As a media person, I cover several industry events. A keynote at a tradeshow can provide the pulse of a company or an industry. It’s also a good place to judge how the company pitch is received. You can do this by listening for reaction. Applause is an indicator. Tweets are better. In fact, monitor the Twitter feed for an event and you don’t even have to attend.
However, an abundance of Tweets at an event has a down side. A popular event can generate hundreds of Tweets. Some members of the press, trying to gain favor with their host (software companies often provide an all-expenses paid trip in exchange for coverage) can generate a hundred over the course of a single keynote session. Or so it seems… as my screen fills up with tweets. #bootlickingtoadie.
Marketers would do well to consider that a high volume of tweets over a short period means that most of the tweets will not be read — and that a lot of marketing time and effort will have gone to waste. All that effort of plastering the event hashtag on every marketing piece, every presentation slide, having it mentioned several times during the event… It’s going to feel great to tell your boss that for a few mornings in a row (Tweeters at events seem much more active in the earlier hours), you’ll not want to mention that the day after the event, it was as if the event never happened. Twitter fame is extremely short lived.
Most tweets are not read the next day, or even the next hour. The life of a Tweet, if it can be judged by the time it takes someone to retweet, can be measured in minutes — 18 minutes, according to one study that calculated the median round trip time of over 2,000 user Tweets.