3 Ways to Blend Offline and Online Interaction

By Stephanie Davis Smith, May 22, 2017

A new study from Harris Poll revealed 31 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds are on their phones during at least half of a live event. We’ve said it before, but now more than ever: It’s time to embrace digital. Consider these three ways to blend offline and online interaction at your next event.

1. Create a digital networking experience.

What would you expect from an event that was conceptualized in a chat room in 2005? Code4Lib, a conference for those who work in tech at libraries, archives and museums, hosted Birds-of-a-Feather hangouts on the last night of this year’s Philadelphia conference. According to the conference schedule, a “bunch of inspired nerds with common interests in one spot” were encouraged to “organize a little hackfest,” and organizers offered to assist in securing space.

2. Designate an area where active posters can meet up.

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea had a TweetUp space at its September 2016 conference in Latvia. The TweetUp area was located in a lounge near the host hotel and put together faces with profiles for real-time connecting.

3. Add Twitter chats to sessions.

At Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists’ conference in the U.K. in 2016, the association’s social media team urged conferencegoers to post questions on Twitter during a Q&A. Unfortunately, they only told attendees once, and no one seemed to ask questions. Compare this to NASA, which utilizes its hashtag #AskNASA during live events and press conferences to great response.

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