How to Inspire Informal Learning by Sharing Conference Insights

I like this because it is frequently what I do at any meeting, conference, session, etc. I am at. Perhaps it’s the Minutes Taker in me but I end up taking notes at everything – frequently in bullet format. Tweeting or LiveBlogging from a conference is great especially when you are Torn between two or more sessions. This way you can go to one session and capture your notes but you can also see what happened at other sessions. If you have questions you can also connect and network with some of the Tweeters or Bloggers to get more detailed perspective. Another way to network at an event!

via Learning Putty by Renee Robbins on 10/26/09

Business conferenceEver wonder what you???re employees or co-workers are learning when they attend a conference??? Sure, sometimes attendees come back and provide a five minute overview but how does this help the rest of your team??? You can help foster informal learning opportunities by allowing your employees to share conference insights in real time.??

Share Conference Insights Instantaneously

Share conference insights via Twitter

Attendees can share conference insights during the sessions by posting informative tweets to their Twitter accounts.?? To make it easier for your employees to track the tweets coming from conference attendees, create a hashtag for that conference that is specific to your company (e.g. #ABCCompanyConf) and ask attendees to include the hashtag in all conference related tweets.?? Employees back at the office can follow the tweet stream for immediate updates or check later for a quick recap.?? Additionally, this allows the conference attendee to communicate with the employees at the office directly.?? If an employee sees a tweet and has a question the attendee can either provide an answer or even ask the conference session presenter.?? What a way to maximize your conference dollars and enage the whole team!

Not sure how to equip your employees for this type of a task??? Start by allowing them to tweet on their phone.?? This is so much easier than using a laptop.?? Here are a few applications that will allow a user to send tweets from their mobile phone:

  • JTwitter ??? This is a java based application that you can install on your phone.?? It will allow you to log into your twitter account and??posts tweets without having to send a text message.
  • TwitterBerry??- A mobile client for posting updates??from your BlackBerry.?? It??also does not need to use text message technology.??
  • Echofon ??? This is the application that I use for my iPhone.?? It has been rated the best free application for Twitter updates by a good deal of reputable sources and I have never had a problem with it.?? They have a Pro version if you need some additional functionality which will cost you $4.99.?? However, if you are going to pay for it, I would suggest going with Tweetie which is similar for only $2.99.??

Deciphering the Details

With only 140 characters a tweet Twitter may be too restrictive for your team.?? If this is the case??use blogging to get the information out.?? Attendees can add as many details as they see fit and then publish the blog just like I do here on Learning Putty.?? There are two ways that people usually construct a conference blog.??

  • Option A:????Recap a session, conference day, or the entire event.?? A recap will be very similar to an article with complete paragraphs and a cohesive train of thought.?? This is usually beneficial when you are relying on the individual to??not only share??conference insights, but also to analyze the information and suggest ways that it can be useful to the company.??
  • Option B: Live blogging.????Live blogging is when attendees are basically taking notes throughout a conference session and then publishing the post immediately after the session ends.?? The nice thing about this option is it allows those reading the blog to get detailed information quickly.?????? Since the attendee is still at the conference they will have a better opportunity to contact the speaker should the blog post generate any questions.

Whether your employees are tweeting or blogging, providing a platform for attendees to share??conference insights??with their co-workers back at the office is a great way to inspire informal learning.??



P.S. Here???s a great post from The Chatroll Blog that will give you some useful information about live blogging.

Related posts:

  1. 7 Creative Ways to Introduce Social Media to Your Team
  2. How to Use Twitter in Social Learning

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