James Mignano, Digital Media Assistant, Carestream

The Radiological Society of North America’s Annual Meeting (RSNA) is a big event, located in a bustling city. Attendance at last year’s meeting was up 2% to over 59,000 attendees and is expected to increase again this year. The Chicago economy will get a boost of more than $100 million as attendees hit the city. RSNA is a whirlwind; but fortunately, social media tools can help you make the most out of your trip to RSNA and Chicago.

Start Now – Before You Head to the Show

In less than a half hour and in four steps, you can make sure you’re socially-connected to all things RSNA:

Step 1:  Download RSNA, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn apps on your smartphone or tablet.

The RSNA2012 app makes it faster and easier to plan your conference schedule, view the meeting program, search for exhibitors, navigate McCormick Place and more. You can also follow the RSNA organization on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube for live updates from the meeting.

Step 2: Download a QR Code scanner app so you will be able to scan codes displayed at RSNA.

QR or “Quick Response” Codes are square barcodes that are scanned by a smartphone and directs users to a specific website. You will see them at RSNA, so be prepared to scan!

Step 3: Save Twitter searches or create Tweetdeck columns for RSNA hashtags.

What are hashtags? Twitter can be overwhelming with lots of discussion. The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages. A few popular hashtags we suggest for RSNA are #RSNA12, #Radiology and #HealthIT.

Step 4: Subscribe to your favorite information sources and set-up RSNA news alerts.

Subscribe via email or RSS to your favorite blogs and healthcare news sources in order to stay current on relevant news and announcements that are made from the RSNA floor. Set up Google Alerts for RSNA to get specific content delivered directly to your email.

Step 5: Update your LinkedIn profile.

Thanks to LinkedIn, you can lose the fear of misplacing business cards during the meeting. Most likely, people will search for you during or after the show. Put your best foot forward by making sure your profile is up-to-date.

During the Conference

Social media can enhance your experience during the show. Here’s how:

Participate in “back channel” discussions:

  • Monitor social media for a pulse on the news and events resonating with other attendees
  • Use Twitter to join the discussion. A few quick Twitter tips: tweet the opinions and soundbites from the sessions that you are attending; always include #RSNA12 hashtag; be sure to use @reply to respond to other Twitter users directly.

Keep track of new connections:

  • Instead of collecting business cards, use LinkedIn to connect. You can also endorse your connections for a skill they’ve listed on their profile.
  • Ask vendors if they are on social media and how you can connect with them. Give feedback to exhibitors that you visit. Which of their products did you like the most? Or  provide tips and suggest improvements. You can find Carestream online on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!

Out and About in Chicago

You’re going to need to leave the show floor and relax at some point. But you don’t live in Chicago. How will you know where to go for dinner or drinks? Skip the concierge and turn to social media. We recommend:

  • Choose Chicago is a location-based app that tells you the businesses that are in the area. You’ll also receive great discounts and have access to Chicago weather reports and contact information to local businesses.
  • Foursquare: Let others know where you are. When you go places, be sure to check in to the locations to earn points. You’ll also receive tips from other people that have been there before. That means you could get recommendations on what to eat for dinner, or be advised on who the best server is.

After the Show

After you’ve left Chicago behind and returned from the excitement of RSNA, continue to rely on social media to keep your conversations and discussions going:

  • Create Twitter lists composed of all of the people you met at RSNA.
  • Send LinkedIn messages to new connections to continue your networking efforts.
  • Continue to check Facebook & Twitter accounts of vendors from the show for recap summaries of the event and video content.

Safe travels to the show! Our team hopes to see you in booth #2636 in the South Hall. Check back here for more news from RSNA.