Recently I have been asked to provide some twitter tips to event organizers that I advise. I thought it might be worthwhile sharing as this seems to be a common question.
First, Do you have a twitter id for your company? If so make sure you share it (widget for that at http://twitter.com/about/resources). If not, you should. Keep it short like @BEbiz (short for Big Event Business) so that it is easy to re-tweet (RT) – share and spread. That account should tweet updates on speakers booked, events or interviews leading up the event, relative events and content, live statements at the event, RT others tweets about the event and related issues and post event comments as well as content related to the topic and people involved. (It can also feed into your Facebook, Community and LinkedIn pages, if you have them.)
Next, make sure your event has a hash-tag (#) and that everyone knows about it. That way you (and participants) can track any tweets about it using the simple search functionality in twitter. For example, use #ABE11, short for A Big Event 2011. Post it on your site and place reminder in all communications to use the tag (as well as at the conference for live coverage).
Third, You can insert the feed from all tweets using the hash-tag (#ABE11) onto your website so that all conversations are tracked and shared. This is an easy widget that can be found at http://twitter.com/about/resources/widget
Fourth, be sure you get your presenters and sponsors twitter id’s, if they have them, and put them in the program. It helps those who are tweeting to assign content to the presenter. Each time you book a speaker is an opportunity to cross promote so be sure to share your twitter id and hashtags and make sure you “follow” them on twitter too. You might even create a list of your speakers in twitter so others can follow them.
And fifth, but VERY important. Make sure your venue has decent wifi coverage and that people know how to get on if there is a code. Test it too.
Good luck and enjoy. Remember to listen as well as tweet. True balance is from give and take. Nobody likes to follow a pure self-promoter. Keep it in context and off you go.