and the Vice President of Strategic Relationships for Nor1.
She was most recently the CEO of the OpenTravel Alliance, where she oversaw the operations of the organization, including developing and executing strategies to reach the goal of standardized electronic distribution of travel and traveler information.
Her travel career includes stints with InterContinental, Westin and Swissôtel, with PricewaterhouseCoopers as a travel technology consultant, and as the director of product strategy for Newmarket International.
Valyn speaks on industry topics at events around the world, and writes about travel when she can find the time.
Originally from Atlanta, Valyn now lives in Boston.