Social Media Makes Everyone Part of the “In” Group at Conferences

Mary Theobald Vice President, Communications and Programs

Mary Theobald
Vice President,
Communications and Programs

Like many of you, I attended the recent Conference on Practice Improvement. Greenville was beautiful, the presentations were both educational and motivational, and it was nice to have a few days out of the office making personal connections with STFM members.

It was also fun being a part of the social media network. Tweeting during the conference made me feel like I was part of the “in” group (or, to quote speaker Marcia Nielsen, PhD, I was an “It Girl.”) Through Twitter, I was privy to both silly and serious conversations between friends, inside jokes, and attendee perspectives on speaker remarks. It was like a friendly dinner party (sans the dinner) within a conference.

Conferences are a good place to get started with Twitter. At the low-involvement level, which is where I often hang out, you just latch onto catchy soundbites from speakers and tweet them out, accompanied by the conference hashtag (in this case #CPI12). If your tweet is on target, others will retweet it, making you an instant celebrity in the Twitter community.

A few less introverted social media pundits at this conference took their celebrity status to an even higher level, courtesy of self-proclaimed “social media enthusiast” Mike Sevilla, MD. Dr Sevilla brought his camera and microphone to the conference and interviewed several speakers and partners. The interviews, along with Dr Sevilla’s comments are on his blog at

I hope you’ll join the online conversation at the next STFM conference, especially if you’re new to the organization or the conference. Tweeting is a fun, easy way to meet and connect with other attendees. And everyone’s welcome to be part of this “in” group.

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