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Keep up social media during a conference and use the buzz as a way to build your own presence! Preparing yourself with as much information as you can before the event will allow you to stay focused on connecting with others while maintaining your presence online. Here’s a list of things you can do to be better prepared and a sample image of a post created at a recent conference:

TELL YOUR AUDIENCE; THEN TELL THEM AGAIN

Once you know you’ll be attending the conference, start letting others who are already connected to you know about it. Tweet about it, mention it on Facebook, mention it on LinkedIn. If you have an events section on your website make sure it’s in there. Use each new detail as an opportunity to mention it again on your social channels (“we’re in booth 11A in the Exhibit Hall X”, “I’ll be in the expert pit on Sunday”).

ANNOUNCE IT TO YOUR ONLINE GROUPS

Are there LinkedIn Groups already formed around the topic of this conference? If you can, join the group and let them know you’ll be there. This will allow you to connect with others and start your networking before the conference even begins.

FIND THE SPONSORS, SPEAKERS, AND EXHIBITORS ONLINE

Do the sponsors, exhibitors and speakers you’re planning to see have online presences? Do they have Twitter or Facebook profiles you might be tagging on the days of the conference? Keep those profile names handy so that you can tag them on the fly in the middle of a busy conference day.

RESEARCH HASHTAGS FOR YOUR CONFERENCE POSTS

Are there specific hashtag/topics that you will most likely be using on the days of the conference? Here’s one we made for a Hardware Conference, #hardwarecon: http://bit.ly/1zO9I86. Having hashtags at the ready will help guide the quick posts you may want to make.

BE RESPONSIVE TO YOUR CONNECTIONS

When someone comments or replies to your post, use it as an opportunity to take that connection further! Are you still in the same area? Is it possible to meet in person? Your online communication is a way to get connected even when you don’t always see each other right away. Use it as an opportunity to find new people to connect with at the conference. Always send a response online and followup offline whenever possible.