A successful, interesting and effective conference will almost always have a Q&A session at the end of every lecture or workshop. This allows the audience to ask specific questions of the speaker and the speaker to respond, sharing even more wisdom and insight into their field. It’s an important part of the conference, because attendees don’t just want to sit and listen to lectures they want to get involved, ask questions and generate a discussion.
In the past, the Question & Answer session was usually facilitated by passing around a microphone and letting audience volunteers ask their questions. Often, this can be a time consuming process and it doesn’t allow you to screen questions in advance to make sure that they are helpful and relevant. However, thanks to technology there is a much better way to do this. Set up a hashtag for the Q&A on Twitter and let the social media platform do the work.
Let audience members know at the beginning of the lecture that they can tweet their questions under the specific hashtag. During the session, have someone monitoring the computer and collecting the best questions that are tweeted. At the end, the speaker will have a list of relevant questions that they can answer. You can even display the tweets on a large screen if your Cheshire conference venues have this technology available.
These are some of the advantages to doing your Q&A in this way:
Questions Can Be Screened in Advance and the Best Can be Chosen
Sometimes people ask questions during Q&A sessions that are not very relevant, not very clear or are designed to promote themselves rather than gain valuable information. When you gather all of the questions in advance via Twitter you will be able to screen them first to ensure that only the best questions are asked.
Appoint a social media moderator who will be watching the Tweet stream during the talk. They can choose the best questions and put them together in an order that makes sense, so that the speaker can answer them. This will vastly improve the quality of the Q&A session and make it more helpful for everyone.
Everyone Can Get Involved
When you use Twitter for your Q&A session, it means that everyone can get involved in the event – even those who are not attending the conference. Someone might be watching the hashtag from another location and although they are not able to attend the event, they are very interested in the discussion. They will be able to throw their question into the mix with everyone else’s so that it can contribute to the discussion.
Even though the discussion takes place at the conference, you might get questions from all over the world. The social media manager can dictate the speaker’s answer and share it on Twitter so that those watching the discussion from far away can see the answer.
It Promotes Your Conference On Twitter
When you have a lively question and answer session happening on Twitter, this is great publicity for your conference. Twitter users will see the discussion come up on your Twitter stream and they will get an idea of what is being talked about at your conference. If they are intrigued by the ideas that are being discussed, they might be inspired to buy a ticket for next year’s event.
You want to make it as easy as possible for those watching on Twitter to find out what your conference is and book tickets. Make sure that the hashtag is clear and that the official Twitter account of the conference offers links to a website where information about upcoming events is posted.
The Content Can Become a Great Blog After
After you have done the Twitter Q8A, the questions and answers you have created can be a great blog later on. You can collect all of the questions from Twitter and embed them into a blog, then answer them in depth. If you have never embedded tweets into a WordPress blog, it’s not too difficult to learn how.
These are just a few of the reasons to use Twitter for the question and answer session at your next conference at Carden Park in Cheshire. With the right strategy and a great social media manager to filter through the Tweets and select the best questions, your Q&A session can be very effective.