Most likely you are reading this because you are either attending the Performance Support Symposium or you would like to benefit from the knowledge and networking the symposium produces.
If you are not attending the conference then there is a wealth of knowledge in the Backchannel. Be sure to check out David Kelly’s collected backchannel resources. The hashtag to follow and contribute to this event on Twitter is #PSS12.
If you are planning on attending #PSS12 or another future conference and want to contribute to the backchannel but you are not familiar with how to contribute, we’ll bullet point a few suggestions that might be helpful to you. But first, I asked Zara King her opinion since she has not yet been to an L & D conference but still wants to benefit from the backchannel.
“Zara, I know you enjoy the backchannel. Learning Live and the Performance Support Symposium are both happening this week. What advice can you give readers on how to contribute to the backchannel so that you and others can best benefit from their experiences?”
“I follow the backchannel of conferences for two reasons; (1) I really want to be there and (2) there is a topic or bit of information that I want to obtain. If like me you unfortunately can’t be there, that does not mean you can’t reap the rewards of those that did attend.
For me, I want to know who is going and who will be dedicating their time to updating the backchannel. I also attempt to have a bit of a relationship with the person that I am following so that I feel comfortable following their journey. I like it when people tweet details ahead of time or even blog about their sessions they plan to attend. The more organized the person is, the more likely I am to follow their adventure and retweet or promote it. I also tend to follow those who will be attending topics that I may be interested in. I like to know if I can interact with them or if they will only be providing info. I like to see lots of pictures and there are never enough quick pics. I want to see the happy excited faces of the people that I know from the L&D community. They don’t need to be high quality… just available, so I can live vicariously through them. These kinds of things motivate me to work hard to hopefully attend one of the future events. It is also neat to see what the venue and buzz looks like. I appreciate the stream of continuous updates since it makes it feel like I am a part of the experience. I especially appreciate summary entries of daily experiences and opinions.
To summarize this is how I hope individuals will contribute to backchannels:
1. Let people know that you are attending and that you will be sharing
2. Share your plans of what sessions you plan on attending
3. Send lots of pics and updates as they happen
4. Blog/journal a summary about your daily or overall experience
Thanks Zara for your insights!
So, use Twitter on your laptop, smartphone or tablet to read the stream of tweets by searching for the #PSS12 hashtag to enjoy others’ perspectives and if you are attending the Performance Support Symposium or any other future conference, consider tweeting the things Zara suggested as well as points from our full list of suggestions:
- Pictures! (Note that some speakers ask that cameras not be used while they speak. They’ll let you know if that is the case.) This is usually an easy task if you have a good smartphone or tablet with a camera. If you take pictures with people you meet from the community, consider sharing with the community.
- Your excitement about future breakouts, speakers and other events (Other attendees might not be aware of those events yet)
- If you really enjoy something about a conference, others might enjoy it too – share it with them. And consider thanking the organizers because if they know you enjoy that detail, they may be more inclined to include those types of details in future events.
- Perhaps you discovered an excellent vendor at the expo – help others to know about that vendor too.
- If you are in a dynamite breakout, share why in a tweet. Perhaps someone who is disappointed with their breakout will run over to yours instead.
- If you hear a quote you like, share it. Don’t forget to give the owner credit by including their name or twitter handle at the end of your tweet (add something like “via @author”.)
- Everyone likes to know where the good parking, the good coffee and the good lunch spots are. Share it!
- After you have consumed knowledge, you are going to process it with your experiences and create your own insight. Share your brilliant wisdom with the world so we can be as smart as you.
Most importantly, don’t forget the hashtag when you tweet. #PSS12
Also, check out David Kelly’s blog, “What Makes a Great Conference Backchannel“