Recap: Social Learning Summit 2014 #SLS14

Remember on Friday when I wrote about what you should be doing on Saturday? That thing was the Social Learning Summit, and it was awesome.

What makes #SLS so special is the energy, collaboration, and constant willingness connect on behalf of every person there. It’s a hub for live tweeting and engaging with new ideas and new people in real time. It’s wonderful.

I attended three panels and one keynote speech, though there was so much to see and learn and absorb that I couldn’t possibly have touched it all. The panels I attended were Social Media Metrics (#SLSMetrics), Brand You (#SLSBrand), and No Business Like Social Business (#SLSEnt). One of the keynotes was a fantastic speech by Joe Gizzi (#SLSKey) about the intersection of social and mobile. (Check out his deck here!)

Below I’m including a roundup of some (okay, a lot) of my favorite tweets (& some of my own) from #SLS14 to give you a sense of my experience, key takeaways, and the conference in general. I definitely recommend attending #SLS15 – I’m hoping to come back to AU for it next year!

And of course, if you were at #SLS14 – let’s connect! Tweet @staceyalevine


























How To: Create the Perfect Hashtag

I recently learned of an app called Bizzabo, which helps professionals discover new business opportunities at conferences and events, while enabling event organizers to promote their event and engage directly with their attendees.

Bizzabo’s founder, Alon Alroy, has compiled a set of tips on how to create the perfect hashtag for your event. Being an event-lover, social-media lover, and a hashtag-lover especially, (and having seen my fair share of terrible hashtags), I couldn’t pass up the chance to pass these along!


The perfect hashtag should be:

  • Relevant: Make sure the hashtag is related to your event and will be easy to remember as well as spell.
  • Unique: It’s important to pick a hashtag that’s not currently being used or can have many different audiences.  Choosing the hashtag #tech for a conference called Tech Startup Conference 2013 can (and will) result in 20+ irrelevant tweets per minute.  Instead, using a hashtag such as #TSC13 will allow the event tweet stream to be highly targeted with a very low possibility of getting off topic tweets or users.
  • Short and sweet: Concise hashtags are not only easier to remember, but give event attendees more character space when sharing on Twitter (though there’s no limit on Facebook).  If your event has a longer name like “Social Media Marketing World 2013”, turn it into #SMMW13
  • Well thought out: Not every event name or topic will sound good as a hashtag. It’s also a good practice to make sure that the hashtag doesn’t coincidentally form a word in another language, which could result in two very different streams colliding.

But how do I make sure people USE it?

  • Promote away:  Promote the hashtag by having it everywhere- your event website, marketing materials, advertisements, dedicated emails, the event’s mobile app, social networks, newsletters and every other channel used to reach attendees.
  • Listen:  The hashtag will not only be a way to get attendees to engage with the event, but to get attendees to engage with each other.  You’ll be able to track the conversations and not only get good feedback, but possibly even address some of the top topics and issues discussed online in the conferences’ content itself.
  • Get Creative: Don’t be afraid to experiment! You can offer discounts, create contests, or broadcast curated streams.

Have you seen any particularly great or terrible hashtags? One of my favorite event hashtags I’ve seen/used was #SLSnoms at the DC Social Learning Summit this April. Let me know in the comments or by tweeting at @staceyalevine!