Usually when the conference secretariat puts out a hashtag for the event, one would expect a flurry of real time discussions by just following the hashtag. The organisers or moderators of the event can then pick out some interesting comments from these online chatter.
It is an innovative new way of generating interest outside the usual direct interaction during the question and answer, which usually cannot accommodate all the queries. Perhaps some questions are deemed too elementary to be brought up or some are just too shy to ask these questions. Social media does add to the richness of the discussion.
Organisers could also highlight the events or features of the meeting to the participants. It’s a great way of knowing what is happening on the other side of the hall and figure if it’s worth sprinting for that talk. Or perhaps, I would like to grab a bite while still following the thoughts and trends of the ongoing events.
Better still, I could follow the meeting or conference by not even being there. Participating in those discussion broaden the scope beyond the attendees of the conference. It’s also a great way to make new connections!
Future conferences will need to embrace this wholly.